Alturas, Modoc County
North Central/Northeast area, Shasta Cascade region
In the northeast corner of California, Alturas is the most remote California Carnegie community and perhaps the one most able to say that "All Carnegies do NOT look alike," referring to the original Classical Revival building as well as its alteration into a version of the International style. Located at the corner of Court and North streets, it provides a contrast to the historic domed Modoc County Courthouse directly across the street, and to the Old West downtown.
Alturas had a reading room as early as 1886. In 1906 the Women's Improvement Club started a public library in rented rooms and applied for Carnegie funds. A grant of $7500 was offered in 1908 but no action was taken until 1914 when an agreement was reached whereby $10,000 would be granted dependent on the library being named Modoc County Library. James Bertram objected to the "two story building" but finally approved the plans of architect F.J. DeLongchamps. L.M. and Charles Kerr were the builders. In 1947 the Modoc County Board of Supervisors condemned the building as structurally unsound and sold it; new owners leased it back to the county for government offices. It now houses private offices. In addition to drastic stylistic alteration, there is a large addition to the rear. The library, meanwhile, was relocated in "temporary" quarters several blocks away. In 1988, Modoc County Friends of the Library achieved 2/3 majority passage of a parcel tax in behalf of their library.