Little Falls Carnegie Library, 108 3rd Street NE, Little Falls, Minnesota

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Little Falls Carnegie Library

Little Falls Carnegie Library ca.1914
Address: 108 3rd Street NE
Little Falls, Minnesota
Morrison County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Year built: 1904-1905
Primary Style: Arts and Crafts/Craftsman
Major Alterations: Altered
Historic Function: Library
Current Function: Library
Architect or source of design: Fremont D. Orff; 2000 addition by Miller Dunwiddie
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
Material of Roof: Slate
First Owner: City of Little Falls
Notes: Carnegie Grant: $10,000

Little Falls Morrison

Little Falls Carnegie Library, 108 3rd Street NE, Little Falls, Minnesota
(45.9761112° N, 94.3593535° WLatitude: 45°58′34″N
Longitude: 94°21′33.673″W
National Register of Historic Places Information
Certification date: November 3, 1980
Level of significance: Local

The Little Falls 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 March 14, 1902 the city of Little Falls secured $10,000 from Carnegie to build the Little Falls Carnegie Library. Plans were prepared by Minneapolis architect Fremont Orff and construction of the Carnegie library was completed in 1905.

While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Little Falls 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. Construction of the Little Falls Carnegie library was supported by the local community and several people matched the original Carnegie grant; these included Charles A. Lindbergh Sr., and members of the Weyerhauser and Musser families.

The Little Falls Carnegie Library continues to function as a library. In 2000 a the library undertook a major re-development project which vastly expanded the original Carnegie Library building.

Building Description

The Little Falls Carnegie Library is a two storey brick and stone structure built in a restrained Craftsman style. The original building design followed a cruciform plan which was particularly evident in the layout of the interior space. The main level is faced with buff-colored brick while the raised basement is constructed of a local field stone which has been laid in a random pattern. The basement and main level are separated by a water table of rock faced gray granite blocks. The structure has a dormered, intersecting gable roof covered with slate tiles. Architectural detailing includes the large barges on the gables and dormers and in granite quoining which surrounds the front entrance. The projecting entrance, like most Carnegie libraries, is the dominant feature of the building and is emphasized with the large gable under which the words 'Carnegie Library' appear. The design of the Little Falls Carnegie Library primarily relies on the simplicity of materials and relative lack of ornamentation – both characteristics of the Craftsman style.[1]

A major library expansion designed by Miller Dunwiddie Architecture was completed in 2000. This development included two single storey wings added symmetrically to the existing Carnegie building. The additions used similar design forms and materials in order to respect the original 1905 library.

Memories and stories


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