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Public Libraries of Michigan

Partial view of a Battle Creek postcard, with the Library on the left.
It also features the Ward Building and the Michigan Central Depot.

Detroit libraries have their own page, as does Grand Rapids.

Battle Creek (Willard Library)
Willard Library, Battle Creek, MI

(L) Unattributed card mailed in 1907.
(R) The tinted card, with a divided back, is from E.C. Kropp.

Willard Library, Battle Creek, MI

Ca. 1907 building still in use, but the library as an institution dates from 1840.

Big Rapids (Phelps Free Public Library)

Victorian - Italianate house converted into a library. No longer in use.

Phelps Free Library, Big Rapids, MI

(L) Tinted postcard.
(R) F.G. Osbourne card, mailed in 1909.


Phelps Free Library, Big Rapids, MI
Birmingham (Baldwin Public Library)
Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI

Founded in 1869. I doubt that this building is that old. It appears to still be in use, but with a huge addition in front.


1930 Curt Teich postcard, immediately prior to the linen finish era.

Bloomingdale, MI public library & town hall

Now part of the Van Buren Library District.

Sadly, it appears that this has merely been remodeled, and both functions still occupy this building.


L.L. Cook card.

Coldwater (The Edwin R. Clarke Library)

Card printed in Germany and mailed in 1908.


Now part of the Branch District Library. As opposed to a branch library. Well, it's that now, too.

Gothic/Romanesque building dating from the turn of the last century. This must have been a pain to make ADA compliant.

Edwin R. Clarke Library, Coldwater, MI

The Library itself was founded in 1920 as a Garden Club reading room. Mrs. Henry Ford donated the land for the 1923 building, designed by Edward Tilton. The WPA built a branch, and service was supplemented by a bookmobile. From a peak of 5 branches, only 2 remain. Of these, since 2009, only reading room level service is provided. 
In 2011, the Ford Centennial Library (below) was renovated.

Harley, Ellington Architects designed the Ford Centennial building: I suspect Dexter Press used their image.

1923 building, now serves as the Bryant Branch Library. There aren't a lot of cases where a city library was demoted into a branch library. It was first called the Mason Branch Library, from 1969 to 1977.

Evidently printed by the S.L. Co. of Sturgis, for F.H. Mill, of Dearborn. Branded as Photo-Tone.

Dearborn, MI public library, now the Bryant Branch
Henry Ford Centennial Library

It's hard to do better than the Dexter Press postcard's description:

Henry Ford Centennial Library, Dearborn, MI in architectural rendering

Opposite the World Headquarters of the Ford Motor Company

A living memorial to Henry Ford (1863-1947) and the town where he was born, lived and died, this beautiful building was built with a $3.5 million grant from the Ford Foundation on 15 acres donated by FoMoCo. The gifts were made to the city on the 100th anniversary of Henry Ford's birthday, July 30, 1963. Opened in 1969, the 87,000 square foot Vermont marble complex includes shelves for 350,000 volumes, a 300-seat auditorium, five civic meeting rooms accommodating up to 400 people, 350 readers seats and parking for more than 2,000 cars. Fronting the building is one of the nation's finest memorial fountains, colorfully lighted with water sprays up to 33 feet.

Decatur (Webster Memorial Library)
Webster Memorial Library, Decatur, MI

Now part of the Van Buren District Library, it seems as if this building has been replaced. It resembled a junior version of the Brooklyn Public Library.

This postcard, judging from the mailbox, dates to sometime after 1963. Nyce Manufacturing printed it.

Fenton (A.J. Phillips Public Library)
A.J. Phillips Public Library, Fenton, MI

This card features the A.J. Phillips Public Library, which was established in 1906, according to the Segers' work, Fenton
An addition was needed by 1964, and that no longer sufficed by 1987.

Fenton is now served by the Jack R. Winegarden Library, which resides in the old post office building.


The vertical format of this photo card displays a very impressive building with unusual architecture. It's now in use as a museum.
The postcard was mailed in 1957.

Flint (also Flint College and Cultural Center)

Replaced the Carnegie building. I wonder if the powers that be in Flint would have done that if they had known what would transpire with the auto industry collapse. This building is still in use, sans college.

Flint, MI library, college, & cultural center

(L) 'Plastichrome' card.
(R) Dexter Press card.


Flint, MI library, college, & cultural center
Galesburg, MI Memorial Library

Nondescript building likely dates from the early 1950s. Galesburg is now served by the Galesburg-Charleston Memorial District Library.

The card is equally nondescript and lacks any identifying features.

Grand Ledge
Grand Ledge, MI Public Library

Built in 1931: superseded the Ladies Library Association. Now its own district.


Delightful building, deemed Classical by the Library's history page due to its symmetry. However, the tile roof and horizontal feel are more Prairie-style.
The Michigan Post Card Co. is responsible for this card.

Grosse Pointe

This is the second dedicated building of the Grosse Pointe Library. Both it, and its branch, were built in 1950. According to the card, its architect was Marcel Breuer, and was donated by the D.M. Ferry family.

The postcard is a product of Dexter Press, and its image was taken by Allen Stross.

Grosse Pointe, MI Public Library

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