Imperial

Imperial, Imperial County

San Diego to Imperial Valley area, Desert region



opened 1911
Public library from 1909-1940
demolished, 1940

grant amount: $10,000
architectural style: Classical Revival (Type B)
architect: Samuel Zimmer


With the availability of Colorado River water in the early 1900s, communities developed suddenly in the Imperial Valley. Libraries were in evidence within a very few years, the first in Imperial, started by the WCTU in 1906. A Library Association was established in 1907, tax support sought in 1908, and the Carnegie funding obtained in 1909. Imperial and El Centro Carnegies were completed within months of each other in 1911. Both buildings were designed, in the Classical Revival style, by architect Samuel Zimmer of Imperial. The builder was H.H. Peterson. In large letters over the entrance was the name "Andrew Carnegie". The library, damaged by successive earthquakes, was demolished in 1940. Its front desk, index cabinets and an old wall clock are now used in the new Imperial Public Library, which also has preserved much documentation.