Crookston Carnegie Public Library, Ash Street North and 2nd Avenue, Crookston, Minnesota
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Crookston Carnegie Public Library
|Polk County, Minnesota|
|Primary Style:||Classical Revival|
|Current Function:||Polk County Historical Society Archives|
|Architect or source of design:||Bert D. Keck|
|Material of Exterior Wall Covering:||Brick|
|First Owner:||City of Crookston|
|Notes:||Carnegie Grant: $17,500|
|National Register of Historic Places Information|
|Certification date:||May 10, 1984|
|Level of significance:||Local|
The Crookston Carnegie Public Library is one of 65 public libraries built in Minnesota with funds from Andrew Carnegie and the Carnegie Corporation. Between 1899 and 1917, Carnegie, a wealthy industrialist and philanthropist contributed close to 1 million dollars towards library construction in Minnesota. This makes Minnesota the eighth largest recipient of Carnegie Library grants in the United States.
In 1903 the Crookston Library Board purchased a site and appealed to Carnegie for funds. Although an initial sum of $12,500 was offered, no progress was made until 1907 when the city of Crookston secured a total of $17,500 from Carnegie to build the Crookston Carnegie Public Library. Plans were prepared by local Crookston architect Bert D. Keck and the contractor was Charles Ross. Though the foundation stone bears the year of construction '1907', the Crookston Carnegie Public Library was officially opened to the public in 1908.
While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Crookston community had to provide a suitable site and were expected to tax themselves at the annual rate of 10% of the grant amount. This requirement imposed by Carnegie ensured a long-term commitment for the purchase of books, staff costs and maintenance of the library building.
The Carnegie building served as the Crookston Carnegie Public Library until a new library facility was built on an adjacent site in 1984. The former Carnegie library was then purchased by the Polk County Historical Society and continues to perform an important function by housing the historical society's archives.
The Crookston Carnegie Public Library is a one storey Classical Revival style building with a raised basement of dressed stone. The building is faced with buff-colored pressed brick and has a flat roof with a panelled brick parapet. The main facade has rectangular windows located between brick pilasters and is dominated by a central projecting portico. The portico consists of a pediment supported by four free-standing Ionic columns. Three ornamental stone pieces sit atop the pediment and the tympanum of the pediment has a round window with a garland motif surround. The entablature is also decorated with the words 'Carnegie Public Library' inscribed in Gothic style lettering on the architrave.
The small central dome that was topped with an orb-shaped finial has since been removed.
At the time of construction the interior rooms were divided by dark oak Ionic columns which were reflective of the exterior design features.