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Tucson Public Library
Tucson, Arizona


Description: Tucson Public Library
Other Names: Carnegie Public Library, Children Museum
Address: 200 South Sixth Avenue, Tucson, Pima County, Arizona
Type: governmental: public library
Original Client: City of Tucson
Historic Inventory:
Date: 1900-1901, completed June 1901
Condition: extant, except for stack wing to the rear, the central dome, some of the ornament, and the sculpture in the tympanum

Architect or Firm: Henry C. Trost
Contractors: Doe & Parsons (George H. Doe and C. D. Parsons)
Dimensions and Orientation: a single-story rectangular block, which faces East, and which originally had a semicircular stack room to the West
Budget/Cost: Andrew Carnegie donated $25,000; $20,350 was the amount of the winning bid submitted by Doe & Parsons.

Foundation: stone
Wall Materials: stone of reddish buff tint, buff brick, terra cotta and staff (the stone was quarried three miles west of Tucson)
Roofing Materials: original roof covered with tin
Other Materials Used: projecting cornices constructed of galvanized iron
Remodeling and Additions: additions made in 1938 and 1961; the dome collapsed in a fire of 1941 was replaced by a flat roof; pediment tableau removed

Present Owner: City of Tucson
Location of Drawings: none known to exist
Location of Documentary Photographs: El Paso Public Library: Ponsford 329, 330; collection of the authors: postcard, with postmark date of 1913, showing color photographic perspective view, documenting the buff colors of the bricks, the Ionic columns, the ornament, and the sculpture

Bibliography: (1) Trost & Trost, Architects (El Paso: Trost & Trost, 1907), page 19, exterior photograph
(2) Lloyd C. Engelbrecht, Henry Trost: the Prairie School in the Southwest, The Prairie School Review, volume VI, number 4 (Fourth  Quarter, 1969), page 13, discussed, documented with bibliographic notes, and illustrated with an exterior photograph
(3) Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht, Henry C. Trost: Architect of the Southwest (El Paso: El Paso Public Library Association, 1981), pages 28 and 29, discussed and illustrated with an exterior photograph; page 124, Bibliographic notes
(4) Lloyd C. Engelbrecht, Trost in Tucson, Triglyph; a Journal of Architecture and Environmental Design [published by Arizona State University], number 2 (Spring, 1985), pages 25 and 26, description, photographic perspective view by Marcus Whiffen
(5) Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, March 17, 1901, page [4], report on progress of construction
(6) Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, June 7, 1901 page [4], report on a request by contractors that Library Commission members make an inspection
(7) Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, June 26, 1901: On Saturday [i. e., June 29] the Carnegie Library Commission will inspect the new $25,000 building when they will pass judgment on the work of the contractors.
(8) Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, July 13, 1901, page [4], report on closing of the old library, and transfer of books from the old library to the new building
(9) Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, July 27, 1901, page [4], reference to ceremony marking the opening to take place Monday [i.e., July 29]
(10) Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, August 6, 1901, page [4], report on completion of the building over a month ago and $25,000 being given to Tucson by Andrew Carnegie
(11) Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, November 24, 1901, page [4]: Next Saturday [i.e., November 30] has been fixed as the day when the ceremonies attending the delivery of the Carnegie library building will be celebrated.
(12) Weekly Journal-Miner (Prescott, Arizona) May 29, 1901 page 4 a mention of the library

Remarks: (1) The contract between Doe & Parsons and the City of Tucson, dated August 29, 1900, is in the Library of the Arizona Historical Society, Tucson.
(2) The sculpture in the tympanum was by Gustave Vierold, but it has been removed.
(3) The commission was awarded to Henry Trost on June 8, 1900, as a result of a competition. The other competitors were Robert Rust and Louis Wenkle of Tucson; Geo. L. Grosvenor, Millard & Son, and Creighton & Schensten, all of Phoenix; and [first name?] Jennings – New York.
(4) Plans have not been located. Nevertheless, from vintage photographs it is evident that plan of the Tucson Public Library resembled those of two multi story libraries of the era: the Ryerson Public Library, Grand Rapids, Michigan (Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, architects, opened 1904), which had a rectangular two story stack wing at the rear; and the Free Public Library, Schenectady, New York (Penn Varney, architect, opened 1903), which had a semicircular two story wing at the rear, with the lower floor devoted to stacks. See: Abigail A. Van Slyck, The Utmost Amount of Effectiv [sic] Accomodation: Andrew Carnegie and the Reform of the American Library, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, volume L, number 4 (December, 1991), pages 359-383 (and especially pages 374 and 375).
(5) The cornerstone of native blue marble was placed on November 11,1900

Prepared for the El Paso Public Library by Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1992.