Park Rapids Carnegie Library, 101 2nd Street West, Park Rapids, Minnesota

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Park Rapids Public Library

Park Rapids Public Library, ca.1910
Address: 101 2nd Street W
Park Rapids, Minnesota
Hubbard County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Year built: ca. 1908-1910
Primary Style: Classical Revival
Major Alterations: Altered
Historic Function: Library
Current Function: Vacant
Architect or source of design: Thomas C. Myers
Material of Roof: Asphalt Shingles
Material of Foundation: Concrete
First Owner: City of Park Rapids
Notes: Carnegie Grant: $5,000

Used as a Library until 1994.

Park Rapids Hubbard

Park Rapids Carnegie Library, 101 2nd Street West, Park Rapids, Minnesota
(46.9211246° N, 95.0584193° WLatitude: 46°55′16.049″N
Longitude: 95°3′30.309″W

The Park Rapids 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 May 8, 1908 the city of Park Rapids secured $5,000 from Carnegie to build the Park Rapids Public Library. Plans were prepared by Thomas C. Myers who was already known for his design and building work in Park Rapids. Myers had designed the first brick schoolhouse in Park Rapids, many private residences and the Methodist Episcopal, Catholic and Baptist churches in the city. Myers was asked to have plans ready by December 1908 and construction began in 1909.[1]

While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Park Rapids 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 Park Rapids Carnegie building served as the city's public library until 1994. After this it was remodeled and adapted as an office building.[1]

Building Description

The Park Rapids Public Library is a one storey Classical Revival style building with a raised basement defined by a stone water table. It rests on a concrete foundation and has a hipped, asphalt shingled roof. The building was constructed of concrete or stone block but this has subsequently been covered over with a stucco finish. The symmetrical, temple-like facade of the Park Rapids Public Library references classical architecture and is a common characteristic of Carnegie Library design. Ornamentation is kept to a minimum on the Park Rapids Public Library - its main features are the projecting entrance porch with two free-standing columns supporting a simple pediment. An interesting aspect of the current design is that the quoining detail must have been added when they stuccoed as this was not a feature of the original stone block facade.

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