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Rockford's Carnegie Library

For years I believed the smaller building to the west across Wyman St., which is still standing, was the Carnegie building. It's Memorial Hall, shown in a card below. 
Rockford's main library was in a pleasant, but undistinguished building. It was finished in 1962, and engulfed the Carnegie (1901 grant) building. However, I was unable to tell which section it comprised until the SW view revealed that the front had been modernized and another storey layered on the top. The river views made RPL a lovely place to spend time, which the homeless population of the city also discovered.


The main building, which scarcely shows its Carnegie heritage, was demolished because of contamination from Rockford Power, Gas, Light & Coke, which Commonweath Edison bought out. Normally, I don't have a lot of sympathy for Big Business, but ComEd became responsible for something that happened at the turn of the last century..

Demolished 2018.

Note the sign for the Water Works Plant, which couln't have been in a much worse location than next to a coking plant.

Sepia Albertype card.

Rockford's Roosevelt Day celebration, with view of the Rockford Carnegie library building.

Roosevelt Day ceremony.

1906 postmark. Kropp card image monochrome with print in red.

My duplicate card has a 1906 postmark and entire back.

Rockford, Illinois' Carnegie library, with Memorial Hall in the background.

1910 postmark.
Untinted dome. Obvious are either shingles or seams in the roofing material. Memorial Hall is in the background.

Postmark probably 1919.
Dome tinted magenta.

Different buildings in rear.

Unusual view from southwest corner with the Rock River in the background.

(R) Linen finish postcard by E.C. Kropp.


Rockford Public Library has one interesting west side branch, the Spanish Renaissance styled Montague, designed by Chester E. Wolfley and built in 1923.
Like Madison, Wisconsin to its north, many RPL branches are in former retail space. Schools have also been used as library space in the past.

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