Montevideo Carnegie Library, 125 3rd Street North, Montevideo, Minnesota

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Montevideo Carnegie Library

Montevideo Carnegie Library postcard c.1907
(Former) Montevideo Carnegie Library ca.1983
Address: 125 3rd Street N
Montevideo, Minnesota
Chippewa County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Year built: 1906
Primary Style: Classical Revival
Historic Function: Library
Current Function: Community Hall
Architect or source of design: Martin Granum
Builder: Everett Iverson
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
Material of Roof: Asphalt Shingles
First Owner: City of Montevideo
Notes: Carnegie Grant: $10,000

Montevideo Chippewa

Montevideo Carnegie Library, 125 3rd Street North, Montevideo, Minnesota
(44.9464253° N, 95.7230717° WLatitude: 44°56′47.131″N
Longitude: 95°43′23.058″W
National Register of Historic Places Information
Certification date: August 26, 1982
Level of significance: Local

The Montevideo Carnegie 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 December 16, 1905 the city of Montevideo secured $10,000 from Carnegie to build the Montevideo Carnegie Library. Plans were prepared by architect Martin Granum who reputedly studied under Minneapolis architect Harry Jones. Granum was well known in Montevideo and designed many public buildings and private residences in the city. Everett Iverson was contracted to build the library which was formerly opened in 1907.

While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Montevideo 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 Montevideo Carnegie Library was built upon land donated to the city by local residents Charles Budd and John King.[1]

The Carnegie building served as Montevideo's public library until 1968 when a new regional library was constructed. Beginning in the early 1980s there was community support to restore the building which now functions as a community arts and meeting space.

Building Description

The Montevideo Carnegie Library is a one storey Classical Revival style building with a pressed brick exterior. It has a raised basement defined by a Bedford stone water table and the low hipped roof is covered with asphalt composition shingles. The symmetrical, temple-like design is a common reference to classical architecture. Classical Revival design influences are evident in the central entrance and include: a pedimented portico, paired Ionic columns set upon high brick plinths and a garland-and-swag motif situated in the tympanum of the pediment. Brick has been used in a decorative manner seen in relief banding, the semi-circular arch above doorway and quoining around the building. An emphasis on the entrance space creates a grand opening to the interior of the building and is characteristic of Carnegie Library design.

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