Duluth Lincoln Branch Library, 2227 2nd Street West, Duluth, Minnesota

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Duluth Lincoln Branch Library

Address: 2227 2nd Street W
Duluth, Minnesota
Saint Louis County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Year built: 1917
Primary Style: Tudor Revival
Additions: 1966: Northwest facade – bookmobile garage addition by Melander and Fugelso Architects
Major Alterations: Some/mostly intact
Historic Function: Library
Current Function: Private School - Duluth Art Institute
Architect or source of design: Abraham Holstead and William J. Sullivan
Builder: Jos. Hanson
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
Material of Roof: Asphalt Shingles
Material of Foundation: Stone
Notes: Carnegie Grant: $30,000

Original roof material: Ceramic Tiles

Duluth Saint Louis

Duluth Lincoln Branch Library, 2227 2nd Street West, Duluth, Minnesota
(46.7670758° N, 92.128027° WLatitude: 46°46′1.473″N
Longitude: 92°7′40.897″W

The Lincoln Branch 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 October 7, 1899 the city of Duluth secured $30,000 from Carnegie to build the Lincoln Branch Library. The city received a total of $125,000 in funding to build three public libraries over a period of 15 years. The other two libraries were Duluth Public Library (the main library built 1901-1902) which received $75,000 and the West Duluth Library (1912) which received $20,000. Plans were prepared by local architects Abraham Holstead and William J. Sullivan. Holstead and Sullivan designed a number of buildings including the St Louis County Jail (1923), Denfeld Senior High School, Duluth (1926), the Naniboujou Club Lodge (1928) and many others. William Sullivan was associated for a short time with Ellerbe and Round Architects prior to his partnership with Holstead. Sullivan had experience in Carnegie Library design having been the architect responsible for the West Duluth Library. The Lincoln Branch Library was built by contractor Jos. Hanson and construction began in 1916. On August 29, 1917 a formal opening ceremony was held and on September 1, 1917 the library was opened to the public.

While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Duluth 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 Carnegie building served as the Lincoln Branch Library for many years. In 1992 – sometime after it ceased being used as a library – the building was purchased from the City for $9,000 by the Duluth Art Institute, a private education provider. The ongoing investment in the Carnegie building by the Duluth Art Institute has enabled the former library to be re-used as a thriving art facility and ensured its place within Duluth's historic cityscape.

Building Description

The Duluth Public Library is a one storey Tudor Revival style building with a raised basement defined by a smooth stone water table. The building is constructed of brown and dark red brick and trimmed with limestone. The overall building plan is asymmetrical in design and features a steep cross gable with multi-paned windows and Gothic arched windows located on the northwest and southwest gable ends. The roof is covered with asphalt shingles which have replaced the original ceramic tiles. The main entrance is on the southeast facade has a centrally located entrance flanked by symmetrical multi-paned arched windows. The entrance is accessed by a flight of concrete steps. The pediment projects beyond the eave line and is ornamented with an acanthus leaf motif. The initials 'DPL' (Duluth Public Library) are highlighted on a central shield design while the words 'Lincoln Branch Library' are carved above the entrance in Tudor styled lettering. The western section of the library consists of three multi-paned windows cased with limestone and covered by a flat roof. A basement level entrance is sited on the southwest facade and a pediment above the entrance reads 'Club Room' In 1966 a bookmobile garage was added to the northwest facade by Melander and Fugelso Architects. In more recent times the Duluth Art Institute have carried out upgrades to the building including electrical and a wheelchair accessible ramp.[1]

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