Santa Cruz County History - Libraries & Schools



The First Santa Cruz Carnegie Library: Photographs from the Library's Collection

Four Santa Cruz libraries were built with grant money from the Carnegie Corporation. The cornerstone of the first one, which came to be known as The Carnegie Library, was laid on September 29, 1903. The building was designed by William H. Weeks.

Photo of the Library in 1903
Photo of the Library in 1903

 

On April 14, 1904, the new building was opened. The new library had two floors, with a total of about 9,000 square feet. The book collection was around 14,000 volumes and served a population of 10,000.

 

Photo of the Library covered with ivy
Photo of the Library covered with ivy

 

 

Over the years the building became covered with ivy, as this undated photograph shows.

 

 

Photo of the Reference/Circulation Desk in 1941
Photo of the Reference/
Circulation Desk in 1941

 

The photo to the right and the ones below show the Library's interior in July 1941.

People would check out their books and ask reference questions at this desk. We believe that the cabinet to the right of the desk was the card catalog.

 

Photo of the Book Stacks
Photo of the Book Stacks

 

 

 

To the left of the desk were the main book stacks.

 

Photo of the Reading Room
Photo of the Reading Room

This is the Reading Room. The large painting to the right is "City of Santa Cruz," by Frank L. Heath. It was acquired by public subscription and was exhibited at both the World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, 1893 and the St. Louis Exhibition in 1904. It now hangs in the Downtown Branch, on the second floor landing leading to the Young People's room.

 

 

Photo of the Children's Room
Photo of the Children's Room

 

The Children's Room was here. Over the fireplace is another painting by Heath; it is titled," Mt. Shasta and Echo Lake." It now hangs in the Downtown Branch, on the landing of the stairway to the meeting room.

 

 

Demolition of the Carnegie Library
Demolition of the Carnegie Library

 

In September 1966, the Carnegie Library was demolished to make way for the construction of the present Downtown Branch. The Downtown Branch was dedicated April 27, 1968.

 

 

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