Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Oakdale, California…beautiful renovation!

315 W. F St.
Oakdale, CA
$7,000 grant
Visited April 26, 2014


We were driving through Oakdale on a return trip from Tahoe and Sonora when a building on  caught the corners of our left eyes. “Hey, that looks like a Carnegie” so we hooked around and drove by again.  Yes, it was. 


It is now a commercial building with a sign stating The Carnegie Building Stickman Ventures.


The building was not open and ALL of the blinds and shades were tightly closed so I wasn’t able to get any kind of interior photos.

This is what I found on-line in regard to the Oakdale Library:

Oakdale, Stanislaus County
San Joaquin Valley/North area, Central Valley region
opened 1917
Oakdale Library from 1917-1974
currently a private office

grant amount: $7,000
architectural style: Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival
architect: Hugh Y. Davis

Oakdale was established when early landowners provided a right of way and land for the Stockton and Visalia Railroad in 1872; it became an excursion destination where visitors from valley towns strolled through the oak groves and along the canals. Today travelers pass through Oakdale as they hurry to Yosemite, Stanislaus River, or the Sierra on highways 108 and 120. The trim stucco old Carnegie library, Mission Revival with Classical elements, is now used for offices. It is located a block from the main intersection at F and Yosemite streets, at the southwest corner of F and Church streets.
The Shakespeare Club began a subscription library in Oakdale in 1901 but efforts of the Women's Club to seek Carnegie funding were rebuffed by the city trustees; some opposed "tainted money" and others thought the library "an extravagance." In 1912 Oakdale became part of the new Stanislaus county library system which applied for grants for several branches. A grant of $7000 was received in 1916, and the women donated the lot. Hugh Y. Davis designed the building. When the library moved to new quarters in 1974, the building was sold and since then has housed a number of professional and commercial enterprises.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Presque Isle, Maine…nothing historic here

Mark and Emily Turner Library

Presque Isle, Maine

39 Second Street

Est. 1906

$10,000 grant

Visit June 13, 2011

If I hadn’t known this was a Carnegie Library I wouldn’t have even stopped. It has been completely renovated leaving literally no trace of a Carnegie, either inside or outside.

DSCN5344Outside at the rear of the library is the shell of three sides of the original it is the rear and two sides, not the front, so no original features survive.


I went inside to see if there was something remaining but it has been taken back to a shell. That section and more of the library were blocked off for the renovation. I was able to see through the windows in an upstairs office.


From the library’s web-site:

Library Timeline

Early Store Front Libraries 1874 – 1908

Carnegie Library 1908 – 1966

Expanded Mark & Emily 1967 – present-Turner Memorial Library

A Brief History

As early as 1874, a group of interested persons formed the Presque Isle Library Association. The members referred to themselves as the “Half and Half Club,” a group dedicated to social exchanges, mutual improvement, and the establishment of a public library. The club’s name reflected the fact that its officers would consist “half of ladies and half of gentleman, when it can be arranged.”

The early collection of books was formed from donations rotated among many Presque Isle businesses, with the librarian usually drawn from the business that housed the books. The books were first placed in George Rowell’s drugstore and then moved to the Post Office where Mrs. Luce, the postmaster’s wife, served as librarian. Later Laila Smith’s millinery store held the collection. In 1905 the collection was moved to Holmes Jewelry Store and Mr. Holmes was the librarian.

Presque Isle citizens voted to build a library in 1907, using a $10,000 grant from the Carnegie Fund. Thomas H. Phair purchased a lot from the Dudley heirs for $1,000 on the southeast corner of Second and State Streets, and citizens raised an additional $937.50 for a small adjoining lot. The Presque Isle Library opened on July 1, 1908 with a collection of 2,000 books.

As the city’s population grew, the community needed a larger building and used state funding and a matching donation of $60,000 from Mark Turner, a local businessman and philanthropist. In April of 1967, the newly expanded Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library opened its doors.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Roswell, New Mexico…a sad sight

123 W. 3rd St.

Opened 1906

$10,000 grant in 1903

Visit August 29, 2017


It was so sad to see this neglected library. It looks so gray and decrepit and has a huge For Sale sign draped across the front. An old pic Roswell Carnegie Library

I could only find one photo on-line of what I believe is the original look and it no longer resembles that look. There are still three windows on each side of the front entrance but the stairs have been changed and they are tiled.  It also has a huge crack on the front side. On one side it appears that three upper level windows have been stuccoed over.


The library was renovated and enlarged in 1952 but replaced in 1978 with a new library. It was changed to office space in 1992. I looked in the glass door and could see that it is configured as that now.

I took my photos and departed very sad for Roswell Carnegie Library!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Auburn, California…now an arts studio

175 Almond Street

Auburn, California



Visited  August 23, 2007


My first impression was to note how much it resembled “my” home library in Minot, North Dakota!  Free to All was what Andrew Carnegie believed libraries should be.



