City officials take tour of historic Carnegie libraryA historical landmark is in need of renovation help in Superior as city officials toured the Carnegie library on Hammond Avenue on Thursday.
By: By Tony Potter/Wisconsin Public Radio , Superior Telegram
A historical landmark is in need of renovation help in Superior as city officials toured the Carnegie library on Hammond Avenue on Thursday.
Superior’s mayor, city councilors and city staff got an inside look at the 110-year-old building. Friends of the Carnegie Library director Linda Kanellius said they’d like some sort of unspecified help from the city. She says the friends came together four years ago when the building was threatened.
City officials had planned to order the building razed if repairs were not made.
“Many individuals put money together so that the building could be purchased, Kanellius said. “The goal was real simple, to save the building from being demolished and to maintain it, preserve it, so that in the future a developer could refurbish it and develop it further.”
She says her group is always open to new ideas for the building.
“The economics of the state and country have not been conducive to marketing the building,” she said. “We hope that changes soon, but our task has been to make sure the grounds are taken care of; the building is taken care of under our stewardship. There is a lot of interest, folks stop in, they take a look at the library. There are citizens that remember fondly coming here and spending a lot of time in this library.”
Kanellius thinks it’s important to preserve the building.
“It has significance historically. As a city, it is a jewel,” she said. “The building is one of the most stately-looking buildings that was conducted at that time period. We tend to be a society that’s been a throw-away society and yet a building like this reflects our heritage, our roots, our memories.”
The building was one of the first Carnegie libraries built in the state back in 1901 and one of two built in Superior.
The cost to renovate the building depends on the future development criteria. It has some roofing needs but has a good solid wall structure and more than 14,000 square feet of area.
Mayor Bruce Hagen says he supports preserving the building and may come up with a plan in the coming months.
The Friends of the Carnegie Library Superior meet at 6 p.m. July 31 at the Carnegie Library.
The Superior Telegram contributed to this report.