Anoka Carnegie Library, Jackson Street and Third Avenue, Anoka, Minnesota (Razed)

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Anoka Carnegie Library

Anoka, Minnesota
Anoka County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1903-1904
Year razed: 1965
Primary Style: Classical Revival
Historic Function: Library
Architect or source of design: Ralph D. Church
Builder: Mr Fransen
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
First Owner: City of Anoka

Anoka Anoka

Anoka Carnegie Library, Jackson Street and Third Avenue, Anoka, Minnesota (Razed)
(45.1986518° N, 93.3871858° WLatitude: 45°11′55.146″N
Longitude: 93°23′13.869″W

The Anoka Carnegie Library was 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 March 27, 1903 the city of Anoka secured $12,500 from Carnegie to build the Anoka Carnegie Library. Plans were prepared by Minneapolis architect Ralph D. Church and the contractor was Mr. Fransen of St. Paul. Church was the architect for several Carnegie libraries in Minnesota and South Dakota. In Minnesota he designed Carnegie libraries for the cities of Madison, St. Peter, Worthington and Litchfield. The Anoka Carnegie Library was completed in the first week of December 1904 and formally opened on December 6, 1904. The first librarian to serve in the Anoka Carnegie Library was Mrs. O. C. Bland.

While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Anoka 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 site chosen was located at the corner of Jackson Street and Third Avenue.

The Carnegie building functioned as Anoka's public library until it was demolished in 1965. It has been noted that "the loss of the building, which was razed in 1965, is still lamented by many citizens in the area". [1]

Building Description

The Anoka Carnegie Library was a tall one storey Classical Revival style building with a raised basement defined by a stone water table. The exterior was faced with grey Columbus brick and trimmed with Bedford stone. The building had a truncated, hipped roof with a central dome and oculus. The dome, although medium sized, was elaborately detailed with projecting floral motifs that surrounded both the dome and oculus. Three recessed panels were located on the front of the dome and the words 'Carnegie' were inscribed on the central panel. The main entrance bay consisted of a portico with tiled flooring and four Ionic columns sited on high stone pedestals. The open portico was flanked by a symmetrical three bay façade. Each of these facades had a central arched window with rectangular windows either side, and all windows were separated by pilasters. Situated on a corner section the design of the building was angled to accentuate the view from the street front. Access into the library was by two walkways leading from each side of the streets. The entrance led up the steps of Georgian marble to the circular space beneath the dome. The interior was originally finished in red oak with a cork floor covering; the furniture also utilized red and golden oak. The basement had maple flooring. [1]

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