North Branch Library, 1834 Emerson Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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North Branch Library

North Branch Library
Address: 1834 Emerson Avenue N
Neighborhood/s: Old Highland, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Near North, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1893
Primary Style: Tudor Revival
Additions: Additions were made to the building in 1914,1932, and 1952.
Major Alterations: Some/mostly intact
Historic Function: Library
Current Function: Organizational
Architect or source of design: Fredrick Corser
Builder: H.N. Leighton Co.
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
Material of Roof: Asphalt Shingles
Material of Foundation: Limestone
First Owner: Minneapolis Public Library

Old Highland, Near North Minneapolis Hennepin County

North Branch Library, 1834 Emerson Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota
(44.998584° N, 93.293666° WLatitude: 44°59′54.902″N
Longitude: 93°17′37.198″W
National Register of Historic Places Information
Reference Number: 77000743

Property Description: 2.5 stories; side-gabled, steeply-pitched roof; façade dominated by prominent, round tower with castlation detailing to the south; facade features tall, narrow windows, some in multiple groups and with multi-pane glazing; massive chimney north of tower; simple, arched doorway with "Public Library” written in cast stone trim above.

The Minneapolis Public Library has been providing service to the North Side since February 10, 1890 when the first branch of the fledgling system was opened in the basement of North High School.

A limited number of books were available for both the students of the school and the residents of the neighboring community. In 1893 additional classroom space prompted the library to search for new quarters. Land for a new building was donated on th 1800 block of Emerson Avenue North and construction on a new library deisgned in the medieval revival style commenced. The architect, Frederic Corser, chose a red brick building with a "basket arch" entry with sculptural stone and terra cotta ornamentation.

When the North Branch Library opened in 1893 it was recognized as "the first building in the county to be erected solely for use as an open shelf public branch library. The library continued to operate until 1977.[1]



The North branch library was first, established in the basement of North High School in 1890 after a request by the North Minneapolis Improvement Association, and a horse and buggy tour espousing the glories of the North Side to librarian Herbert Putnam. Putnam reputedly had said that only six books had gone ‘north of the tracks’ in the previous month, and had to be convinced of the growth of the district before he would allow a branch to open. When the school needed the space, the library moved to rented quarters until a site valued at $6000 was donated by Samuel Gale and State Supreme Court Judge C.E. Vanderburgh in 1892. Located at 1834 Emerson Avenue North, the red brick library was designed by Frederick Corser and opened in 1894 as the city’s first branch library building.”[1]

Memories and stories

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Related Links

Image:Tdlindberg--1834 Emerson Ave N. - entry in Old Highland's 1980's Walking Tour Guide.pdf

1834 Emerson Ave N. - entry in Old Highland's 1980's Walking Tour Guide.pdf

Wikipedia North Branch Library [1]

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