Eveleth Public Library, 614 Pierce Street, Eveleth, Minnesota
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Eveleth Public Library
|Address:||614 Pierce Street|
|Saint Louis County, Minnesota|
|Primary Style:||Classical Revival|
|Additions:|| 1914: front half of the library was finished
1924: almost doubled the area to the rear.
2001: An elevator was also added for compliance.
|Major Alterations:||Some/mostly intact|
|Current Function:||Library/State Offices at basement level|
|Architect or source of design:||William J. Sullivan|
|Material of Exterior Wall Covering:||Brick|
|First Owner:||City of Eveleth|
|Notes:||Carnegie Grant: $15,000|
The Eveleth 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.
On February 20, 1911 the city of Eveleth secured $15,000 from Carnegie to build the Eveleth Public Library. Plans were prepared by Duluth architect William J. Sullivan. Sullivan had experience in Carnegie Library design having been the architect responsible for the West Duluth Library which was completed 1912. Sullivan was associated for a short time with Ellerbe and Round Architects prior to forming a partnership with Abraham Holstead. Holstead and Sullivan went on to design the Lincoln Branch Carnegie Library (1916-1917) and also remodel the Hibbing Carnegie Library (1917). Other buildings they worked on include the St Louis County Jail (1923), Denfeld Senior High School, Duluth (1926), the Naniboujou Club Lodge (1928) and many others. The Eveleth Public Library was opened to the public in 1914.
While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Eveleth 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 continues to serve as the Eveleth Public Library. However there was a period in the late 1960s to early 1970s when the library collection was relocated to the local high school. The people of Eveleth lobbied to have their public library back and it has been in the original building since then. At present the library occupies the main floor while the basement level is home to the State Revenue Department.
The Eveleth Public Library is a one storey Classical Revival style building with a raised basement and stone water table. The exterior is faced with brick and adorned with cream-coloured terra cotta trim. The building has a flat roof and the roofline is defined by a brick parapet with stone coping. The projecting entrance bay on the main facade has a full pediment supported by two free-standing columns. The pediment is adorned with a carved floral motif in the tympanum and below this the words 'Eveleth Public Library' are inscribed upon the frieze. This symmetrical temple-like facade was a common characteristic found in Carnegie Library architecture; other classical-style features include the main doorway's stone surround with carved scrolls placed at either side, decorative pilasters located between each window and keystone detailing above the fenestration.
Although the front section of the library was finished in 1914, an addition of almost the same size was constructed to the rear of the original building in 1924. In 2001 an elevator was installed to make the library comply with accessibility standards.