Oregon City Library: From 1913-2016

Samantha Rands
The Charter News
To Library Park, to Danielson’s, and back again. The Oregon City library has updated the the old Carnegie building.The community has been enjoying the new expansion. Chantell Bunker, a mom at Alliance Charter Academy, says, “love it, I think it’s at the perfect location. The expansion allows a lot more people to enjoy the library for studying and working.” She also likes the new playground, “nice play and relaxing area.”In 1913, the Oregon City Library moved from the third floor in the Masonic Temple into the new Carnegie Building on 7th and John Adams street. The lot, known as the Library Park, was given to Oregon City as public space by John Mcloughlin. The building and furniture cost $12,500, which was funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The layout of the building was based on a design by E. E. Mclaran. Karin Morey, whose writing a book about the history of the library, says, “The plan called for all sides of the building to ‘be alike’ with the main entrance facing John Adams Street.” The furniture was made by Busch’s Furniture.In 1995, the Oregon City Library moved from the Carnegie Building to Danielson’s Hilltop Mall, due to lackluster of space. Maureen Cole, the library director for the past seven years, says “It then moved to a larger space at Danielson’s Hilltop Mall (now Safeway), but in 2010 the lease ended so that the site could be developed into the Safeway.” The Carnegie building was rented out to small businesses as office space.

In 2010, Danielson’s Hilltop Mall was sold to build a Safeway. The library chose that the best place was the Carnegie Building. Cole says, “After reviewing about 30 other spaces, the Library Board investigated the location of the Carnegie Library as the place to expand. The City Commission agreed with this and on August 8, 2015 a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new building.”

On the 100th anniversary of the building, city commissioners announced they were going to add an expansion to the 6,500 sq ft building.

In September 2016, the 14,000 sq ft, $10.5 million addition was complete. The expansion included more shelves and a community room with a capacity of seventy-five people. Cole says, “[It] has been a welcome improvement over the cramped quarters of the 6,500 square foot Carnegie building. When the library inhabited only the Carnegie building, we were extremely limited in what we could offer in the way of services, collections, and programs.”

Works Cited

Bunker, chantell. Personal interview. Dec 5, 2016.

Cole, Maureen. Personal interview. Nov 8, 2016.

Oregon City Library. “Carnegie Library History”. Oregon city. Nov 9, 2016.

Morey, karin. Personal interview. Nov 14, 2016

andrew_carnegie_three-quarter_length_portrait_seated_facing_slightly_left_1913Andrew Carnegie was born November 25,1835, in Dunfermline,
United Kingdom.
He was a famous philanthropist, and funded 31 other libraries in Oregon. He died August 11, 1919.

img_1067John Mcloughlin was born October 19, 1784. He is the founding father of Oregon City. He died September 3, 1857.