Wisconsin Library Heritage Center

The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center is a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation promoting understanding and appreciation of the history of libraries and librarianship in Wisconsin.

Claude and Starck Libraries

Posted by Larry T. Nix
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on Sunday, October 26, 2008 in Library buildings

Library history buffs and those interested in architecture won't want to miss a program at the WLA Conference in Middleton on the Wisconsin Carnegie libraries designed by the architectural firm of Claude & Stark.  The program is entitled "The Shared Ideal: The Carnegie Libraries of Claude & Starck" and will take place in the La Crosse Room of the Marriott on Thursday, November 6 from 4:00 to 5:15.  The presenter will be Sheridan A. Glen, Board Member, Madison Center for Creative and Cultural Arts. The description of the program in the WLA Program reads as follows:

"The Madison architectural firm of Claude & Starck received commissions for 25 of 63 Carnegie libraries built in Wisconsin. This slide show, illustrated by postcards, will show the different styles—Classical, Sullivanesque, Prairie, Original, English Gothic, and Swiss Chalet—that Claude and Starck developed for Wisconsin libraries. The legacy of their beautiful libraries seems particularly meaningful, given the importance these libraries were to the development of small town America."

According to Kristin Visser in Frank Loyd Wright & the Prairie School in Wisconsin, the architectural partnership of Louis Claude and Edward Starck designed hundreds of buildings in Madison and the Midwest including over 40 library buildings.

The Columbus Public Library which was dedicated on November 1, 1912 was one of those library buildings.  According to Visser, "The Columbus library is unique among Claude and Starck designs in that it combines elembents of Prairie sbyle with English cottage decorative features."

The Columbus Public Library which is shown on the postcard below is on the Wisconsin Library Heritage Trail.





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