Saturday, October 29, 2016

North Branch Library

Today I stumbled across an architectural gem in North Minneapolis. Of course, I was first drawn to it by the lettering over the door:

Just south of Broadway on Emerson North, the red brick former library was a surprise to me:

The Wikipedia tells me it's been closed as a library since 1977, when it was also put on the National Register of Historic Places. It was designed in 1893 and is the oldest library building in the Twin Cities. It's thought to have been the first branch library in the U.S. with open shelves for people to browse without help from a librarian.

I was glad to learn it's currently owned by a nonprofit organization called EMERGE Community Development. They use it as a Career and Technology Center, which isn't far afield from the kind of use many urban libraries are put to these days.


The second photo is by McGhiever from the Wikimedia Commons.

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