Carnegie Library: Guthrie, OK

Hey friend! Welcome back to another post! Today, we’re talking about the Carnegie Library in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Let’s get started!

*All photos in this post were taken by myself at the Carnegie Library in Guthrie, Oklahoma unless otherwise noted in the image captions.

Carnegie Library History

Inside the Library

The Carnegie Library in Guthrie was the second Carnegie Library built in Oklahoma in 1902. J.H. Bennett designed the library in the Second Renaissance Revival Style. The building has 2 stories with a beautiful domed roof. Much of the original tile, wood, and furnishings have been preserved and are still in the building today! Take a look at some of the photos I took on the inside! (There was a wedding scheduled the next day so that is why there are so many decorations.)

Significant Events in History at the Carnegie Library in Guthrie, Oklahoma

The Carnegie Library in Guthrie is significant to Oklahoma history. Oklahoma’s last territorial governor, Frank Frantz was inaugurated at the Carnegie Library in 1906. The following year on November 16, 1907, Charles N. Haskell was sworn in as the first governor of Oklahoma. During the inauguration, a symbolic wedding was held between “Mr. Oklahoma Territory and Miss Indian Territory to symbolize the wedding of the two territories into one state” (Oklahoma Territorial Museum Website). The statue pictured to the right depicts the ceremony.

Who was Andrew Carnegie?

You might be wondering why the name ‘Carnegie’ is significant and why he was important? Well, Andrew Carnegie was a very wealthy steel magnate in the late 19th century. His company was called, “Carnegie Steel.” He would later sell out one of his companies to J.P. Morgan who would found the U.S. Steel Corporation.

Carnegie donated much of his wealth to philanthropic projects. For example, he donated funds to build 2,811 libraries around the world – 25 of which were located in Oklahoma!

Carnegie Libraries in Oklahoma

Here is a list of all Carnegie libraries in Oklahoma! Click on the photo to see how much each library’s grant amounted to and when it was given. I think I might need to go see some more of these buildings! Stay tuned… 🙂

Saving the Carnegie Library

National Register of Historic Places

Today, the Carnegie Library in Guthrie is the oldest Carnegie Library still standing in Oklahoma and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

A New Museum

The Carnegie Library was the City of Guthrie’s public library until 1972. Then they decided they wanted to tear it down and build a bigger library. The building was saved by Fred Pfeiffer because he promised to build a museum next door if the city wouldn’t tear the library down. Thankfully, the city agreed to this plan. Today, the Oklahoma Territorial Museum and Carnegie Library are connected and you can walk through the building during museum hours. 

Concluding Thoughts

The Carnegie Library and Oklahoma Territorial Museum are definitely worth a visit the next time you’re in Guthrie, Oklahoma. The staff was kind and very helpful! There is so much Oklahoma history in this museum!

Happy Traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂

Visit

406 East Oklahoma Avenue

Guthrie, Oklahoma 73044

Sources

Oklahoma Territorial Museum and Carnegie Library – Website

Portraits

“Andrew Carnegie,” c. 1900, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Open Access.

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