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!
Taken from the door it appears that some of the bookshelves may be original.
This is what I found on-line about the Riverbank Carnegie Library:
Riverbank, Stanislaus County
San Joaquin Valley/North area, Central Valley region
Public library from 1921-1978
currently a museum
architectural style: Bungalow/Craftsman
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.