Worthington Carnegie Library, 1126 4th Avenue and 12th Street, Worthington, Minnesota (Razed)

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Worthington Carnegie Library

Worthington, Minnesota
Nobles County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Year built: 1904-1905
Year razed: 1966
Primary Style: Renaissance Revival
Historic Function: Library
Architect or source of design: Ralph D. Church
Builder: S. Allen
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
Material of Foundation: Stone
First Owner: City of Worthington
Notes: Carnegie Grant: $10,000

Worthington Nobles

Worthington Carnegie Library, 1126 4th Avenue and 12th Street, Worthington, Minnesota (Razed)
(43.6218572° N, 95.5950423° WLatitude: 43°37′18.686″N
Longitude: 95°35′42.152″W

The Worthington 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 June 1, 1903 the city of Worthington secured $10,000 from Carnegie to build the Worthington Carnegie Library. Plans were prepared by Minneapolis architect Ralph D. Church and the contractor was S. Allen. 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, St. Peter and Litchfield. The Worthington Carnegie Library was officially opened on March 4, 1905, and the first librarian was Mrs Emma Sibley.[1]

While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Worthington 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.

In 1960 Nobles County's commissioners were given a green light to proceed with plans for building a new county library facility.[1] The Worthington Carnegie Library therefore served as the public library until it was demolished in 1966 to make way for a new county library.

Building Description

The Worthington Carnegie Library was a one storey Renaissance Revival style building with a raised basement of dark red Luverne stone. The building's main level exterior was faced with Number 503 Menominee pressed brick. The roofline had a simple parapet that extended beyond the cornice and a large hexagonal dome majestically topped the building above the central entrance. At some stage the dome was removed due to leakage problems and the library was re-roofed. The Worthington Carnegie Library was situated on a prominent corner section and the design of the building was angled to accentuate the site and view from the street front. The main facade consisted of a central entrance flanked by projecting facades with three bays each. Along with the dome, the main classical elements included two Ionic columns positioned at the entry way.[1]

Memories and stories


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