City's first Carnegie library set to celebrate 100 years

November 1, 2011
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East Washington Library
                              BranchMarion County's oldest library building will celebrate its 100th anniversary this month. The Indianapolis Public Library branch at 2822 E. Washington St. was one of five libraries in the city built with funds from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. It was dedicated Nov. 14, 1911. East Washington Library BranchAccording to the Library system, "The architectural highlight of the building is two book gnome sculptures that perch above the front entry. Additional features include the original oak woodwork, circulation desk and two fireplaces." Carnegie grants helped build 164 libraries in Indiana, more than in any other state. One other Carnegie library remains in use in Indianapolis: The Spades Park Branch at 1801 Nowland Ave. A centennial celebration for the East Washington Branch is planned for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 12. Activities include a magic show, balloon creations, and a performance by the Arsenal Technical High School show choir. Of most potential interest to Property Lines readers: A presentation by William McNiece of the Marion County Historical Society on the history of the library and Carnegie's philanthropic efforts.

  • Where are the others?
    Where are the other 3 libraries/locations.
    • Hawthorne Location
      There is a Carnegie Library located in the Hawthorne neighborhood just east of the old Central State Hospital on Mount Street. It is now used as the annex to the Hawthorne Community Center
    • Others
      Only the East Washington and Spades Park branches remain as libraries. Anne filled you in on the former Hawthorne Branch. The other two were a Madison Branch and West Indianapolis Branch, according to Wikipedia. Anyone know the fate of those buildings?
    • Great building.
      In keeping with Indianapolis tradition, however, it's time to probably tear it down. Old buildings...yuck!
    • Fate of other 2 libraries
      Cory, I just looked this up recently. The West Indianapolis Branch was razed in 1994. The Madison Avenue Branch was sold to the State Highway Department in 1968 to make way for I-70. The city was granted $100,000 to built these 5 Carnegie branches in 1909. -Joan (

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