El Dorado’s Carnegie building, located at 101 S. Star, will be celebrating its centennial from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, with a come and go reception.
The event is being hosted by The Friends of Bradford Memorial Library and PKHLS Architecture. The public is invited and refreshments will be available.
The building served as El Dorado’s public library from 1912 until 1959.
El Dorado’s first library was established in 1897 in a second floor room in the old city building. In 1910 several civic-minded citizens decided the city needed its own stand-alone library and applied for a $10,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The grant was approved on Nov. 30, 1910.
A Topeka architect drew plans and the Sharp Brothers of El Dorado were hired as contractors. White limestone quarried near El Dorado was used for the exterior and construction was completed in late 1912. Formal dedication ceremonies took place on Dec. 2, 1912, which were attended by an estimated 1,500 citizens.
The Carnegie building served as the public library until Sept. 27, 1959, when Bradford Memorial Library opened at 611 S. Washington. Since then, the Carnegie building has been owned by the Butler County Historical Society and later a local geologist.
It is currently owned by El Doradoan Vince Haines and it is occupied by a local architectural firm, PKHLS Architects.
In recognition of the centennial, Mayor Tom McKibban read a proclamation naming Dec. 2 as Carnegie Building Centennial Day.
“A lot of people are excited because they haven’t been in there since it was the library,” said Bradford Memorial Librarian Kristi Jacobs.