courtesy of Coalinga Public Library

Coalinga, Fresno County

San Joaquin Valley/South area, Central Valley region

opened 1914
Union High School District Library 1914-1954
demolished, 1955

grant amount: $20,000
architectural style: Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival
architect: Swartz, Hotchkin & Swartz

Coalinga is one of a few California cities to request Carnegie funding as a high school district; the others were Dixon and Vacaville. Coalinga's first library, begun by the Women's Improvement Club, dates from 1905, a year before the city's incorporation. A small town located in the far western part of Fresno County, Coalinga's decision to use the high school district as the taxing basis for a public library allowed it to extend its services and also utilize for tax purposes the neighboring oil properties. A $20,000 Carnegie grant was received in 1912. Architects of the Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival library were Swartz, Hotchkin and Swartz; W.J. Ochs of Coalinga was the builder. The previous library, a wooden " four by six box," was moved to the rear of the lot. In 1955 the Carnegie was replaced by a new library at the same site at Fourth Street and Durian Avenue, near Coalinga Plaza.

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