Springfield: Springfield City Library

The Springfield City Library began prior to 1796 as the Springfield Library Company, an exclusive private library eventually recognized as public in 1885. When the Springfield Library Association outgrew the red-brick Gothic style library built in 1863, it was moved back 200 feet, and a grand, new library was planned, funded with $260,000 by Andrew Carnegie for a central library and three branches. Public excitement about the project generated many private donations, prompting Carnegie to increase his underwriting twice. The Renaissance Revival building, made of pink granite and white marble, opened in 1912. Inside, magnificent details that have been preserved and restored include a grand rotunda, glass dome, elaborate friezes and columns, and a bronze bust of benefactor Andrew Carnegie. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Central Library is complemented by a number of branches including Brightwood, East Forest Park, East Springfield, Forest Park, Indian Orchard, Library Express at Pine Point, Mason Square, and Sixteen Acres. SCL’s stated mission is to “celebrate community, culture and history, and promote success for Springfield residents in education, work and life.” For more information, visit http://www.springfieldlibrary.org/library/.