courtesy of Local Historical Collection, Hemet Public Library

Hemet, Riverside County

Inland Empire area, Inland Empire region

opened 1912
Public library from 1912-1965
demolished, 1969

grant amount: $7,500
architectural style: Classical Revival (Type B)
architect: S. L. Pillar

Hemet's library history dates from 1906 when residents organized the first library, with help from businessmen and fundraising by the Hemet Women's Club who also managed the reading room. The marriage and subsequent departure of the volunteer librarian in 1908 spurred the Carnegie application, rejected because the town was not incorporated. When Hemet did incorporate in 1910, the census of that year showed a population as only 982. Nevertheless, the Carnegie request was renewed and $7,500 was granted. Architect S. L. Pillar designed the building in the Classical Revival style. The builder was John Plato. It was completed December 24, 1912 and served until the building was declared unsafe in 1965. The books were then moved to the Hemet Women's Club building; in return for the use of their building, the city promised the club a meeting place for the next fifty years. The old Carnegie was demolished in 1969 and a new library, sponsored by another philanthropic fund, was completed in 1971, on the old site.

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