Pacific Grove

Pacific Grove, Monterey County

Monterey to San Francisco area, Central Coast region

Pacific Grove Public Library
550 Central Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950

opened 1908
Public library from 1908-present
currently a public library

grant amount: $10,000
architectural style: Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival
architect: McDougall Brothers


Pacific Grove   
courtesy of Pacific Grove   
Museum of Natural History   

The Mission style Pacific Grove Carnegie library has been expanded to the front instead of to the rear as is more typical, as well as to the side. The gable roof was raised to extend over all the new additions and over a low arched arcade the entire width of the front. Inside, beyond the new space, arches of the old building lead to the old library rooms including the curved solarium. The library is located between Grand Avenue and Fountain Avenue on Central Avenue, one block above Monterey Bay.

The Pacific Grove Library Association dates from 1886. In 1904 the collection was given to the city which obtained a Carnegie grant of $10,000 in 1906. The Pacific Improvement Company donated the lot, itself valued at $10,000. Total costs far exceeded the grant therefore plans were modified and the difference made up through taxation. McDougall Bros. designed the building and Henry Chivers and the Granite Rock Company were the builders. At the dedication, Paris Kilburn praised the building in which size but not quality was sacrificed. He named all the craftsmen, and berated complainers: "What you want here is your taxes not lowered but increased, and abandon the idea of getting something for nothing." The library was enlarged in 1926, 1938, 1950 and most recently in 1978-1981 with the new steep gable roof incorporating all.


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