Graceville Carnegie Library, Studdart Avenue and 5th Street West, Graceville, Minnesota (Razed)

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Graceville Carnegie Library

Graceville, Minnesota
Big Stone County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Year built: 1915
Year razed: 1999
Primary Style: Tudor Revival
Historic Function: Library
Architect or source of design: Franklin W. Ellerbe
Builder: McClure Construction
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
Material of Roof: Wood Shingle
Material of Foundation: Concrete
First Owner: City of Graceville
Notes: Carnegie Grant: $7,000

1999: Demolished to build new library on site.

Graceville Big Stone

Graceville Carnegie Library, Studdart Avenue and 5th Street West, Graceville, Minnesota (Razed)
(45.5679843° N, 96.4373111° WLatitude: 45°34′4.743″N
Longitude: 96°26′14.32″W

The Graceville 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 May 21, 1913 the city of Graceville secured $7,000 from Carnegie to build the Graceville Carnegie Library. Plans were prepared by the St Paul-based architect Franklin W. Ellerbe, founder of Ellerbe Architects. Ellerbe was born in Mississippi and moved to Minnesota when he was a child. In 1909, at the age of 39 he started his own practice in St. Paul. Early projects included the Old Fireside Inn, a retail store and apartment complex in St. Paul's St. Anthony Park. This work was followed by commercial, educational, and industrial buildings in Minnesota and South Dakota. Ellerbe is also known for designing medical and residential facilities for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in 1914 and 1916.[1] Ellerbe designed two Carnegie libraries for cities in Big Stone County, Minnesota; Graceville and Ortonville. The Graceville Carnegie Library was built by McClure Construction and completed in 1915.

While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Graceville 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 1999 the Graceville Carnegie Library was demolished.

Building Description

The Graceville Carnegie Library was a one and a half storey Tudor Revival style building with a raised basement. Faced with stretcher bonded yellow-brown brick, it rested on a concrete foundation and was covered with a gabled, wood shingled roof. The Tudor Revival influence was evident in the two gables on the main facade and the decorative half timbering on the east and west gable ends. Originally the entrance had a projecting brick porch with windows flanking a multi-paned door and contained within a white surround. Some alterations were made to the building in 1935 by the original contractor McClure Construction.[1]

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