Hibbing Public Library, 3rd Avenue South West, Hibbing, Minnesota (Razed)

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Hibbing Public Library

Neighborhood/s: Pillsbury Addition to Hibbing, Hibbing, Minnesota
Hibbing, Minnesota
Saint Louis County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1907-1908
Year razed: Date Unknown - but likely to be post-1960
Primary Style: Classical Revival
Additions: 1916-1917: Major redevelopment tripled size of existing library. Only 2 walls remained from original Carnegie building.
Historic Function: Library
Architect or source of design: 1908: J.J Wangenstein; 1917: Holstead and Sullivan
Builder: 1908: Fred C. Norlander; 1917: Tomlinson and Egan
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
First Owner: City of Hibbing
Notes: Carnegie Grant: $25,000

Pillsbury Addition to Hibbing Hibbing Saint Louis

Hibbing Public Library, 3rd Avenue South West, Hibbing, Minnesota (Razed)
(47.4448307° N, 92.9404964° WLatitude: 47°26′41.391″N
Longitude: 92°56′25.787″W

The Hibbing 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 April 23, 1906 the city of Hibbing secured $25,000 from Carnegie to build the Hibbing Public Library. Plans were prepared by architect J. J. Wangenstein and the contractor was Fred C. Norlander of St Paul. The site for the library was secured in 1907 and the Hibbing Public Library was completed and opened to the public in 1908.

While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Hibbing 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.

Hibbing's Carnegie building had a relatively short-lived existence. Six years after it opened, the Library Board hired Mr Puck, an architect, to prepare preliminary sketches for re-building the Public Library. Mr Puck's plans however were put on hold in November 1915, and in 1916 the Carnegie library building was torn down with the exception of two walls. A new library was remodeled around the remaining structure and was designed by Duluth architects Abraham Holstead and William J. Sullivan. Holstead and Sullivan also designed the Duluth Lincoln Branch Carnegie Library (1917) as well as the St Louis County Jail (1923), Denfeld Senior High School, Duluth (1926) and the Naniboujou Club Lodge (1928). Tomlinson and Egan were the contractors and the new library was re-opened in October 1917. The new Hibbing Public Library served as the community library until it closed on January 18, 1954. The building was then sold to local mining interests and possibly used as an armory by the local National Guard. The building has since been demolished.[1]

Building Description

The original Hibbing Public Library building was a one storey Classical Revival style building with a raised basement defined by a smooth stone water table. The building had a hipped roof and was faced with red glazed brick and red sandstone trim. The main feature was the central projecting entrance with a decorative entablature and small ornamental pediment. Classical features included the portico with two free-standing columns flanked by square pillars, and quoining at each corner of the building.

The library re-development project in 1917 tripled the size of the library and cost $130,000. Only two walls remained from the original Carnegie funded library and the new building by Holstead and Sullivan was built with pink sandstone. The new library was also Classical Revival in style but had a more elaborately detailed facade. This was particularly evident in the redesigned portico and in the use of columns and pilasters flanking the windows.

The interior of the original Carnegie building featured hand painted murals which remained when the new library was completed in 1917. When the Hibbing Public Library was demolished these paintings were saved and re-located to the First Settlers Museum, the Hibbing Library and the First Bank in Hibbing. [1]

Memories and stories


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Related Links

Hibbing Public Library website


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