Rensselaer Carnegie Library - Rensselaer, IN
Posted by: rogueblack
N 40° 56.275 W 087° 09.197
16T E 487096 N 4531876
Quick Description: Now known as The Carnegie Center, the gift of Andrew Carnegie to the City of Rensselaer continues to give to the community.
Location: Indiana, United States
Date Posted: 4/6/2008 12:49:28 PM
Waymark Code: WM3H6K
In 1902, C.D. Royce contacted Andrew Carnegie, famous for this worldwide library financing, to request a library for Rensselaer, Indiana. In early 1903, Carnegie informed Royce that Rensselaer could have a free library if the city could provide a suitable site and meet conditions to keep the library free to the public. The city met the challenge and architect Charles Weaterhogg, who had worked on the Jasper County Courthouse, was hired to design the Rensselaer Carnegie Library. The cornerstone was laid on July 13, 1904 in a traditional Masonic ceremony with a parade. There was a copper box of mementos embedded in the cornerstone.
The library opened to the public on September 4, 1905.
From the entrance, a visitor could go upstairs to the main floor of the library, where the circulation desk and reading areas were surrounded by multitudes of book stacks. A visitor could also descend to the lower hallway into the auditorium, where many local events were held until it was transformed into the children's library in 1963.
The Carnegie Library has been renovated and modernized many times to provide visitors with the most efficient facilities.
When the Jasper County Library moved to a new building just a block down from the Carnegie Library in 1992, the Carnegie Library became the Carnegie Center. After so many renovations in service as a library, it now renovated its purpose to serve the community as the Lilian Fendig Gallery for art on the main floor and the offices of the Jasper Foundation on the lower level.
The Jasper Foundation is a charitable organization that assists philanthropists in donating to support local programs that strengthen and enrich the community.
The Lilian Fendig Gallery has hosted poetry readings, exhibits from St. Joseph's College Senior Portfolios, and been a home to the Carnegie Quilters. Lilian Fendig, now departed, was a respected Rensselaer artist and the gallery came from generous support of her husband, Ralph Fendig.
A portrait of Andrew Carnegie greets visitors in the entrance and the main stairwell banister displays a plaque that describes the gift that Carnegie gave to the community.
Address of Library Building:
301 N. Van Rensselaer Street
Rensselaer, IN USA
Current Use of Building: Art Gallery; Organisation Offices
Year Built (optional): 1904
Website about building: [Web Link]
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1. Please provide at least one photograph of the building. Additional photographs are encouraged.
2. Describe your experience.
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