Healdsburg, Sonoma County
North Bay Loop area, North Coast region
At the northwest corner of Matheson and Fitch streets, the Healdsburg Carnegie is just a block from the town's historic central plaza and the site of the old city hall in which the library was formerly located. The city hall was demolished long ago and the Classical Revival Carnegie, now a museum, is Healdsburg's only remaining example of a civic building of impressive architecture.
The history of Healdsburg's library dates from an 1859 literary society, although the Russian River Institute established a private library two years earlier. During several subsequent literary societies and libraries, including the Masonic Library Association, the book collection seem to have been passed on. The 1885 WCTU library was given space in city hall in 1889 and became a city library in 1896. Carnegie funding of $10,000 was obtained in 1909. Petaluma architect Brainerd Jones designed the building, built by Frank Sullivan. Construction of reinforced concrete faced with a 1/2" layer of textured white concrete, scored to resemble stone blocks, reflects James Burton's emphasis on economy, but its craftsmanship is notable. After the 1988 completion of a new library, including a unique wine library, the community raised funds to convert the Carnegie for an historical museum. A City of Healdsburg Landmark, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.