|Anderson Carnegie Public Library|
Anderson, Indiana, is a town in the center of the state that has had a vivid commercial and entrepreneurial history. The city of Anderson was named after the peaceful leader of the Delaware tribe, Chief Anderson who lived in the area for a while before treaties beckoned him to move on. His father, was of Swedish ancestry, John Anderson, and his mother was Indian.
Natural gas was discovered in Anderson and that helped attract new industry temporarily while the gas supply was good. Anderson had an interurban (electric) railway and companies such as Delco Remy, Guide Lamp and Ward-Stilson were among the companies that resided in the city.
In 1902, Andrew Carnegie granted Anderson $50,000 to build a library. Richards, McCarty and Bulford of Columbus, Ohio was the architect and Thompson and Millspaugh the builder. Richards, McCarty and Bulford designed the Union Building in Anderson, the Athletic Club of Columbus and many other notable buildings. The Library was completed in 1905 at 32 West 10th Street, Anderson, Indiana, 46016.
The Anderson Carnegie Public Library was constructed of limestone in the Greco Roman architectural style. Stone lion’s heads guarded the entrance staircase as patrons walked through 15-foot high oak doors to a vaulted ceiling front entry with marbled walls and Scaglione pillars. A rotunda features a porcelain tile floor with a 35 foot high ceiling and stained glass dome. Off the rotunda are three large rooms--east, west and north. Marble fireplaces serve the east and west room and many other architectural features are found throughout.
Photo above from Madison County Historical Society.
|New Anderson Library|
The Anderson Public Library moved out in 1987 and the old Carnegie building was re-purposed as the Anderson Center for the Arts in 1998. The Library Board selected a Sears & Roebuck building with 95,000 square feet for a new library and following extensive renovation and construction a new Anderson Public Library opened at 111 East 12th Street in Anderson, Indiana. The new library was designed by krM Architecture located in Anderson. It would be difficult to identify the old Sears & Roebuck Building from the new library in which all departments are visible from the entry atrium.