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[graphic] Pipestone Public Library
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[photo] The Pipestone Public Library was financed by Andrew Carnegie
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper

Andrew Carnegie, the wealthy late 19th-century steel baron, became the benefactor of many small towns and communities through his philanthropic enterprises. Between 1886 and 1919, Carnegie donated more than $40 million to build 1,679 new libraries across America. Many communities could not afford libraries on their own and Andrew Carnegie believed literacy was the key to help assimilate new immigrants into mainstream America. The Carnegie building in Pipestone is one such library that impacted this small Midwestern town. To be chosen as a location for a Carnegie library, a town had to possess land and be willing to pay for the upkeep of the library.

[photo] Historic image of Pipestone Public (Carnegie) Library, 1904
Courtesy of Pipestone County Historical Society
Constructed between 1903 and 1904, this 26 foot by 51 foot Sioux quartzite building was designed by Joseph Swartz and built by George Redmon. With its prominent raised Gothic arch entry and rounded northeast corner, the design is typical of other Carnegie libraries. The entrance of the building is articulated by a gabled wall, which projects from the front of the building. Pointed arches constructed of pink quartzite define the door openings. A circular stained glass window is located above the door and is enclosed within the arch. The front gable also has a raised relief panel depicting an open book, and a decorative band of pink quartzite separates the first and second stories. In 1976 when the public library was combined with the high school collection, forming a community library, the library relocated in a new section of the public high school. Later that year the exterior of the Carnegie building was restored and the interior adapted for use as a local senior citizens' center.

The Pipestone Public Library, now the location of Senior Citizens of Pipestone, is located at 217 S. Hiawatha Ave., Pipestone and is open to the public weekdays 8:30am to 4:30pm and during evening functions. Call 507-825-3252 for further information.


[graphic] Link to essay on Pipestone County History [graphic] Link to essay on Downtown Revitalization[graphic] Link to essay on Pipestone: The Rock

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