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Free Public Library (Carnegie Library)

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1912, George Helmuth; later additions. 194 Spring St.
  • (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, A Division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)

This library owes almost as much to the citizens of Eureka Springs as it does to philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. When the City applied for funding from the Carnegie foundation to build a library, businessman and member of the Eureka Springs Improvement Company (ESIC) Richard Kerens donated the land. He also arranged for St. Louis architect Helmuth, whom he had earlier commissioned for a memorial chapel (see CR13) for his mother, to design the library. Local limestone was chosen for the building, which is lightly rusticated. A double flight of stairs leads up from the street to the building’s principal floor. The stairs form part of the building’s tall foundation and retaining wall against the steep hillside site. As is typical of many Carnegie-funded libraries, the building is symmetrical and features classical details, which here include Tuscan columns in antis flanking the entrance. A low-pitched hipped roof of red clay tile covers the library. Modest interior alterations include a south mezzanine in 1977 and a north mezzanine in 1989. An annex for a children’s library two doors down was added in 2004. Four Arkansas cities received Carnegie libraries, but only this and the one in Morrilton (CN4) still operate as libraries.

Writing Credits

Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors


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Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors, "Free Public Library (Carnegie Library)", [Eureka Springs, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 69-70.

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