Save a Library - Carnegie Libraries at Risk
Vintage Carnegie Libraries Threatened by the Wrecking Ball
In the early twentieth century, Andrew Carnegie made massive donations to build libraries across the United States. Now many of those buildings have fallen on hard times. Many are too small now and have been converted to museums or left empty.
It's sad to see these buildings that served their communities well, but now might be torn down or left to decay.
Daddy postcard by Philbradley
This Shows Some of the Deterioration of the Carnegie Libraries
Cities find the maintenance costs high for older buildings
The vintage buildings become a maintenance headache for municipalities. Things break down in century old buildings. Unfortunately that often tips the balance so the old building gets torn down and a new one built.
It makes me quite sad to see these handsome buildings abandoned or destroyed. I understand when a community grows too large for these old buildings, but my preference would be for them to be added to or converted into a museum or even into a private residence.
The one in my hometown of El Dorado now houses law offices. That is a good reuse since it is adjacent to the court house. I went to college in Emporia KS and used that Carnegie Library back in the 1970s. A few years ago I spent the day wandering around Emporia and was delighted to see the old building still standing.
Next door was a modern library and the Carnegie had become the historical museum. It's great to have those adjacent to each other. When I went inside, most of the original architectural elements were still in place. The photo shows the original drinking fountain in the lobby with its gorgeous tile work.
(photo of water fountain by Virginia Allain)
Showing Its Age... Carnegie Library by joannalindsey
Carnegie Libraries That Escaped the Wrecking Ball - or have rescue efforts underway
- Clarksdale MS - Carnegie Public Library
This building was almost torn down in 1970, but has been saved.
- Carnegie library branches shift from chopping block to drawing board - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh wants to spend more than $1 million to improve access for disabled patrons at six branches that, less than two years ago, it planned to close, merge or move.
- Friends considering opening Carnegie Library with volunteers - Lincoln News Messenger
A newly-formed Carnegie Feasibility Committee will study whether the Carnegie Library can reopen with volunteers. The library closed July 1, because of city budget cuts.
Learn More about Andrew Carnegie - Books available from Amazon
These are great for a student who likes history or biography. They learn about one of the great philanthropists and his rise from a poor immigrant to a wealthy man.
The Man Behind the Libraries - Andrew Carnegie
Efforts to Save a Carnegie Library Building in Washington, D.C.
Location of the Libraries Mentioned on This Page
Carnegie Library Buildings Should Be Saved - People share their opinion on old library buildings
We should save these old library buildings because...
Marie Yunling 3 years ago - Save the Carnegie Libraries in honour of Andrew Carnegie who played a major part in educating our people.
Sam Custer 4 years ago - Yes. The Carnegie library that I enjoyed so much as a child was demolished many years ago. I still think of it often. It was such a wonderful place. The architecture was so much more interesting than the new wave of library buildings which all look alike - and like big box stores, inside and out. Ugh.
CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida
Yes, we should. It would be very sad to lose them. they really are American treasures!
Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida
The architecture is fabulous on most of these and they have been a community focal point for generations. Even if the library has outgrown them, they can be used for a museum or other public use.
News Stories and Blogs about Carnegie Libraries for Sale
I'll add to this whenever I find a news article. Check to see if the building is still available if you want to buy one.
- Old Carnegie Library for sale | Ballard News-Tribune
This one is for sale for three million dollars.
- The Daily Postcard: Carnegie Library for Sale
Carnegie Library in Binghampton, NY
- One of St. Paul's oldest libraries going up for sale - TwinCities.com
This is a 1914 Carnegie building. The article is dated 7/11/2013. It's in St Paul MN.
Carnegie Libraries - Gone, But Not Forgotten - Articles about the impact of a Carnegie Library or memories of one
- Serendipity rescues historic Long Beach fragment - Library Cornerstone
"We were one of the first to have a very major public library," she said. "We had a high school, and that was one of the first things residents did when they got here. They thought education and a library were extremely important."
- The Daily Postcard: Carnegie Library for Sale
The blogger muses about a Carnegie library that sold for $140,000.