Marshall Carnegie Library, Lyons Street and 3rd Street, Marshall, Minnesota

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Marshall Carnegie Library

Marshall Carnegie Library ca.1906
Marshall, Minnesota
Lyon County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Year built: 1903-1904
Year razed: 1966
Primary Style: Classical Revival
Historic Function: Library
Builder: H.P Fulton
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
First Owner: City of Marshall
Notes: Carnegie Grant: $10,000

1966: Demolished to build new library.

Marshall Lyon

Marshall Carnegie Library, Lyons Street and 3rd Street, Marshall, Minnesota
(44.4484775° N, 95.7888728° WLatitude: 44°26′54.519″N
Longitude: 95°47′19.942″W

The Marshall Carnegie Library was 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 12, 1903 the city of Marshall secured $10,000 from Carnegie to build the Marshall Carnegie Library. The move to approach Carnegie for funding was initiated by Marshall’s Art History Club. Plans were prepared and the contractor H. P. Fulton was responsible for building the library which was completed in 1904. The interior was decorated by Harry C. Miller, a painter, paperhanger and decorator who resided in Marshall. Along with the Carnegie library, Miller also painted the interior of Marshall’s Methodist Church and City Hall.[1]

While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Marshall 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 chosen site was located at the corner of Lyons and Third Streets and was purchased for $2500.

Marshall's Carnegie building served as the city's public library until it was demolished in 1966 and replaced with the Marshall-Lyon County Public Library.[1]

Building Description

The Marshall Carnegie Library was a one storey Classical Revival style building with a raised stone basement. The building had a hipped roof with a projecting gable over the entrance and a central dome with oculus. The main façade was symmetrical in form and consisted of a projecting central entrance with two bays on either side. The temple-like facade was a common characteristic found in Carnegie Library architecture, and like many other libraries funded by Carnegie it had distinct classical detailing. The entry way had a full pediment and the tympanum was decorated with a semi-circular arched window. Two columns rested below the pediment and were flanked by brick pillars. Decorative elements included a detailed cornice that encircled the building, semi-circular arched windows and striated pillars.

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