Historic Markers Across Florida

Veterans Memorial Library

Marker ID: FLHM F-903
Location: 1012 Massachusetts Ave, St. Cloud, FL
County: Osceola
Coordinates: N 28° 14.902    W 081° 17.088
  28.24836666    -81.2848
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMVEKT


Veterans Memorial Librarye

Side 1
The Ladies Improvement Club of St. Cloud organized in 1910 for the betterment of the community through civic projects and the advocacy of literacy. The club established a small area in the Sugar Belt Railway depot for books and magazines for public use. As the community grew, the club relocated the collection to a small building on Pennsylvania Avenue, then later to the second floor of city hall on Florida Avenue and 10th Street. The library became an important focus of the club and community. In 1915, club president Mary George worked with Judge W.G. Peckham to secure lots on Massachusetts Avenue for the construction of a new library building. Within a year, the club raised $700 to pay for the lots. Contributions from Union Army veterans in the Grand Army of the Republic helped fund construction of the library in 1922. It was designed by Orlando architects Ida Anna Ryan, the first woman to earn a master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Isabel Roberts, who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright. Ryan and Roberts insisted on a motto. Thomas Carlyle's "The true university is a collection of books" was selected.

Side 2
This Grecian style building, constructed by P.E. Morgan, was composed of hollow clay tile with stained stucco exterior finish. The dedication of the Veterans Memorial Library in February 1923 was presided over by the president of the Ladies Improvement Club. Sixty members of the Grand Army of the Republic and forty members its auxiliary, the Woman's Relief Corps, marched to the library for Flag-raising ceremonies. The Ladies Improvement Club, renamed the Woman's Club of St. Cloud in 1941, maintained and operated the library until it became part of the Osceola County library system in 1968. The building served as the city's library for over 50 years until the library moved in 1974. Thereafter it was used re-sale shop for the American Red Cross and other civic groups until 2000. The City of St. Cloud purchased the building n 2001 and began renovations to established the museum opened in February 2008 and houses the records and artifacts of St. Cloud's history.

F-903 St. Cloud Main Street,
City of St. Cloud,
Osceola County Economic Development,
and the Florida Department of State