Redwood Falls Public Library, 334 Jefferson Street South, Redwood Falls, Minnesota

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Redwood Falls Public Library

Address: 334 Jefferson Street S
Redwood Falls, Minnesota
Redwood County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Year built: 1904
Primary Style: Classical Revival
Historic Function: Library
Current Function: Office
Architect or source of design: Rockey, Church and Pass
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
First Owner: City of Redwood Falls
Notes: Carnegie Library: $10,000

Redwood Falls Redwood

Redwood Falls Public Library, 334 Jefferson Street South, Redwood Falls, Minnesota
(44.5389991° N, 95.1162274° WLatitude: 44°32′20.397″N
Longitude: 95°6′58.419″W
National Register of Historic Places Information
Certification date: August 11, 1980
Level of significance: Local

The Redwood Falls 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 November 25, 1903 the city of Redwood Falls secured $10,000 from Carnegie to build the Redwood Falls Public Library. Plans were prepared by Mankato architects Rockey, Church and Pass and the Redwood Falls Public Library was constructed and opened in 1904.

While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Redwood Falls 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. Along with Carnegie's contribution, the Redwood Falls Public Library received financial assistance from the Gilfillan family.

The Carnegie building served as the Redwood Falls Public Library until 1995 when a new library facility was constructed at a different location. The Carnegie building was sold to a law firm and continues to be used as offices.

Building Description

The Redwood Falls Public Library is a one storey Classical Revival style building with a raised rusticated stone basement. The building is faced with pressed brick and has native North Redwood granite for the basement and lintels. The hipped roof is ornamented with large ball finials placed at the corners of the roofline. The main facade consists of three bays with a projecting pedimented entrance and the symmetrical temple-like facade is a common characteristic of Carnegie Library design. Other Classical-style detailing includes the free-standing Ionic columns and decorative pilasters.

At some point between the 1960s and 1970s the interior of the library was renovated by the original design firm who were then operating under the name Rockey, Church and Teschner. This interior alteration was in keeping with the original architectural detailing.[1]

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