Bibliothèque Carnegie - Reims, France
N 49° 15.184 E 004° 02.153
31U E 575381 N 5456105
Quick Description: [FR] La bibliothèque doit son nom à Andrew Carnegie qui l'a financée au lendemain de la Première Guerre mondiale. [EN] The Carnegie Library of Reims was built with money donated by businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie after World War I.
Location: Champagne-Ardenne, France
Date Posted: 11/1/2011 1:23:13 PM
Waymark Code: WMD08X
[FR] Cette bibliothèque municipale de Reims dont la construction a commencé en 1921 a été inaugurée le 10 juin 1928 par Gaston Doumergue. C'est l'architecte Max Sainsaulieu qui en a conçu les plans. Il s'agit d'une construction qui tenait compte des tout derniers développements de la bibliothéconomie.
Ce chef-d'œuvre de l'Art déco comporte une exceptionnelle décoration. On peut citer parmi d'autres œuvres le lustre du grand hall d'entrée dessiné par Jacques Simon, maître-verrier rémois, et la grande verrière de la salle de lecture due à Jacques Gruber.
C'est actuellement une bibliothèque qui recelle de nombreux livres anciens, une salle de lecture avec des points de connexion internet et régulièrement des expositions.
[EN] Reims was one of three "front-line" cities to be given a Carnegie library, the other two being Leuven and Belgrade (Belgrade University Library). Built in the 1920s, it combined the mission of heritage conservation and of reading public library. Until 2003, the Carnegie Library was the main library of Reims.
The Art Deco decor of the Carnegie Library, the harmony of its proportions, the elegance of its architecture made it worthy of inclusion in the French inventory of Monuments historiques.
The First World War marked a profound break in the history of the Reims municipal library. On May 3, 1917, an incendiary shell destroyed the town hall and a large part of the collections. The most valuable works (nearly 100 000 documents) were put away before the War and thus preserved from any damage. In 1918, the city of Reims was devastated. The municipality could not afford to finance the rebuilding of the public library without the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Founded in 1910 by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace decided after the World War 1 to provide a library to the cities particularly battered by bombings. In France, the city of Reims was chosen to be given a Carnegie library. The Carnegie Endowment offered the city of Reims a sum of US$200 000 (more of 3 million francs at the time) to build the new library.
The construction of the Carnegie Library was entrusted to French architect Max Sainsaulieu (1870–1953). Upon receipt of the order of construction in December 1920, Sainsaulieu undertook a study trip to visit foreign libraries in Switzerland and Belgium. Under the influence of his son Louis, Sainsaulieu reshuffles his first project (initially very classical), opting for the modern look Art Deco style.
Started in 1921, the Art Deco building was finished in 1927. It officially opened to public on June 10, 1928 in the presence of French President Gaston Doumergue and the US ambassador Myron Timothy Herrick. The library stock includes some material which survived the First World War.
Address of Library Building:
2, Place Carnegie
Current Use of Building: Library
Year Built (optional): 1927
Website about building: [Web Link]
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