I know this is not an ideal shot..the library was actually pretty busy the day I was there and I felt a little odd trying to snap photos with all the people wondering what I was doing. I know I have a better shot of this on another drive...but I don't have time to get it now.
The newly remodeled library in Greenville, Ohio.....the front and two new wings to the sides.......
A very nice reading/researching/studying area by a new gas fireplace!
lots of ornate architecture still remains.....
with new sculptures throughout....as well as some old pieces......
Here is a history of the library which is rather interesting....
1889 -- The first library in Greenville came about due to a growing need for students to have a good selection of books to help them with their studies. Professor F. Gillman Cromer, Superintendent of schools, was responsible for raising the money needed. A pageant was held at Martin Trainor's Opera House on West Third Street (later known as State Theatre). With a total of $75.00 raised, the Free School Library was opened in the old East School.
1894 -- Free School Library had again outgrown itself. Henry St. Clair, seeing the need for reference services, offered to furnish and maintain one for the public. Later he donated his own reference collection. The Board of Education levied a 1/10-mill levy to maintain the library.
1901 -- A commission sought aid from Mr. Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Carnegie furnished $15,000 for building construction if the city would provide the site and a minimum $2,000 per year for up keep. An additional $10,000 was requested from Mr. Carnegie. The architect was W.S. Kaugman from Richmond, Indiana. Mr. Dennis Dwyer was the contractor.
The cornerstone was laid by Grandmaster of Masons of the state of Ohio, on October 30, 1901. Placed inside the cornerstone were the following:
- A history of the library
- Correspondence of Andrew Carnegie and the Greenville Board of Education regarding the new building
- Resolutions of the Greenville Board of Education and the Greenville City Council providing for support of the library
- A list containing the names of President Theodore Roosevelt and his Cabinet and the presiding officers of the U.S. Senate and House
- A list of state officials and different boards of the City of Greenville
- The Greenville Board of Education, its committees, officers and teachers of the schools
- A list of Darke County officials
- A list of Masonic officials
- An account of the assassination of President William McKinley and his last address
- Copies of the eight newspapers being printed in Greenville at that time (Greenville Journal, Greenville Democrat, Daily Advocate, Daily Tribune, Democratic Advocate, Weekly Tribune, Deutsche Umschau, Greenville Courier)
- A copy of the report of the city school, the librarian’s report and a copy of the cornerstone ceremony
It was a grand ceremony with the Dayton Soldiers Home Band leading a procession around town. A feature of the Carnegie Library was the basement, which was turned into a museum. The Katzenberger collection of implements, firearms, coins and curios were donated to the library in 1901 and accepted by Frazer E. Wilson. Other collections followed. Charles Katzenberger volunteered at the library as the museum's curator.
- $25,000 donated by Andrew Carnegie
- $3,610 donated by Henry St. Clair
- $7,175 donated by School board
- $35,785 total donations
Several days before the opening ceremony for the library, area students stood in a line stretching from the McWhinney building up the new sidewalks of the new library. They passed the books from the shelves in one building to the shelves in the new.
1905 -- Charles Katzenberger and two members of the board of trustees brought back a priceless collection of firearms and military relics of St. Clair and Wayne armies from Fort Recovery. There were also many paintings and documents on display in the museum.
1946 -- Running out of space to put the numerous books added to the library over years, it was decided that the museum would be moved to the old Garst Home, which had been donated by the Garst heirs for that purpose. All of the Carnegie Library's collection was moved to the Garst Home.
1980 -- Greenville Public Library (Carnegie Library) and the Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall were added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 26. The criteria: both buildings are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past; both embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction, or represent the work of a master, possess high artistic values, or represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction.
1991 -- The old office area was opened up to make room for the large print books and recordings. The large print books were eventually moved back up to the main floor and the extra space was used for all of the audio-visuals. The Genealogy Department was moved into the back room downstairs, which used to be the coal bin for the furnace room. The computers were also placed in the downstairs area for public use.
1994 -- The main floor was redone by taking out the lowered ceiling panels and restoring the ceilings to their original look. Carpeting was put down in three of the rooms and wood panels were added to the ends of the metal shelves.
1995 -- A computer was added to the Reference Room to help bring the library into the modern days. The computer allowed access to the Internet, and also CD-ROM programs such as phone directories and encyclopedias. At this time, staff members were converting the card files to computer to get the library ready for automation. A videotape cleaner was purchased by the Friends of the Library to be used to clean the library's tapes and check them for defects.
1997 -- The library designates the lower level desk as the Circulation area and the main floor desk as a full-time Reference area. Two more computers are added in the Reference Room to access the Internet along with two of the Online Card Catalog serving as backup computers for Internet.
1998 -- A book drop was attached to the lower level entrance to allow patrons to return material when the library was closed. The Friends of the Library purchased a laminating machine to cover library books and also materials brought in by the public.
Constructed of bedford stone and buff-pressed brick, with a red tile roof. The expansive lawn is shaded by sycamore, elm and buckeye trees.
Formerly the Children's Room.
This room has remained the same for years. It has always been the Nonfiction Room.
Above the fireplace, a mural painting of Learning, a woman in flowing robes holding the literature of the world on her arm. In a niche in the all is a beautiful marble statue of History with an open book and pen in her hand. Brought from Italy by Mr. and Mrs. St. Clair. On a pedestal beside the fireplace was another Italian marble statue, the Muse of Music, Polyhymnia, donated Brigadier General Sigafoos. Between the Reference Room and the Biography/900 Room is a stained glass window showing William Shakespeare. Next to the fireplace is a stained glass window showing Henry St. Clair.
Formerly the public reading room which contained current magazines and history books.
Formerly Public Reading Room (Currently Biography / 900 Room)
There was a skylight in the ceiling, which consisted of a stained glass panel over a white background. Incandescent lighting was available but seldom used. When renovation to the attic was done, the skylight was unfortunately covered. To this day, staff members still wonder what happened to the stained glass panel. Was it left in place, covered by a wood panel and paint, waiting to be rediscovered by future generations? We may never know….
The walls were originally frescoed in tans and brown. In the arches, these words were written:
- "I have taken all knowledge to be my province." -- Bacon
(over entrance to Non-Fiction Room)
- "In everything you do consider the end." -- Solomon
(over windows into Fiction Room)
- "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." -- Old Testament
(over the windows into the Biography/900 Room)
- "In books lies the soul of the whole past time." -- Carlyle
(over entrance to the Reference Room)
MAIN FLOOR MEETING ROOM
Underneath the off-white paint lies a fascinating Egyptian motif on the upper walls and ceilings.
The room is now used for Children's Story Hours, Teen Advisory Board Meetings, library programs and public meetings, but has had many functions in the past. Over the years it has served as the Director's Office, Genealogy Room, and a Book Sale Room.
For a while, the entire floor was used as a museum until 1946.