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12 impressive Carnegie libraries still in use today

By: Angela Nelson on Sept. 29, 2016, 6:37 a.m.
Braddock Carnegie Library in Pennsylvania was the first Carnegie library in the United States.

Photo: Lee Paxton/Wikimedia Commons

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Braddock Carnegie Library in Pennsylvania

Built in 1888, the Braddock Carnegie Library in Pennsylvania was the first Carnegie library constructed in the United States. Architect William Halsey Wood designed the building with a medieval style using a grant of $357,782 from Carnegie for its construction. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places and became a National Historic Landmark in 2012.

The original building housed various recreational facilities, including billiard tables on the first floor and a bathhouse in the basement, according to the library website.An 1893 addition doubled the size of the building to include a music hall, gymnasium, swimming pool and two-lane bowling alley. More recently, the roof was restored to its original terracotta appearance in 1998, and a new children's library opened in 2012 on the second floor.