Elmira Carnegie Library

Elmira Carnegie Library Front View

Date grant received: March 18, 1911

Amount of grant received from the Carnegie Foundation: $7,000

Date library opened: December 26, 1913

Architect: W.A. Mahoney

The first library in Elmira originated as the Germania Society. It's collection was then transferred to the Mechanics' Institiute in 1888. The Mechanics' Institute became the Elmira Public Library on September 6, 1895. In the preceding years the collection was moved from one location to another and suffered from lack of funds. Consequently, on January 17, 1905 the village to assumed the responsibility for the library.

By 1910, the library outgrew the reading rooms it inhabited and the board decided to apply for a grant from the Carnegie Foundation. At the time the population of Elmira was only 1060. Nonetheless, the grant was given. W.H. Mahoney drew up the plans which were submitted in September 1912 and by December 26, 1913 the library building was complete.

On May 1915 a fire severly destroyed part of the new building and it's contents. However, with insurance monies the building was reparied. As the library and the surrounding community grew, plans for an addition and renovation were put in place 1976. On April 19, 1978 the newly expanded library was opened. Other unique additions to the library include the extensive gardens surrounding the building.

Visit the Elmira Branch of the Waterloo Regional Library website for a more detailed account of the library's history.

Elmira Carnegie Library view of the front door with Carnegie written aboveElmira Carnegie Library view of gardens at frontElmira Carnegie Library view of the front door from the side

Back to top | c2011 Gayle Bushell | Last Updated August 1, 2011