Rockport Carnegie Library // 1904

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was a Socttish-American industrialist and philanthropist who gave an estimated $65 billion dollars (estimated by inflation to 2019) to various charities and an international library building program. Carnegie funded the construction and furnishing of over 3,000 libraries around the world, many located in the United States, to provide free public libraries to the greatest number of people he could.

Rockport, Massachusetts was one of the recipients of a Carnegie Library. The town was gifted $10,000 in 1903, and the library at the intersection of Jewett and Cleaves Streets opened to the public in 1906. The Classical Revival building was designed with locally quarried granite and is one of the most stunning I have seen. The library was in operation until it outgrew its space in 1993, and the town relocated the library into the old Tarr School. The town then sold the property and it was eventually converted into a private residence. The building was listed for sale in 2019 for just under $3,000,000, way over the original $10,000 cost to build and furnish it over 100 years prior.

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