Sunday, January 25, 2009

Carnegie hobby

These are pictures of the one that got me started in my love of Carnegie's (and not incidentally, my love of reading and books!) - Minot, ND. Here, in the first grade I checked out my first book, Little Black Sambo! It is now an Art Center. Original fireplace which I remember vividly. And original tile in the entrance.

I have been meaning to begin writing about one of my favorite travel hobbies - finding and photographing the Carnegie Libraries of America. And, so, tonight as I answered an E mail from one of Gary's Heber Springs (Arkansas) High School classmates (actually his wife Teresa) I decided to use that E mail as a beginning.

Let's see, I think I am up to 58 now (there were 1,658, of course many of them are gone, but I have many to go!) - did really well this year when I got 13! Four in Louisville alone.

It's pretty easy to find those on the National Register of Historic places because they have addresses. The remainder I just have a list I got from the book "Carnegie Libraries Across America: A Public Legacy." by Theodore Jones. So...we drive through the towns on my list (I mark them on our road map.) From experience I know that the libraries were traditionally built in the center of town and, with their distinctive architecture, are pretty easy to spot. Its really fun since we also get to see small towns and/or the older areas of larger towns. Of course, when we are on the road towing the 5th wheel we are about 53 feet long so it is a challenge for Gary to drive on downtown streets and then find a place to park while I run to take pictures! If the library is open I always go inside and usually get into a conversation, sometimes a lengthy one!

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