Zumbrota Carnegie Library, 320 East Avenue, Zumbrota, Minnesota

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Zumbrota Public Library

Address: 320 East Avenue
City/locality-
State/province
Zumbrota, Minnesota
County-
State/province:
Goodhue County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Year built: 1906-1907
Primary Style: Classical Revival
Historic Function: Library
Historic Function: Housed City Records after 1924 fire destroyed Zumbrota's City Hall
Current Function: Concert hall, art education center
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
Material of Foundation: Concrete
First Owner: City of Zumbrota
Notes: Carnegie Grant: $6,500

Zumbrota Goodhue

Zumbrota Carnegie Library, 320 East Avenue, Zumbrota, Minnesota
(44.294132° N, 92.6690806° WLatitude: 44°17′38.875″N
Longitude: 92°40′8.69″W
)


The Zumbrota 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.

Contents

History

On November 27, 1906 the city of Zumbrota secured $6,500 from Carnegie to build the Zumbrota Public Library. The Zumbrota library was the smallest Carnegie Library to be built in Minnesota and opened its door to the public in May 1908.

While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Zumbrota 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 citizens of Zumbrota would not have found this stipulation unusual, as it was the first in the state to establish a tax supported library once the city became incorporated in 1877.

In 1995 Zumbrota built a new public library on a different site at an estimated cost of $1.3 million. Zumbrota's Carnegie library building is now called 'Crossings at Carnegie' and functions as a community music venue, and arts and education center.

Building Description

The Zumbrota Public Library is a one storey Classical Revival style building with a raised basement. Faced with brick, it rests on a concrete foundation and is covered with a flat roof. The small Carnegie library has simple ornamentation and uses brick in a decorative way. This is seen in the semi-circular arched entrance, in the entablature and dentils, and above the central windows of the building. The portico consists of two free-standing columns supporting the slightly projecting upper level. A unique feature is the cartouche placed at the center of the building that reads '07' – in reference to 1907, the year construction began. The words 'Carnegie Library' also appear on the front of the building. The emphasis on the entrance space is characteristic of Carnegie Library design. While the main facade does not have a full pediment like many other Carnegie libraries, a small pediment was placed above the basement level entrance on the former City Hall side of the building.

In May 1924 a fire destroyed City Hall and caused $2,250 worth of damage to the Zumbrota Public Library. Once repairs were made to the library a vault was installed in the basement to house the city's records. The vault still remains in the Carnegie building.[1]

Memories and stories

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