Wisconsin's Public Libraries
Hillsboro High School, completed in 1900, now the sight of the new Hillsboro City Library. Hillsboro, Wisconsin.
A vestigial website shows that this building has been replaced.
Kenosha (Simmons Memorial Library)
The building was designed by Daniel Burnham in 1900, according to Kenosha Public Library's web site (page no longer online). Burnham also was heavily involved in Chicago's Columbian Exposition (1893 World's Fair), Chicago's city planning, and improving Washington, DC's design.
(Burnham Library of the Art Institute of Chicago was instituted by his sons.)
Still in use, although 3 other branches and Bookmobile service are needed to augment this flagship facility.
(L) Brown Photo postcard, also shows the Lincoln statue.
(R) Hand colored postcard, the best of the three frontal postcards I have.
LaCrosse (Washburn Public Library)
Building dates from the era of H.H. Richardson, but still managed to look light, airy, and welcoming. This original building was a donation by a former Wisconsin governor (per Nix).
(L) Unknown publisher.
(R) Commercialchrome card.
(L) The fact that this library was built in 1954 places this card at the tail end of the Photo Postcard era.
(R) Attractive 'Plastichrome' card.
Designed by James R. Dresser, who was taught by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The Library's website does a better job of showing how beautiful both the building and its setting are. Recently I ran across this library in person and was amazed. The Wright influence is obvious in the marriage of site and building.
Two expansions were made, in 1963 and 1970.
Lake Mills (L.D. Fargo Library)
An odd mixture of Carpenter Gothic and Richardson Romanesque architecture that the library's excellent site calls 'Neogothic,' this library looks welcoming, reminiscent of a gingerbread house.
It survived a 1980 fire, among other events in its 100+ year history.
This is the newest view of the L.D. Fargo library in my collection. It has an academic air about it.
The image was by Robert Heussner.
The first library in Grant County.
(L) 1901-1957 location, in the Carpenter Gothic house of George Ryland. Apparently demolished, from Google Earth view.
(R) E.C. Kropp card with tinted sky, shows a memorial stone with plaque.
Schreiner Memorial Library
L.L. Cook card.
Schreiner Memorial Library was built in 1957 and expanded in 1982.
The current library building has both Prairie and Mid-Century Modern influence in its architecture. Combined with the wooded setting, it's strikingly attractive.
Marinette (Stephenson Public Library)
(L) Also shows 'Lovers' Lane,' ca. 1905.
(R) ca. 1908 sepia tinted card.
It was hard to choose which of 8 cards to share.
There doesn't seem to be a lot of library history out there. 'Fairchild & Flatt' mentions that the Library received some cannons in 1902 from Sen. Isaac Stephenson, which seems to be an inside joke about the lack of invasions by Michigan. The same page states that Patton & Miller were its architects.
It's still in use, with 1977 and 2007 additions.
Lovely building, of an amber colored, variegated brick. In the Winnefox system, along with Oshkosh, it's still in use.
Another mid-Central/Northern Wisconsin card of unknown manufacture. It was stamped by a collector, I presume.
The 1901 library is the smaller structure. The complex is now apartments.
Closeup view of the older library building. It looks like a Carnegie building, but is not.Note the weird discrepancy between the windows on the left and the right.The card is one of E.C. Kropp's better efforts. However, the flag is one of those rare 19 star varieties.
1960 building by Durrant & Bergquist.
Soon to be converted into a community center.
(L) Marshfield has had a reputation of pride in its progressive architecture.
The card has the City's Gas Company on top (with a Cities Service gas station in the background), and a very early photo of the Library on the bottom.
(R) The card was issued in 2001 to celebrate the Marshfield Public Library centenary.
One of Marshfield Public Library's most unusual claims to fame is its Stierle Bird Collection. Not books about birds; the birds themselves.
Menasha (Elisha D. Smith Library)
(L) Card printed in Germany, and published by E.A. Bishop of Racine, WI.
(R) L.L. Cook card.
Menasha's library was founded in 1896, and the 1898 building featured on this card was replaced in 1969.
Nice website with a new history page.
Menomonie (Mabel Tainter Memorial Library)
Mabel Tainter Memorial Building, built 1890: replaced 1986. The current building does have a lovely lake view. The little library has to serve the city, plus most of Dunn County.
Early view of Main Street from the Bloom Bros.
Across the street from the Library is the First National Bank and a barber pole. There appears to be a post office beyond the library: there is still a facility on Main Street.
Note that the Library lacks awnings.
(L) This is one of my favorite cards. Imposing, stern Richardson Romanesque facade implying great wisdom lies within. Then a happy retouch artist gave it candy striped awnings.
(R) 'One of the most efficient and elaborate libraries in the world is housed in this building.'
(L) E.C. Kropp provides you an eagle-eye view of Menomin Lake. Mailed in 1943, it captures other interesting city buildings.
(R) Lots of nifty details in this Universal Photo Service postcard. I believe that the brown building in both of the newer cards is the post office.
Gee, it's a GTE phone booth by the corner of the tower.
All the cars that I can ID are GM products, the newest a '56 Chevy. How times have changed.
**Merrill (T.B. Scott Free Library)
(L) Photo postcard from 1952, if I read the license plates correctly.
Caption: Point Theatre & Municipal Building.
(R) E.C. Kropp linen-finish card mailed in 1943.
Library sector (Note the Free Public Library sign above the Chevrolet) still in use. So are the public restrooms of the municipal building, a very important feature when playing tourist in Mineral Point.
Founded in 1902: the building, which had contained City Hall and the Library, is still occupied by the Library.
This is another of those photo postcards in the style peculiar to northern Wisconsin. I still haven't been able to identify the studio.
Monroe (Arabut Ludlow Memorial Library)
You should visit the Monroe Public library site to see the new facility. I guess that's what happens when you convert a clinic to a library. To be fair, Lee and June Geiger bought Monroe Clinic and donated the building to the school district. Sadly, the entire building is not only occupied by the library. School administration holds the third floor.
This school/library connection is more often seen in the Eastern US.
(L) Likely an early E.C. Kropp image of the library exterior.
(R) Known to be an E.C. Kropp image of the library interior.
What's that? Can't find Monroe?
Here's a ca. 1973 card (by L.L. Cook) to give you an idea of how it looked as the Monroe Clinic.
Less than impressed, aren't you?
Although this postcard of the Library's interior was mailed in 1912, and it has a divided back; Mosinee's library service has been provided by Marathon County since 1907. It's evident that the current building is far more recent than 1907, which begs the question:
Where was this? In an unknown downtown building? City Hall? A freestanding building?
J.M. Colby photo
Founded in 1908. This building was a 1939 WPA project: these are more common in the South. It was replaced in 1997. I suspect it was demolished, but have no concrete proof.
From the coding, I believe this to be an L.L. Cook postcard.
City Hall and Public Library, New London, Wis.
A 1903 Carnegie grant enabled the library to find its own home, which appears to still be in use, with the assistance of a honkin' addition.
Not that this Romanesque hulk didn't have its own peculiar charms. Clock towers are always nice, especially when they hold a clock.
The card is a product of A.C. Bosselman & Co., printed in Germany, for John T. Faber of Milwaukee. It was mailed in 1912.