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San Luis Obispo in San Luis Obispo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Carnegie City Library
1905 to 1955
 
Carnegie City Library Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 6, 2008
1. Carnegie City Library Marker
 
Inscription. Built on the site formerly occupied by Dona Ramona Carrillo Pacheco de Wilsonís two story town house, this building was for 55 years the city library. One of over 1,681 libraries given by Andrew Carnegie to American towns in the early 1900ís, it was built in 1905 by local contractor Joseph Maino, with Wm. H. Weeks as architect. As one of numerous California public buildings designed by Weeks, it shares appearances with Carnegie libraries in Lompoc and Paso Robles.

It is noteworthy that while $10,000 was the Carnegie gift, the cost of the building was underbudget at $9,750. Satisfactory!

Placed June 24, 1995
De La Guerra y Pacheco Chapter 1.5
Ancient and Honorable Order
E Clampus Vitus
Entered on the National Register of Historic Places
1995
 
Erected 1995 by De La Guerra y Pacheco Chapter 1.5, E Clampus Vitus.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Carnegie Libraries, and the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. 35° 16.804′ N, 120° 39.892′ W. Marker is in San Luis Obispo, California, in San Luis Obispo County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Monterey Street and Broad Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 696 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo CA 93401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
 
Carnegie City Library - Front View Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 6, 2008
2. Carnegie City Library - Front View
 
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); De Anza Expedition 1775 - 1776 (about 300 feet away); Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail (about 400 feet away); Chong's Candy Store (about 500 feet away); Site of Ah Louis Store (about 600 feet away); “Love” and “Double Joy” (about 600 feet away); San Luis Obispo Sesquicentennial (approx. 0.2 miles away); J. P. Andrews Building (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in San Luis Obispo.
 
More about this marker. The marker is on the inside left side of the entryway, perpendicular to the front door.
 
Regarding Carnegie City Library. In a short note about the library titled "How Did This Building Get Here?", Joseph Carotenuti had this to say:

"The location of the first building dedicated solely as a library was a major community issue in 1903. Any neighborhood with the Free Library would become the premier city location. With $10,000 promised by Andrew Carnegie to build the structure, its site needed to be owned by the City. Needless to add, there were no funds available, so some residents offered donations toward the purchase of a lot. The issue was what lot! Several offers were made, including
 
Carnegie City Library - Side View Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 7, 2008
3. Carnegie City Library - Side View
The former library now houses the County's historical museum.
 
donated property, but the Libary Board of Trustees decided on a $1250 property (80 x 114 feet) owned by the Egans.

Once the site was purchased, noted architect William H. Weeks was selected to design the Romanesque structure. Weeks is one of the most famous architects of the 142 Carnegie libraries in California. He not only designed the only other Carnegie library in the County in Paso Robles but some early buildings for the then-newly established California Polytechnical School.

Today, the magnificent building is located in an ideal spot in the very center of the city. Next to the modern Mission Plaza (1970) situated in front of one of the oldest structures in California...the Mission San Luis Obispo...and across the street from the Art Center and soothing San Luis Creek, the grand dame of the City welcomes you!"
 
Also see . . .  San Luis Obispo County Historical Museum. Web page for the County's museum - includes a history of the building. (Submitted on September 20, 2008.) 
 
Carnegie City Library - Terra Cotta Architectural Detail Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 6, 2008
4. Carnegie City Library - Terra Cotta Architectural Detail
 
 
Remains of wall of Mission San Luis Obispo on Library Grounds, ca. 1793 Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 6, 2008
5. Remains of wall of Mission San Luis Obispo on Library Grounds, ca. 1793
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on September 20, 2008, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,864 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 20, 2008, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
 
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