Reconstruction of the Carnegie Building is planned to begin this winter in order to restore the building to a library and student space.
First opened for use in September of 1905, Carnegie was originally designed by the New York City architectural firm Ackerman and Peabody as a library able to accommodate 150,000 volumes. As the University’s student population increased, so did its need for library resources, and by 1951 the Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library was built and opened.
Since this time, Carnegie has been remodeled as a home to offices, botany classrooms, and the geology department. The building was almost demolished in 1998 if 16 students had not created a petition and fought for its historical significance. In 2003 the building became home to the history department, only to have this once again changed due to the construction of Academic West.
Associate Vice President of Facilities Dennis Hawley said that the idea of restoring Carnegie to its original library space has been considered for some time. With the opening of Academic West and the approval of the Board of Trustees, work will begin immediately.
The University is using various historical documents to make the restoration as accurate as possible.
“Archival photographs and original building plans are being used to plan the restoration. The reading room will be open for use by students for study, programs, and special events. The remaining portion of the building will be reconfigured into suites and offices for student-centered academic related programs,” Hawley said.
Carnegie is expected to reopen by December of 2015.
“I think it’s great that they’re restoring Carnegie. It’s a great way to keep our campus authentic and preserve our unique history,” Katie Chambers ’17 said.