AKA: Glendale Carnegie Library, Glendale, CA; Glendale Public Library, Main Library, Glendale, CA

Structure Type: built works - social and civic buildings - libraries

Designers: Lindley and Selkirk, Architecture and Engineering (firm); Tuttle, Paul V., Architect (firm); Arthur George Lindley ; Charles R. Selkirk (architect); Paul Vincent Tuttle (architect)

Dates: constructed 1913-1914, demolished 1977

1 story

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South Kenwood Street and East Harvard Street
Glendale, CA 91205

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This Carnegie Library was originally opened at Kenwood Street and Fifth Street, later renamed Harvard Street.


This was the first permanent building erected as a library and the second library location for the City of Glendale, CA . The first library space had been a retrofitted pool hall at the corner of 3rd Street and E Street, what became Wilson and Everett Streets, in 1906. The Tuesday Afternoon Club, a local women's group, obtained the cash to rent the space; they also arranged for a A state traveling library ... to bring a rotating selection of books and gathered the original 70 volumes in the library's collection." (See Carnegie Libraries of California, "Glendale, Los Angeles County," accessed 11/03/2017.) The new Carnegie Library received funding from the New York-based Carnegie Corporation, a great public library benefactor active between 1900 and 1920. It opened in 1914, received two addtions--one in 1924 and the other in 1942--and was used until 1973.

Building History

The Carnegie Corporation of New York offered $12,500 to the City of Glendale for the construction of a new city library in 1911. Plans for the building were submitted by Los Angeles architect Paul V. Tuttle to the Carnegie Corporation in 04/1913. The Los Angeles Times wrote: "Paul V. Tuttle of this city is drawing plans for the new Carnegie library, which will cost $12,500. These plans will be sent to Carnegie for approval and upon their return to Glendale work will be started." (See "Glendale Advancing," Los Angeles Times, 04/06/1913, part VI, p. 1.) Two months later, the Carnegie Corporation had approved the plans as the Los Angeles Times again reported: "Plans for the proposed $20,000 Carnegie Library for this place have been completed by Paul C. Tuttle [sic] of Los Angeles and have been approved by the Library Board. A site on Fifth street has been chosen for the building and as soon as the plans have been passed by Mr. Carnegie and the money for the erection of the building obtained, the actual construction work will be started." (See "Sent to Carnegie," Los Angeles Times, 06/15/1913, pt. IV, p. 14.) Construction took place during later 1913 and 1914, culminating in a dedication on 11/13/1914.

Tuttle worked with the building contractor T.H. Addison to complete this Carnegie Library. The Los Angeles Times wrote in 1913: "T.H. Addison, a local contractor, has been awarded the constract for the construction of the Carnegie library at this place, such contract price being $10,800. It is understood that the building will be located on Fifth street, close to the present High School, and that work will be started at once. In addition to this contract price, the following work will be done on the building: Finance, $300; painting $400; architect's fee, $600; linoleum for floors, $330; bringing the total up to $12,430. The appropriation made by Carnegie was $12,500. The city has agrees to spend $1250 annually for the upkeep of the building." (See "Glendale Growth," Los Angeles Times, 11/15/1913, p. I10.)

Building Notes

Architect Tuttle designed the front elevation of the Glendale Carnegeie to have a tri-partite composition, with a central entrance bay surrounded on either side by bays lit by three arched, double-hung windows. The building, like most Carnegie libraries, was elevated on high foundations, enabling a basement story to be daylit amply and to be used for staff meeting spaces as well as those that could be reserved for community functions. The building had an emphatic belt course separating the basement from first floor, an entablature above the first floor, and a parapet marking its flat roof. A plaque stood at the parapet line above the main entrance. Entry was gained through paired, wooden front doors. The entrance was trabeated with an arched fanlight above the doorway's entablature. On either side of the front doors were two columns placed in antis, each column topped by Doric capitals.


Architects Lindley and Selkirk designed an addition to the original Tuttle design by 04/1924. (See Glendale Library Notice, Southwest Builder and Contractor, 04/04/1924, p. 54.) A $47,000 bond issue was on the ballot for the addition in June 1924. (See Glendale Library Bond Issue," Southwest Builder and Contractor, 06/20/1924, p. 54.)

Two wings were also added in 1940-1942, one to accommodate a children's library, known as the "Hans Christian Andersen Room," the other housing a library reader's service department. (See City of Glendale, Public Library, "Library History," accessed 03/29/2018.)

PCAD id: 5447