Bryant Public Library, 430 Main Street South, Sauk Centre, Minnesota

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Bryant Public Library

Address: 430 Main Street S
Neighborhood/s: Original Main Street Historic District, Sauk Centre, Minnesota
Sauk Centre, Minnesota
Stearns County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Year built: 1904
Primary Style: Renaissance Revival
Additions: 1909: cupola added for natural lighting.

1998: two wing additions to Library.

Major Alterations: Significant Alterations
Historic Function: Library
Current Function: Library
Architect or source of design: Plans provided by Carnegie Foundation
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
Material of Roof: Composition
Material of Foundation: Stone
First Owner: City of Sauk Centre
Notes: Carnegie Grant: $10,000 in 1903 for building + $1,000 for new roof in 1907.

Other names: Sauk Centre Public Library

Original Main Street Historic District Sauk Centre Stearns

Bryant Public Library, 430 Main Street South, Sauk Centre, Minnesota
(45.7354642° N, 94.9519435° WLatitude: 45°44′7.671″N
Longitude: 94°57′6.997″W
National Register of Historic Places Information
Certification date: August 5, 1994
Level of significance: National

The Bryant Public Library, now known as the Sauk Centre 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 February 12, 1903 the city of Sauk Centre secured $10,000 from Carnegie to build the Bryant Public Library. Plans were provided by the Carnegie Foundation and the library was completed in 1904. A further $1,000 was granted by Carnegie in 1907 to replace the roof of the original building.

While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Sauk Centre 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 Bryant Public Library was named in honour of the American poet William Cullen Bryant. It continues to function as a library and is now called the Sauk Centre Public Library. This name is in fact closer to the original name of the Sauk Centre Library Association which was established in 1869.

Along with Bryant, the other notable author connected to the Carnegie Library in Sauk Centre is Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) the author of Main Street. The Bryant Public Library is located in the Original Main Street Historic District which is of national significance because of its association to Lewis.

Building Description

The Bryant Public Library is a one and a half storey Renaissance Revival style building with a raised basement defined by a simple stone water table. The brick building is covered with a low-pitched, hipped roof and topped by a square hipped-roofed cupola. The central projecting entrance porch has an arched opening with fanlight and keystone features. The center bay has a gabled roof flanked by recessed panels built into the brickwork. This emphasis on the entrance space creates a monumental opening to the interior of the building.

Additions to the building include the cupola in 1909 to add natural light, and two wing additions in 1998. Others works include re-roofing in 1989, front entry steps added in 1992 and interior renovations in 1998.[1]

Memories and stories


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Related Links

Sauk Centre Public Library website


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