Saint Peter Public Library, 429 Minnesota Avenue South, Saint Peter, Minnesota

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Saint Peter Public Library

Address: 429 Minnesota Avenue S
Saint Peter, Minnesota
Nicollet County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Year built: 1903-1904
Primary Style: Classical Revival
Historic Function: Library
Current Function: Office
Architect or source of design: Ralph D. Church
Builder: Ole Frederickson
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
First Owner: City of Saint Peter
Notes: Carnegie Grant: $10,000

Saint Peter Nicollet

Saint Peter Public Library, 429 Minnesota Avenue South, Saint Peter, Minnesota
(44.3229598° N, 93.9580946° WLatitude: 44°19′22.655″N
Longitude: 93°57′29.141″W
National Register of Historic Places Information
Certification date: May 19, 1983
Level of significance: Local

The Saint Peter 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 January 6, 1903 the city of Saint Peter secured $10,000 from Carnegie to build the Saint Peter Public Library. Plans were prepared by Minneapolis architect Ralph D. Church and the contractor was Ole Frederickson of Saint Peter. Church was the architect for several Carnegie libraries in Minnesota and South Dakota. In Minnesota he designed Carnegie libraries for the cities of Anoka, Madison, Litchfield and Worthington. Construction for the Saint Peter Public Library began in the fall of 1903, was completed in January 1904 and officially opened to the public a month later.

While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Saint Peter 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 site chosen for the Carnegie library was the former site of the Gorman Building constructed in 1856 by R.L Gorman. This land is considered to be one of the earliest developed sites in Saint Peter and was purchased for the sum of $1,500. The first librarian to serve in the Carnegie building was Mrs M.E Stone.

The Carnegie library building served its community until a new Saint Peter Public Library was built. The building now functions as a commerical office building.

Building Description

The Saint Peter Public Library is a one storey Classical Revival style building with a raised basement. The building is faced with pressed red brick and trimmed with Kasota limestone. The flat roof is ornamented with ball finials located at the corner of the roofline. Situated on a corner section the design of the building is angled to accentuate the site and view from the street front. The main entrance-way consists of a pedimented portico supported by two free-standing Ionic columns and two pilasters. Architectural detailing includes the square pilasters with brick quoining found at each corner of the building, moulded brackets and capitals which support the architrave, and a dentilled cornice. Lettering inscribed on a stone panel on the frieze reads 'Library'.[1]

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