Friday, May 29, 2009

Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie grants Riverside $20,000 for a library building. Construction begins on the downtown library at the northeast corner of Seventh and Orange Streets. The Mission Revival building is the work of the architectural firm of Burham and Blieser of Los Angeles; the general contractor is J. W. Carroll of Riverside.
Memorial Day weekend marked the debut of Mr. Carnegie’s Grand Tour of Washington, an annual automobile-based passport tour of Carnegie libraries throughout Washington State. Many of these buildings continue to house libraries and related cultural institutions like museums; others, like Carnegie’s Restaurant in Seattle, have been completely re-purposed. All stand as reminders of an important era for American public libraries. Visitors can pick up “passports” at participating locations and have them stamped during their visit.
Conceived by the Clark County Historical Museum (Vancouver, WA) as a way to celebrate the 100-year-birthday of its building (a 1909 Carnegie library), the Grand Tour developed into an initiative of the newly-established Carnegie Library Consortium of Washington, whose mission is to “identify surviving Carnegie Libraries in Washington State and promote public awareness and preservation around the world.” The Consortium has put together a slideshow about Andrew Carnegie which will be on display at participating locations, as well as a children’s storybook/coloring book featuring “Andy the Library Explorer” as he delves into the history of Carnegie libraries.

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