The Hanford Carnegie Library
The idea for a Hanford Library was formed in 1890 when a Free Reading Room Association was organized by a handful of ladies in the community of Hanford. In rented quarters on 7th Street, the association collected donations, gave concerts, and bazaars to maintain the Reading Room.
The Library continued to expand in rented buildings and in 1902 an application for funds with which to build a library was made to Andrew Carnegie. The former Scottish immigrant who had become a famed industrialist, was showing his gratitude for the millions he had made in this country by funding libraries throughout the United States. The initial request was for $15,000, Andrew Carnegie offered $10,000. The Board argued that this would be insufficient and a compromise was reached at $12,500. The Cornerstone was laid August 12, 1905.
Most libraries built with Andrew Carnegie money in the $10,000 range were of wood frame construction and have subsequently burned. The Hanford Project, having the additional $2,500 was able to build with concrete blocks and pressed meta, imitating clay tiles, covereing the cross gabled roof. These upgraded features gave it more durability. The buildings Romanesque architecture is said to be the best example, outside of Stanford University, in California. The building served as Hanford's Public Library until 1968 when a new building was constructed on 9th and Douty. The old Carnegie Library was used for storage.
In April 1971, Dan Humason and some concerned citizens discovered that the City Council was about to demolish the building to make a parking lot. Petitions were presented to the City Council to save the building for use as a historical museum. With thousands in donated money for restoration and 250,000 hours in donated volunteer labor, the Carnegie Museum was opened on May 11, 1975. The property has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of Interior.
We live in an incredible time...
The world is changing faster than ever and the Director and Members of the Hanford Carnegie Museum and Tourist Information Center are keenly aware of change.
In 2014 we embarked on, what we beleived, was a new and exciting direction for the "Hanford Carnegie". It's simply called...
Through this direction we are striving to add new exhibits, programs and events to our calendar. We have updated our Amelia Earhart and Mary Packwood Exhibit, Hanford High School Display and are working on our Old West Display.
We will feature exhibits on our diverse culture, the people, and the impact made on our history.
In addition, we want the community to know people in Kings County who have special interests, collections and hobbies and would like to share their interests and collections in our mini exhibits at "The Carnegie Museum". By Exploring their interests, you and others may Discover like interests.
With this new direction, our members want to demonstrate their commitment for continued lifelong learning, and cultural experiences, along with the preservation of our history and a sense of community with "Hanford and Kings County families, residents, students and visitors who pass through the museum doors each year.
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Hanford Carnegie Museum
and Tourist Information Center