Duluth Public Library (historic)

Duluth Public Library
Old Duluth Public Library.jpg
The former Duluth Public Library viewed from the southeast
Duluth Public Library (historic) is located in Duluth
Duluth Public Library (historic)
Location of the building in Duluth
Location101 West Second Street
Duluth, Minnesota
Coordinates46°47′14″N 92°06′08″W / 46°47′14″N 92°06′08″W / 78003125[1]
Added to NRHPMay 5, 1978[2]

The Duluth Public Library is a former Carnegie library at 101 West Second Street in Duluth, Minnesota, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It opened in 1902 and operated as a library through 1980.


The library in 1902

In 1899, through the efforts of the Duluth Evening Herald, Andrew Carnegie gifted $50,000 for the construction of a library in Duluth.[3][4] Later that year, the city purchased three lots for $16,000 on which to build the library.[5] By 1900, the city had selected a design by architects Radcliffe & Willoughby,[6] but later decided to go with a design by Adolph F. Rudolph instead.[7][8] The designs would cost at least $50,000, so in mid-1900 the city requested and received an additional $25,000 from Carnegie for a total of $75,000.[4][9]

Construction began in 1901, with the cost estimated at $68,900.[10] The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1901, as part of the Independence Day celebrations.[11][12] By the end of construction the library cost slightly more than the $75,000 donated by Carnegie. Expenses for the property and furniture were covered separately by the city.[13] The library opened on April 19, 1902.[4]

The Duluth Public Library was the first of three Carnegie libraries to open in Duluth, followed by the West Duluth Branch Library in 1912 and the Lincoln Branch Library in 1917.[4][14][9]

In 1927, an addition was built at the rear of the library to house additional book stacks and other facilities.[7]

The library was nominated for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places for its significance in architecture and education;[15] it was listed on May 5, 1978.[2] The Carnegie library served as Duluth's main library until 1980,[a] when it moved to its new location at 520 West Superior Street.[4] After the library ceased operations, it was renovated and became an office building.[16][17]

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