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Carnegie's Restaurant, Greenfield, Indiana
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member boatchick
N 39° 47.173 W 085° 46.219
16S E 605293 N 4404752
Quick Description: Acclaimed Indianapolis-area eatery “Carnegie’s” began its life as the Greenfield Public Library.
Location: Indiana, United States
Date Posted: 2/5/2009 5:36:18 PM
Waymark Code: WM5R6A
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 18

Long Description:
The 100th anniversary of the Hancock County Public Library celebrated its roots in the 1898 formation of a library committee, which housed its collection at the local high school. By the turn of the century, the library had over 2000 volumes in its collection. The school board decided to seek a Carnegie grant to fund a separate building for the library. Apparently, their first suggestion was met with scorn by Carnegie Foundation secretary James Bertram, who said “A request for $30,000 to erect a library building for 5000 people is so preposterous that Mr. Carnegie cannot give it any consideration.” A more reasonable request for $10,000 was granted in 1906. Local citizen George Cooper donated the building lot on North Street, and the library opened in 1909. Librarian Vernie Baldwin, who began her career at the old high school library, was part of the fixtures for the first 50 years of the Carnegie building.

As the library collection continued to grow, the decision was made to move into a new building in 1985. Eventually, the old building was purchased and turned into Carnegie’s: A Place to Eat. The restaurant’s website indicates that “The historic Library setting is showcased in the decor and ambiance of the lower level dining room.” James Whitcomb Riley, the Greenfield native known as the ‘Hoosier Poet’, is said to have read stories to schoolchildren from the stage in this room. This seems to imply that the Greenfield library, like many Midwestern Carnegie libraries, had a basement auditorium. The restaurant has been open under the same ownership since 1999.

References:
Jones, Theodore: Carnegie Libraries Across America
Carnegie’s Restaurant
Hancock County Public Library history
Dierickx, Mary B. The Architecture of Literacy PowerPoint Presentation

Address of Library Building:
100 West North Street
Greenfield, Indiana USA
46140


Current Use of Building: restaurant

Year Built (optional): 1909

Website about building: [Web Link]

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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