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In March 1916 the community of Reinbeck in southern Grundy County received a modest grant of $6,000 from the Carnegie Corporation to construct a new public library building. A site was obtained, additional funds were acquired, and the community engaged the Waterloo architect Howard B. Burr to design the building. In the following year the building was completed and open to the public. The scheme that the architect provided was modestly in the Prairie style: a raised basement supporting a single-story volume covered by a broadly overhanging hipped roof. Burr treated the main floor almost as a park or garden pavilion, similar in many ways to park pavilions then being designed in and around Chicago and elsewhere in the Midwest. All of the windows on the main floor are wide-arched units emphasized by slightly projecting brick voussoirs. The entrance too is arched, and a Maher-like arched hood projects over the glass lunette and door below. The wall surfaces were treated in the usual fashion of a Prairie building: brick below brought up to the main floor window sills and then stucco above. The Reinbeck Carnegie Public Library building is situated at 201 Blackhawk Street. Burr also designed a nearby Prairie-style house at 302 Blackhawk. This was built for George B. Saul in 1919.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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