Warren's Carnegie Library
Location: 123 E. Third St., Warren (Huntington County, Indiana)
Installed: 2007 Indiana Historical Bureau, Library Gift Fund, and Friends of the Library
ID# : 35.2007.1
A Warren Public Library Board was organized in June 1916 after a public fundraising campaign to buy books and periodicals. In 1917, a grant of $10, 000 from the Carnegie Corporation was confirmed to support construction of a free public library. Library Board selected Samuel Craig as supervising architect 1917. Building is Neoclassical in design.
Supply and transportation problems as a result of World War I halted construction temporarily. Warren Free Public Library was dedicated June 5, 1920 with over 1, 500 books. Improvements completed in 1990s. One of 1, 679 libraries built in U.S. with funds from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Indiana built more Carnegie libraries than any other state.
Carnegie Libraries, Buildings and Architecture
A Warren Public Library Board was organized in June 1916 (1) after a public fundraising campaign to buy books and periodicals. (2) In 1917, a grant of $10, 000 from the Carnegie Corporation was confirmed to support construction of a free public library. (3) Library Board selected Samuel Craig as supervising architect 1917. (4) Building is Neoclassical in design. (5)
Supply and transportation problems as a result of World War I halted construction temporarily. (6) Warren Free Public Library was dedicated June 5, 1920 with over 1, 500 books. (7) Improvements completed in 1990s. (8) One of 1, 679 libraries built in U.S. with funds from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Indiana built more Carnegie libraries than any other state. (9)
(1) Warren Free Public Library Minutes, June 16, 1916 (B050985).
(2) In October 1914, an effort to raise $500 for additional books for the new library was announced at the local high school. Warren Tribune, October 16, 1914, p. 1 (B050357).
Monroe Wiley, a leader of the library movement, wrote the Indiana Library Commission in November 1914 telling the Commission that the Town of Warren was trying to establish a $600 fund to be used for buying books and periodicals. Letter, Monroe Wiley to Indiana Public Library Commission, November 14, 1914, Public Library Correspondence, Indiana State Library, Library Development Office, Warren, Indiana folder (B050169).
By November 1914 money raised for the proposed library had reached $651. Warren Tribune, June 11, 1920 (B050150).
Several parties, including the Bay View Reading Circle and the Chatauqua Reading Circle were involved with raising funds. Warren Tribune, October 9, 1914, p.1 (B050356) and Warren Tribune, October 16, 1914, p. 1 (B050357).
School superintendent Robert McCrum and newspaper publisher Monroe Wiley were also heavily involved. Warren Tribune, October 9, 16, 1914, p. 1 (B050356) (B050357).
Monroe Wiley's name appears in Warren Tribune letterhead as editor and publisher (B050169).
Library was organized under 1901 Indiana library law governing municipal libraries. Laws of Indiana, 1901, pp. 14-15, 81-87 (B050369).
(3) James Bertram, Secretary of Carnegie Corporation, New York, notified Monroe Wiley, President of the Warren Library Board about the conditions of a Carnegie library grant in a 1917 letter, and indicated that if these conditions were met, the Corporation would give $10, 000. Bertram to Wiley, Library Board, April 3, 1917, Public Library Correspondence Files, Library Development Office, Indiana State Library (B050146).
The Carnegie donation was announced in the Warren Tribune April 13, 1917 (B050147). Terms for the Carnegie grant included: town must purchase a lot and pass a tax levy (agreed upon by Town Council and Township Advisory Board) to earn at least $1, 000 per year, and Carnegie Corporation must approve any architectural plans. Bertram to Wiley, Ibid. (B050146).
Library Board meeting minutes note that they had received $2, 750 from the Carnegie Corporation by June 4, 1920. Warren Free Public Library Board Minutes, June 4, 1920 (B050382).
Taxes were set for the town of Warren and for Salamonie Township to support the building of a library. Warren Free Public Library Board Minutes, September 3, 1917 (B050148).
(4) Samuel Craig of Huntington was chosen as supervising architect. Warren Free Public Library Board Minutes, December 28, 1917 (B050378).
Craig had presented his application for supervising architect to the Board on December 3, 1917. Warren Free Public Library Board Minutes, December 3, 1917 (B050307).
The Board met June 24, 1918 to open bids for construction; the contract was awarded to August Ruedlinger of Van Buren, Grant County. Warren Free Public Library Board Minutes, June 24, 1918 (B050308).
(5) The library building was listed in the Huntington County Interim Report (1982) as an outstanding Neo-Classic design. Huntington County Interim Report (Indianapolis, 1982), 89 (B050151).
The library is called Neo-Classical Revival in Alan McPherson, Temples of Knowledge: Andrew Carnegie's Gift to Indiana (Kewanna, Ind., 2003), 145 (B050014).
(6) Warren Tribune, June 11, 1920 (B050150).
(7) The Warren Free Public Library was dedicated to the public on June 5, 1920; P. H. Beck, president of the Board of Trustees of the library, presided. Ibid. (B050150).
At the time of the dedication, there were over 1, 500 books on the shelves. Warren Tribune, June 11, 1920 (B050150). The Library Web site (B050316) claims there were 1, 534 books on the shelves at the opening.
The Warren Library Board, Warren Free Public Library, March 18, 1921 letterhead, and the library Web site use the name Warren Free Public Library. The Warren Tribune, and sometimes the Library Board, called it the Warren Public Library. It appears that the library was known generally as the Warren Public Library, but to conform to the Carnegie grant contract the word "Free" was added. Total construction cost totaled $11, 562.09 according to the Warren Public Library Web site: www.warren.lib.in.us (accessed March 30, 2006) (B050316).
(8) The architectural and engineering firm of Fanning/Howey Associates was responsible for the design of the rear platform elevator and interior improvements, all completed by 1995. Huntington Herald Press, November 1, 1992 (B050311) mentions Fanning/Howey associates discussing their handicap accessibility plan at a public meeting; Warren Weekly, December 20, 1995 (B050309) discusses opening of the basement, elevator, and movement of circulation desk back to original location.
(9) Standard text for Carnegie Library markers.