Carnegie Art Center

    The Carnegie Art Center was originally the Mankato Public Library and Reading Room, built in 1902 using Carnegie funds.  The design of the firm was arranged by the Carnegie's representative and done by a New York firm.  This decision was protested by the Western League of Architects, representing local architects.  As a compromise, the local contracting firm J.B. Nelson & Co. (the same company that built the Union Depot) was hired to build it and ensured that all of the materials were locally produced.  The library also contained a unique set of murals by artist Odin J. Oyin, a Norwegian immigrant,  in the rotunda, check-out desk, reading room and children's rooms.  Over time the murals deteriorated and were been painted over.
    In the mid-1970s the construction of the Blue Earth County Library's main branch in Mankato.  In 1979 the Carnegie Art Center was established with the goal of converting the building into a showcase for local art, eventually purchasing the building two years later.  The museum is constantly rotating its exhibits and has an annual member's exhibition where supporters of the museum can submit artwork.
    Author Maud Hart Lovelace used the library as a location for her book Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown.  Many of the locations referenced in the book still exist and are available for viewing.

Contact:
Site Address: 120 S. Broad St., Mankato, MN 56001
Phone: 507-625-2730

Hours:
Thursday: 1 - 7 p.m.
Friday: 1 - 4 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Admission:
Free

Carnegie Art Center Website

Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2009-0805-MN-Mankato-LibraryReadingRm.jpg