Work is now in the planning stage for the much-anticipated remodeling of a historic two-story library in Manitou Springs in central Colorado.
Members of the Manitou Springs City Council have approved issuing a Request for Proposals for engineering and design work on the 110 year-old structure.
One of more than two dozen Colorado libraries built with funding from the legendary industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, the downtown Manitou Springs Carnegie Library was opened in early 1911.
Officials with the larger Pikes Peak Library District have said that the library, located at 701 Manitou Avenue, has long been in need of an upgrade that will also make the structure compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The city has secured around $300,000 for a project that is expected to take around three years to complete, but will in the months to come be seeking additional funding from other sources.
A pathfinder in the development of the country’s steel industry, Carnegie donated at least $350 million in his lifetime to various civic endeavors, including the construction of some 3,000 public libraries.
Upon Carnegie’s instructions, those libraries were designed to be free and open to the public.
Regarded as architectural wonders, more than 1,700 Carnegie libraries are still in existence, including four in Arizona, twenty-five in Colorado, and three in New Mexico.
By Garry Boulard
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