They were an historic landmark in many of our communities across the region. But, over the years many have fallen to the wrecking ball.
In Bemidji,a private group is fighting to save theirs.
Around the turn of the 19th century, steel baron and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie built over 16-hundred libraries across the Country.
The problem with Bemidji's is that over the years the highway has widened and it's now at the library's front steps.
John Chattin, City Manager: "From a safety perspective the front entrance, the front steps to the library are about 4-feet from the curb in a 35 mile per hour zone… not the safest place you can have."
The Bemidji City Council has reconsidered it's early decision to demolish it. The Committee to Save the Library has now been given 16-months to raise 1.6 million dollars to move it back 10-feet away from the road and remodel it.
The City would kick in 100-thousand dollars.
Lew Crenshaw, "Save the Library": "But in a city of our size to raise over a million and a half dollars for this one building…. That's asking a lot. So, year we're wary. But, I don't see any choice but to press on."
In many communities, their Carnegie Library is one of the few remaining historic buildings. This one has become Bemidji's Art Center. But keeping it has come down to a question of money and for the most part, a private group's ability to raise it.
If you'd like to learn more about the campaign to save that library and how to help… here's the link: http://www.savethecarnegie.org
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