11 Of Upstate New York’s Historic, Beautiful Carnegie Libraries
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was once the richest man in America. To his everlasting credit, after the great man had amassed his incredible fortune, he decided to give it all away. And he almost did!
Carnegie believed that every small town and city in America should have a public library. In the late 19th-century this was not always the case however. So Carnegie took matters into his own hands. Almost any community, regardless of size, could request a Carnegie grant to build a library (almost no community was refused). The only requirement was that the community had to maintain the building in perpetuity. Carnegie gave away tens of millions of dollars in his library grants. Often times, his library became the most beautiful, elaborate new building in the village. People flocked to them and they became the center of community life.
The numbers are staggering.
Andrew Carnegie awarded grants for the construction of 2,509 public libraries. He also contributed to several universities for the construction of campus libraries. He is responsible for the building of 1,684 libraries in the United States, 660 in the United kingdom, 125 in Canada, and many others around the world. Today, in the United States, 1,554 of these libraries are still standing and being used Some as libraries, some as community centers, some as art galleries, and others for a variety of uses. And, yes. many of them are still the most beautiful building in town. You will see that in the photos of this gallery.
Upstate New York was lucky to have been the recipient of dozens of Carnegie Libraries. This is a sample list of 11 of the best. Let us know if there is a Carnegie Library in your town!
Upstate New York's Fabulous, Fantastic Carnegie Libraries
Read More! NY's 12 Smallest Counties and Why You Should Visit Them