Louisiana Public Library
Built in 1905, the Louisiana Public Library is historically significant for its architecture and association with steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who provided funds to built it. The small building is a fine example of Late Gothic Revival architecture and was designed by the St. Louis firm Mauran, Russel and Garden, which designed many prominent Missouri buildings. The library was one of the first Carnegie libraries built in the state and it continues to operate today. Over the years it has also hosted community meetings and events. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it remains an important landmark for the community.
Backstory and Context
In all, Carnegie funded the construction of more than 2,800 libraries around the country. Here in Louisiana, the idea for the library originated with bookstore proprietor Miss Anna H. Draper, who, in 1903, organized a group of prominent community members to discuss opening a library. They wrote a letter to Carnegie and in response, he agreed to send funds on the condition that the community donate property for the building, establish a board of directors, and implement a tax to pay for the library's maintenance. Carnegie placed similar conditions for every library he helped build.
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