Richmond, Contra Costa County
San Francsico Bay/Delta/Sacramento area, San Francisco Bay Area region
The Richmond Carnegie building is an example of the Classical Revival "temple in a park." The park is in a primarily residential area between Fourth and Sixth streets, Nevin Avenue and Macdonald Avenue, north of Highway 580 and west of the BART station, within a few blocks of remaining historic downtown Richmond. The building itself is set back from the corner adjacent to well used playing fields. The building was enlarged in 1923 and again in 1979, using original plans, and in 1980 the building was rededicated as the Richmond Museum.
It appears that at least two women's clubs were instrumental in the history of the Richmond library. Before 1907 the Richmond Library Club (later the Richmond Club) and the West Side Improvement Club of Point Richmond operated subscription libraries which in 1910 joined to form a public library. The WCTU is also credited with starting an early library, and the Richmond Women's Improvement Club, forerunner of the Richmond City Club, purchased a lot contingent on the city's obtaining Carnegie funding. A grant of $17,500 was promised in 1909. Architect William H. Weeks designed the building. In 1952 the Richmond City Club sponsored a Museum Association which stored artifacts in the library basement and displayed them upstairs after the library moved. In 1975 the City Club transferred the lot to the city to qualify for federal funding for Nevin Center, with the Carnegie as part of the project.