Present use of the 109 year old library is Old Library Art Studios.DSC04777

Since the studio was closed on the day I visited I could only peer through the window and snap this photo of the former library’s present use.


Again, peering through the front door I could see what appears to be the original interior entrance doors.  I’m guessing that they were originally  stained dark and have been painted.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Riverbank, California. . .a little white cottage!


3237 Santa Fe Street

Riverbank, CA 95367



Visited April 26, 2014

After accidentally driving by and finding the Oakdale Carnegie I checked my list and found that Riverbank also had a Carnegie. We drove by it a couple of times because it is built in a residential style-white wood-so unlike any of the others I’ve visited. The library is now The Riverbank Museum but, despite what the sign indicated it was not open. But I was able to take some photos through the glass front door. I was tickled to see the requisite Andrew Carnegie portrait handing over the red brick fireplace. The large oak tree mentioned in the description below is not longer there.










Sure not  “typical” Carnegie Library architecture!


Spotted the Andrew Carnegie portrait hanging over the brick fireplace through the window in the door but couldn’t quite get a photo!DSCN0281

Taken from the door it appears that some of the bookshelves may be original.


Museum artifacts in this photo.  Wish the museum had been open!DSCN0277


This is what I found on-line about the Riverbank Carnegie Library:

Riverbank, Stanislaus County

San Joaquin Valley/North area, Central Valley region

opened 1921
Public library from 1921-1978
currently a museum
architectural style: Bungalow/Craftsman
architect: unknown

On the banks of the Stanislaus River, Riverbank is between Modesto and Oakdale on Highway 108. The Carnegie building is in the old downtown, on the north side of Santa Fe Street between Second and Third Streets. The old library itself is residential in appearance, one of four Craftsman style California Carnegies and one of the last three Carnegies constructed in California.

Riverbank history began with the 1895 extension of the San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley (later Santa Fe) railroad and in 1901 the Oakdale Irrigation Company brought water to its outlying areas. Its first library was in "The Mission Shop." In 1917 Stanislaus county received a Carnegie grant of $3000 each for Riverbank and Patterson. Building plans were delayed by the war and afterwards, when Riverbank seemed slow to move, Patterson requested Riverbank's $3000. Spurred to action, Riverbank citizens contributed to the purchase of a site notable for its large oak, which they later enhanced with other memorial and gift trees. The name of the contractor, "Miller," is listed but not that of the architect. When a new county library was built, citizens again rallied to save the library from being sold and it now houses a museum.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Freeport, Maine. . . an Abercrombie & Fitch Store!

55 Main Street

Est. 1905

$6,500 grant

My Visit: June 1, 2011

Original concrete engraved sign remains over the front entrance.


Freeport, Maine is well known as being a town of Outlet Stores The Carnegie Library now houses an Abercrombie & Fitch outlet store.

On-line I found a 2006 photo in which Abercrombie & Fitch had awnings over the windows. These have been removed, giving it a more original appearance. It has an addition also which isn’t apparent from the front view.DSCN5228


A Brief History of the BuildingDSCN5225

1905: A $6,500 grant from Andrew Carnegie was accepted.

1905-06: The library was built. It was named for benefactor Barnabas Henry Bartol (1816-1888), a Freeport native and accomplished engineer.

1967: Additional renovations took place.

1997: A new library was built further along Main Street, away from the downtown outlets.

I am so happy to see towns which re-purpose their Carnegie Libraries rather than demolish them when they outgrow their use as a library.  Freeport, Maine is one of the few examples of one which has been converted for commercial use but, yahoo, it has been preserved!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

McMinnville, Oregon

  images photo courtesy of Yamhill County Historical Society.

Designed by German-American architect Ernst Kroner and built at 225 NW Adams Street in 1912 with a $10,000 grant by Andrew Carnegie.  I visited July 27, 2010.  The library underwent major remodeling in the 1980’s. 

From the front there is very little evidence that this Carnegie Library dates back 100 years. DSCN0742

When I walked around to the back there it was--the 1912 library! Quite a contrast from the rather plain front entrance to the rear where the library still has original brick and windows. DSCN0731

Original windows and brickwork. DSCN0725

I’m wondering if the present-day rear door may have originally been the front door. DSCN0727

Original stained glass windows over both the front and rear doors. I got a much more clear photo from inside the library than the one I took outside.  Wish I’d done that on the front door! DSCN0735

It’s possible that the front door of the new addition was designed around this old window. DSCN0739

After I took pictures outside I went in to see what remained of the old library and didn’t find much. The librarian told me that this original upstairs fireplace upstairs had been hidden and discovered when they removed drywall during a recent renovation. DSCN0734

If you ever travel to McMinnville, Oregon to visit the old Carnegie, you may also wish to take in another “little” attraction:  Howard Hughes’ HUGE Spruce Goose at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. The museum was built to house the Spruce Goose but includes everything from a Wright Brothers replica to a spacecraft. DSCN0759