Carnegie Library

July 19, 2010

Built in 1903, and designed by John Scott and Co. of Detroit (the same architects who designed the Boer War Memorial), Windsor had the first Carnegie Library approved in Canada, although delays caused it to be the second one to open…

The building opened October 16, 1903, and was demolished in the early 1970′s following the opening of the new main branch in 1973 (designed by Johnson & McWhinnie).


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The site of the former library at Victoria and Park, is home today to a high rise apartment building.

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16 Responses to Carnegie Library

  1. Mark on July 19, 2010 at 6:47 am

    I loved that library as a kid! Especially the Gothic entrance that led up to the checkout desk! Also remember getting chased out of the adult section as a kid. It should have never been demolished.

  2. Big Kev on July 19, 2010 at 9:06 am

    I remember reading somewhere (maybe the museum) that one of the reasons it was demolished was that people were complaining that it was not accessible for wheelchairs. I think I saw a picture of people protesting, calling for it to be demolished. Can anyone confirm this?

  3. JB on July 19, 2010 at 9:48 am

    There are many places not wheelchair accessible in Canada, the US is way ahead with that, their ADA.

  4. Thom on July 19, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    looks like a mirror image of the Elgin County Carnegie library… http://www.uoguelph.ca/~lbruce/photos/pictures/stthomas.jpg

  5. Aaron on July 19, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    that’s such a beautiful building. would it really be cheaper to demolish this than build a ramp? lol people are so stupid.

    Speaking of the Boer Memorial, I had seen a picture on the Windsor Star of the old post office, and in it’s “back yard” was the cannon that sits out on Riverside drive. I always wondered where it came from, and i’m not sure if it’s a reproduction. anyone have any info on it?

    thanks as always Andrew!

  6. Aaron on July 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    sorry…this is off topic, but I just wanted to metion something to everyone. If any of you have seen those new or redone gravel paths that got laid out in Jackson park the last little while along Ouellette, I noticed today that there were some rather nice replica light posts made out of concrete laying along the path. i couldn’t tell you what the light will look like, but if they’re like the ones Amherstburg has but up in their residential areas, it should be a nice addition to the park.

  7. Shane on July 19, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    does anyone have a photo of the Leamington Carnegie Library?

  8. Dave on July 20, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Aaron, that cannon might be from the Crimean war. I know Windsor has a couple of them from that conflict.

    I saw those lights as well. One would think the city would put those in residential neighbourhoods with some history (downtown, Walkerville, parts of Riverside) but of course it won’t happen.

  9. JBM on July 20, 2010 at 7:42 am

    On the same site cited by Thom is this picture
    http://www.uoguelph.ca/~lbruce/photos/Windsor95.htm

    This Carnegie building was quite an improvement I bet. I wonder where the old library was situated.

    The future of the Kingsville Carnegie library is in question. A new structure has been built and the old one has limitations for future use due to accessibility issues. I hope it is preserved.

  10. Paula on July 20, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Spent a few Saturdays researching at the Carnegie in the early 1970s. Wood floors, long wood tables and so many books…no computers back then! Good memories.

  11. Fausto on July 20, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Andrew, have you documented the Carnegie Librarie in A’burg?

    It’s still functioning as a library, but it’s future is not guaranteed… My hope is that it is mainitained and any improvements/addtions can be made on the public property immediately south.

    It would be a shame for another carnegie to outlive its purpose.

  12. Aaron on July 20, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    thanks for the info Dave!

  13. Brendan on July 21, 2010 at 6:04 am

    I’ve got a desk from that library. Always wanted to see a picture of the old building, thanks for the post Andrew :)

  14. steveg on July 21, 2010 at 9:44 am

    I was just talking to my boss about the amount of ‘good’ he did across NA. He remembers that building, I’m a Windsor import, so I never got to see it although I see the current site every day

  15. shirley on July 25, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    When I turned 12, I was allowed to take the bus ( I lived near the Airport) to the Carnegie Library. I went every week and came home with an armful of books. I loved books and I loved that place. It was comfortable and welcoming and a great place to go if you loved to read. When they tore it down and built the new one on Ouellette, I lost interest because it was different – seemed cold and unfamiliar. Then I discovered the Book Store at the front and loved that place. Then that was gone. Carnegie was a Library. The new one is a place where they loan books. Maybe if I had grown up not knowing Carnegie I would appreciate the new one more.

    Accessibility was part of the issue , but it was also that the library had outgrown its space. The aisles were close and the books were jammed in there. I loved it.

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