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Carnegie Town Hall

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Sioux Falls Carnegie Library; Sioux Falls Public Library
1903, Joseph Schwarz. 235 W. 10th St.
  • (Photograph by Michelle Dennis)
  • (Photograph by Michelle Dennis)

Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s largest city, was the first in the state to secure funds for a Carnegie library. The city received a $25,000 grant in 1901 and hired local architect Joseph Schwarz to design the library, which opened in 1903. Built of purple Sioux quartzite cut from a nearby quarry, the one-story structure sits on a raised basement. Its shape consists of a rectangular volume with a semicircular apse at the rear, which served as the reading room. The rough-cut stone, recessed window openings, and overall massing are Richardsonian Romanesque, but the pedimented entrance supported by pilasters and the dentiled cornice reflect the Classical Revival style adopted in so many of the Carnegie library designs.

The building was used as the library until 1972. It was then home to the Civic Fine Arts Association until 1999. In 2001 the City of Sioux Falls rehabilitated the structure for use as the Carnegie Town Hall, which houses the Sioux Falls City Council Chambers, the City Clerk’s Office, and the Community Development Office.


Putz, Paul, “Sioux Falls Public Library,” Minnehaha County, South Dakota. National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, 1973. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

Richards, Susan L. “The Building of Carnegie Libraries in South Dakota.” South Dakota History 20, no. 1 (1990) 1-16.

Writing Credits

Michelle L. Dennis



  • 1903

  • 2001


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Michelle L. Dennis, "Carnegie Town Hall", [Sioux Falls, South Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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