Historic Markers Across Florida

The Carnegie Library

Marker ID:  
Location: 15th St W in Bradenton, FL
County: Manatee
Coordinates: N 27° 29.781    W 082° 34.544
  27.49635    -82.57573333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMPZJZ


(Side 1)
This Carnegie Library was built in 1918 with funds from the Carnegie Corporation. It is one of the 1,946 Carnegie Libraries built in the United States under the direction of Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish immigrant who rose from millhand to steel magnate.

First efforts to obtain funds from the Carnegie Corporation for the construction of a public library in Bradenton began about 1906 but were unsuccessful. Again in 1914, the need for a larger library building became serious and in May, 1915, the Carnegie Corporation was again approached for a grant. After almost three years of negotiations, the Carnegie Corporation granted $10,000 for the construction of the original part of the building. The City of Bradenton agreed to provide property and the annual operating expenses. On October 12, 1918, the building was dedicated and opened to the public.

The building was constructed of buff colored brick, rock granite and native stone. Its classical design, which includes doric columns, is in the style typical of Carnegie Libraries.

(Side 2)
For 60 years, the building served as Bradenton's main library. In 1956-57, an addition was constructed on the 14th Street side of the building, increasing the overall square footage by one third. In April 1978, the building was vacated on the completion of the new central library building located on Barcarotta Boulevard.
The building now houses the Historical Records Library, the first county archival library of its kind in the State of Florida. The Historical Records Library was created in 1978 in an effort to preserve and house original records of Manatee County which date back to the county's formation in 1855. The building was restored with the use of funds from the Clerk of the Circuit Court and a $25,000 grant from the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners. The property is still owned by the City Of Bradenton, but is leased back to the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Manatee County Historical Commission
In Co-operation with the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners