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Council to consider new purchase agreement for Carnegie Library

New agreement sets closing date in September.

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A customer stops by the seasonal Red Mug Coffeehouse outside the Carnegie Library at 1204 Hammond Ave. on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.
Maria Lockwood / File / Superior Telegram
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SUPERIOR — The Carnegie Library at 1204 Hammond Ave. will be back before the city council Tuesday, July 19, with a new purchase agreement up for consideration.

Under the new agreement, the total cost to purchase the historic building remains the same — $175,000 — but now officials have until Sept. 23 to close the deal.

The council took no action on a similar agreement July 5 because the agreed upon closing date for the sale had already passed.

Andy Osterlund, owner of The Library Superior LLC, envisioned a co-working and business incubator in the former main branch library, but was not successful in securing private funding for the renovation.

Preserving the Carnegie Library is among the top priorities of the city’s historic preservation committee. Funds allocated for historic preservation through the American Rescue Plan Act would be used to purchase the building.

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Mayor Jim Paine has said stabilizing the building for future development is the city’s priority.

The library served the city for 90 years. It was the first of 63 libraries built in Wisconsin with funding from industrialist Andrew Carnegie and opened in 1902. It has been vacant since 1992 when the Superior Public Library moved to its current location on Tower Avenue.

The council will consider purchasing the building at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, in the Government Center boardroom.

Shelley Nelson is a reporter with the Duluth Media Group since 1997, and has covered Superior and Douglas County communities and government for the Duluth News Tribune from 1999 to 2006, and the Superior Telegram since 2006. Contact her at 715-395-5022 or snelson@superiortelegram.com.
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