Coleraine Carnegie Library, 203 Cole Avenue, Coleraine, Minnesota

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Coleraine Carnegie Library

Coleraine Carnegie Library 1912-1914
Address: 203 Cole Avenue
Coleraine, Minnesota
Itasca County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Year built: 1909
Primary Style: Classical Revival
Historic Function: Library
Historic Function: Meeting Hall
Other Historic Function: Meeting Hall
Current Function: Library
Architect or source of design: Kinney and Halden
Builder: A.C. Thomas Corporation
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
First Owner: City of Coleraine
Notes: Carnegie Grant: $15,000

Coleraine Itasca

Coleraine Carnegie Library, 203 Cole Avenue, Coleraine, Minnesota
(47.2869171° N, 93.4233518° WLatitude: 47°17′12.902″N
Longitude: 93°25′24.066″W
National Register of Historic Places Information
Certification date: July 17, 1980
Level of significance: Local

The Coleraine Carnegie 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 December 16, 1908 the city of Coleraine secured $15,000 from Carnegie to build the Coleraine Carnegie Library. Other community contributions totaled $2,537 which raised the grand total to $17,537. Plans were prepared by architects Kinney and Halden of Minneapolis. The contractor was the A.C Thomas Corporation of Blooming Prairie. The Coleraine Carnegie Library was completed in 1909.

While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Coleraine 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 library has an interesting history in light of its connection to iron mining and as a town dominated by U.S Steel interests. During the early days of mining the Coleraine Carnegie Library served as a major social and educational center for industrial immigrants who worked in the mines and as a meeting place for Native Amercians.

The Coleraine Carnegie Library continues to function as a library.

Building Description

The Coleraine Carnegie Library is a one and a half storey brick building with a raised basement defined by a stone water table. Classical Revival in style it is distinguished by a formal entrance where the door, integrated within a semicircular keystoned arch, is flanked by columns. The building has many decorative features such as the brick quoining on the corners of the library, and the sculptural cartouche located in the tympanum of each façade gabled by a full pediment. A common characteristic of Carnegie Library design is to emphasize the entrance of the building and in the Coleraine Carnegie Library this is highlighted with the central polygonal dome. [1]

Memories and stories


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Related Links

Itasca County Historical Society website


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