Short History of Libraries, Printing and Language – Indiana Edition
Chapter title – Carnegie Libraries in Indiana
Carnegie Libraries in Indiana
The Goshen Carnegie Library
Construction on the Goshen Carnegie Library commenced after the approval of the grant of $15,000 was announced in January 1901. After interviewing five architectural firms, Goshen officials chose the firm of Patton, Fisher & Miller from Chicago. The firm designed a Beaux-Arts style building and used Bedford limestone to cover the 1 1/2 story building. It has a red tile roof. Goshen officials managed to convince the Carnegie Foundation to increase the grant to $25,000, which was the final cost of construction. Local citizens dedicated the building at the corner of Washington and Fifth Streets on January 15, 1903. The National Register of Historic Places listed the building on January 2, 1983. the Indiana Historic Commission has placed an historic marker at the building’s location.
Title of Marker:
Goshen’s Carnegie Library
202 S. Fifth Street, Goshen. (Elkhart County, Indiana)
Installed: 2003 Indiana Historical Bureau, City of Goshen, Elkhart County Historical Soc., Goshen Historical Soc., and Friends of the Goshen Public Library
Marker ID #:
Indiana’s first Carnegie library opened here 1903 with 3, 000 volumes. Goshen Library Association received $25, 000 in Carnegie grants 1901. Public donations, land purchase, and tax levy met Carnegie grant conditions. Architects Patton & Miller, Chicago, designed Beaux-Arts style structure. Library moved 1968; commercial and nonprofit uses followed.
Listed in National Register of Historic Places 1983. Renovated building reopened 2001 housing city offices. Original features of decorative marble, fireplaces, and domed rotunda retained. One of 1, 679 libraries built in U.S. with funds from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Indiana built more Carnegie libraries than any other state.
Patton & Miller
The Patton and Miller architectural firm consisted of two men, Normand Smith Patton and Grant C. Miller, who designed over 100 Carnegie Libraries across the United States. Established in 1885 by Reynolds Fisher and Normand Smith Patton, the firm first operated under the name of Patton and Fisher. It became Patton, Fisher & Miller in 1899 when Grant C. Miller joined the firm. In 1901 Fisher left and the firm became Patton & Miller in 1901. The firm built several of the Carnegie Libraries in Indiana. the National Register of Historic Places has listed many of the firm’s buildings.
Most Carnegie Libraries in the Nation
Indiana’s communities received grants to build 164 libraries across the state, the largest delegation of Carnegie Libraries in the United States. The first was the Goshen Carnegie Library in 1901. The last two were the Lowell and North Vernon, who received grants in 1918. Across the United States over half of the library’s started as Carnegie Libraries still operate under that name and many more of the buildings still exist, though serving other purposes.
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