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.

Madison's Central Libraries

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
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on Saturday, September 21, 2013 in Public libraries

The Madison Public Library's new central library was dedicated today. The new central library is a substantial remake of the central library building which was built in 1965. For all practical purposes it is a new building. The first separate library building for the City of Madison was a building built with assistance from Andrew Carnegie.  That building which was located at 206 N. Carroll Street opened to the public on February 23, 1906. One of the most unusual aspects of the building was that the Library School of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission (the predecessor of the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies) was housed on its second floor.  The Carnegie building was razed after the completion of the 1965 building to make way for a parking lot. The 1965 central library building was named the Bernard Schwab Library in 1990 in honor of Schwab who retired as the Madison Public Library's Director in 1981. He played a major role in the design of the building which was built during his tenure.


1906  Carnegie Building

Madison Central Library 1965

1965 Building, Named the Bernard Schwab Library in 1990

Madison Central Library 2013

New Central Library 2013



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