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A re-assessment of the design of Carnegie public library buildings with a view to their future use: the case of Evanston Public Library, Illinois (1908)

Black, Alistair and Prizeman, Oriel 2021. A re-assessment of the design of Carnegie public library buildings with a view to their future use: the case of Evanston Public Library, Illinois (1908). IFLA Journal 47 (4) , pp. 444-452. 10.1177/03400352211000383

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Abstract

In their seminal book The American Public Library Building (1941), Joseph Wheeler (Director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, 1926-45) and Alfred Githens (architect of the monumental, Art Deco Brooklyn Public Library, 1941) told the story of the function and evolution of the modern library building. Subsidized by the Carnegie Corporation, which meant it could be sold for just four dollars, a relatively low price for such a richly illustrated book, their book not surprisingly included discussion of the Carnegie library building type. Wheeler and Githens described turn-of-the-twentieth-century library architecture, the years of the Carnegie library building programme, as an ‘era of pretentious display’ (7), a view complemented by their assertion that ‘Beauty through proportion and colour is to be preferred to beauty through elaborate ornament’ (84). At the same time, however, they also gave credit to the overall progressive influence of the programme which, in their opinion, especially in its later phase, ‘decried elaboration’ (9).

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F001 United States local history
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z719 Libraries (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Carnegie Libraries
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
ISSN: 0340-0352
Funders: AHRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 February 2021
Date of Acceptance: 9 February 2021
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 16:38
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/138453

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