Niagara Falls Public Library
Posted by: Rayman
N 43° 05.933 W 079° 03.235
17T E 658369 N 4773633
Quick Description: This former library in Niagara Falls was one that was funded by Andrew Carnegie.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 12/23/2006 10:49:22 PM
Waymark Code: WM12AE
The Niagara Falls Public Library is a turn of the century building, one of a special generation of public libraries endowed by Andrew Carnegie. Some $45 million of Carnegie's vast fortune went into the construction and endowment of library buildings, however a community was not simply given a blank check by the Carnegie Foundation. The $50,000 grant awarded to Niagara Falls in 1901 came with the stipulation that the city must spend $7,000 annually for the building's maintenance.
The site of the new library to replace the original from 1814 was chosen in the estimated center of the reading population of the day. In 1904 at the official opening, the new library boasted the greatest circulation in proportion to population in New York.
E.E. Joralman, a local architect, designed the building with a capacity for 50,000 volumes. The library grew with the years, and by 1950 the building had to deal with 116,000 volumes. The auditorium on the lower level was converted for stack space. The continued concern for handicapped readers led to the establishment of a microfilm book service for the bedridden, said to be the first of its kind in a New York State library. The microfilmed books were projected onto the ceiling.
The library closed in the 1970s as it was replaced by the larger Earl Brydges Library down the street. It is now used by the city government as a community development office.
1022 Main St
Niagara Falls, NY United States
County / Borough / Parish: Niagara
Year listed: 1974
Historic (Areas of) Significance: Architecture/Engineering, Event
Periods of significance: 1900-1924
Historic function: Education: Library
Current function: Education: Library
Privately owned?: no
Primary Web Site: [Web Link]
Season start / Season finish: Not listed
Hours of operation: Not listed
Secondary Website 1: Not listed
Secondary Website 2: Not listed
National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed
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