Turlock, Stanislaus County
San Joaquin Valley/North area, Central Valley region
Carnegie Arts Center
Turlock is located between Modesto and Merced on the Valley's north-south Highway 99. Spanish influence is incorporated in its Classical Revival Carnegie library building on a tree shaded lot at the corner of North Broadway and Florence streets, two blocks from downtown and at the beginning of a residential area in which substantial craftsman bungalows predominate. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.
Turlock's library history dates from a 1907 Women's Improvement Club project. They started a reading room as an evening alternative to saloons for men who were without families in the growing railroad town. They kept it open from 3 PM to 9 PM, and subscribed to newspapers from Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as from the major Valley towns. In 1910 the city assumed responsibility for the library but it continued in temporary quarters until the women organized the Greater Turlock Civic Club to petition for Carnegie funding. A grant of $10,000 was received in 1915, and the women donated a lot valued at $1950. Hugh Y. Davis designed the building. A new library for Turlock was completed in 1968 and a busy arts center now occupies the building.