Abandoned Carnegie Library, Salamanca, NY

According to Wikipedia, a 1992 report by the New York Times revealed 911 of the 1681 (or 1687 or 1689–all three figures are listed in its Wiki) original US Carnegie Library buildings were still in use as libraries, while 243 had been demolished. At that time this particular building was a law office, but it’s clearly abandoned now. I’d be willing to bet there’s been a substantial uptick in the number of abandoned and demolished libraries in the past 25 years.


Stapleton Library in Staten Island

In the words of the architects Andrew Berman Architect:

The New York Public Library commissioned this branch library of 12,000 square feet. We restored the existing 1907 Carrere and Hastings Carnegie Library and designed a new 7,000 square foot building to be located alongside. The library is conceived as a modern public institution that will contribute to the revitalization of the Stapleton neighborhood.

The facility is an assemblage of old and new. The existing Carnegie Library was converted into the Childrens’ Reading Room. The new building, constructed of glue laminated Douglas fir posts, beams, joists and roof decking, houses books and media. The structurally glazed facade invites the public and supplies natural light. The exposed wood structure provides a sense of rhythm, scale and material richness unexpected in contemporary public buildings.

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How Andrew Carnegie Turned His Fortune Into A Library Legacy : NPR

At the start of the 20th century, the ruthless, self-made steel industrialist paid $60 million for 1,689 public libraries to be built in communities around the U.S. “The man who dies rich dies in disgrace,” Carnegie wrote.

Interesting, quick read about Carnegie’s push to turn his fortune into places where people could help themselves.

Along the way, it touches upon Jim Crow (D.C.’s library was apparently the only place in downtown D.C. that black folks could use the bathroom), how Carnegie couldn’t afford subscription library access when he was young—and doesn’t gloss over his complicated, paternalistic relationship to workers.

View of the public library in Flint, Michigan. Printed on front: “Carnegie library, Flint, Mich. No. 760/4. Published by M.E. Carlton, Flint, Mich.” Handwritten on front: “Tell Mother we are having a good time. Yesterday we all took our lunch and spent the day at the farm. E.W.P.” Printed on back: “S. Langsdorf [sic] & Co., New York, Germany.”  c.1913.

  • Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library

August in St. Paul
Not many people get a high school diploma from the library, but Pulitzer-prize winning playwright August Wilson did. After a racist teacher accused Wilson of plagarism, he stopped going to class and educated himself at the Pittsburgh Carnegie library instead. The library awarded him an honorary high school diploma when he was 44. Wilson, who would have turned 68 this month, relocated to the Twin Cities in 1978. While living in St. Paul in the early eighties he began creating the Pittsburgh Cycle, ten plays providing decade-by-decade snapshots of twentieth century African-American life. Many of them, including the award-winning Fences and Piano Lesson, were written at coffee shops and bars along Selby Avenue. 

Photo above: Wilson is among the playwrights immortalized on the walls of the Guthrie Theater.

Auston Matthews- stages

Request:  Can you do an imagine where the reader is a woc and plays collegiate field hockey and she catches Auston Matthews eyes during a game and then see each other again when he comes across her game and they talk after the game. I want this to go through stages of their relationship: first date, first kiss, him asking her to be his girlfriend, meeting his teammates, going to one of her games, making their relationship public, first fight and making up, and comforting him after the playoff loss

Author’s notes: Okay I won’t lie I was kind of nervous about this one because it seemed intense. But I love this request so much. With that being said it’s hands down going to be a multi-parter. There’s no way I could have done your idea justice at all in one part nor would I have wanted to. I wanted to explore each stage and doing it justice. I wanted to include the fact that the reader is a woc more thoroughly and I didn’t want to brush over that either. Although I don’t feel like I did that part justice in this one, but I promise to work on it! I really hope you like this because I’m actually kind of proud. 


Up next: Andre Burakovsky

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