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Bozeman Carnegie Library facts for kids

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Bozeman Carnegie Library
Bozeman Carnegie Library in 2011
Bozeman Carnegie Library is located in Montana
Bozeman Carnegie Library
Location in Montana
Bozeman Carnegie Library is located in the United States
Bozeman Carnegie Library
Location in the United States
Location 35 N. Bozeman Ave., Bozeman, Montana
Area 0.6 acres (0.24 ha)
Built 1903–1904
Architect Charles S. Haire
Architectural style Classical Revival
NRHP reference No. 79001402
Added to NRHP February 2, 1979

The Bozeman Carnegie Library in Bozeman, Montana was built in 1903–1904 with funding from Andrew Carnegie. City librarian Bell Chrisman led the effort to convince the city to seek Carnegie funds. It is one of 17 libraries in Montana and 1,679 in the United States funded by Carnegie. It was built on a Greek Cross plan in Classical Revival style, with Roman Doric columns supporting a triangular pediment at its entrance. The library was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 2, 1979. Today, the building houses the law offices of Cok Kinzler, PLLP.


By 1900, the small libraries that had served Bozeman since 1872 were inadequate. Local librarian Bell Chrisman wrote directly to Andrew Carnegie, explaining the need for a new library. Carnegie donated $15,000, and the city of Bozeman pledged annual support and provided land, which at the time happened to be across the street from Chinatown.

The building was designed by Charles S. Haire, an architect from Helena, Montana, and served as a library until 1980 when a new library was completed. The building then housed city offices. By the mid-1990s, the building was in a serious state of disrepair. In 1998, Michael Wheat, now a member of the Montana Supreme Court, and his law partner, Michael Cok, purchased the building for their law offices and undertook extensive renovations which were completed in 1999. Today, the building is often opened for public events, including Historic Preservation Week.

According to local preservationist B. Derek Strahn, several other buildings in Bozeman's historic section were renovated in the 1990s and early 2000s, but "few have had as great an impact as the restoration and rehabilitation of Bozeman's cherished Carnegie Library."

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