Filed Under Education

Brigham City Carnegie Library

In the early 1900s, a letter written to the Carnegie Corporation was all it took to receive funding for a public library. In 1912, residents of Brigham City decided to petition for funding. By 1915, the Carnegie Library was finished in Brigham City.

The famous Andrew Carnegie, native of Scotland, started the Carnegie Corporation. It's goal was to give endowments to cities across the United States and the world to build and maintain a library in their city. The Corporation was giving money to any city that requested funding with proof that their citizens were willing to pay for the library's upkeep.  

The idea of requesting a grant to build a library from the Carnegie Corporation first occurred to the people of Brigham City in 1912, when the size and age of the library that was being used was brought into question. City officials met to discuss the possibility of having a Carnegie library and the benefits it would bring to the area. Having up to date literature, materials, and a gathering place for the citizens of Brigham City were all motivators for wirting to the Carnegie Corporation. Initially the city wanted an endowment for $20,000 to build the library, but the Carnegie Corporation made an offer of $10,000. 

In 1914, after two years of correspondence between the city and the corporation, a grant of $12,500 was settled. Over the course of the next few months, the plans were drawn up and the architectural firm, Shreeve & Madsen of Ogden, was chosen. Construction began in the spring of 1915. 

The Carnegie Library was finished on December 15th, 1915. The building was constructed in the Prairie Style, which was common in the state. Key features of Prairie style include a one-story building with a raised basement, horizontal emphasis, and geometric elements in the decoration of the building. Since its construction, only one major addition was built in 1977 and was constructed to match the look of the original building. 

Special attention was given to maintaining the visual independence of the original building from the addition by using glass to join the old and new sections. Additionally, the brickwork was layed in order to emphasize the horizontal lines of the building. In 1984, the Carnegie Library of Brigham City was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Images

Front of Brigham City Carnegie Library, 2018.
Front of Brigham City Carnegie Library, 2018. Source: Photograph by author, 2018. Creator: Olivia Farnsworth
1977 site plan for Brigham City Library.
1977 site plan for Brigham City Library. Source: 1977 site plan for Brigham City Library. Used with permission from the Box Elder Museum. http://collections.boxeldermuseum.org/index.php/Detail/objects/1272
Brigham City Library Interior
Brigham City Library Interior Source: Photograph by author. Interior of Brigham Library looking toward original building from new addition, 2018. Creator: Olivia Farnsworth
Brigham City Library Interior
Brigham City Library Interior Source: Photograph by author. Interior of original Brigham City Library with stain glass windows visible, 2018. Creator: Olivia Farnsworth

Location

Metadata

Olivia Farnsworth, Weber State University, “Brigham City Carnegie Library,” Intermountain Histories, accessed April 15, 2024, https://www.intermountainhistories.org/items/show/356.