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Carnegie Public Library

202 North Animas Street


If you wanted to go to the library in 1882 in Trinidad. you would have had to visit a room in the John Block on Main Street. It wasn't until 1901 that it was decided to build a permanent building. Andrew Carnegie The library board applied for and received a $15,000 donation from Andrew Carnegie to build a library.  Andrew Carnegie was a prominent industrialist and railroad benefactor. He was also instrumental in the building of 1,679 public library buildings in 1,412 communities in the US. Thirty-one libraries were built in Colorado. 

In 1903, a building site was selected as well as an architect. John G. Haskell was a prominent architect from Topeka, Kansas. He designed the Neoclassical library building.

In October of 1903, a contract was signed with a local firm, Crouch & Smith, to build the library. Sandstone was supplied by the local James Radford Quarry.  The stone mason doing this amazing work was William McDonald, who also built the local Presbyterian church in 1902.

Carnegie Library  in 1904The library was scheduled to open in September 1904. However, a freak flood occurred and did considerable damage to the area. Luckily the library's 22 foot foundation saved the building and only the front steps were replaced. The library opened in October 1904.

The Neoclassical design of the library relies heavily on the Greek architectural order, and to a lesser extent the Roman. The Post Office building on Main Street is another example of this Neoclassical design. Stained glass windowThese buildings are part of the Classical Revival styling seen throughout Trinidad. Although the library was renovated in 1995 to add the Historical Collection Room, additional workspace, and an elevator, it has remained relatively unchanged. The original bookshelves are still in place.

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