Woodland, Yolo County
San Francisco Bay/Delta/Sacramento area, Central Valley region
Woodland Public Library
The very tall palm trees, which almost encircle the city block occupied by Woodland's Carnegie, and the Canary Island palms adjacent to it, create an oasis-like setting for the white Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival library. It has been enlarged three times; the original small square building is visible at the corner of Court and First streets. Compatible additions over the years, most recently in 1988, have created an open square with interior courtyard. Its architectural merit was recognized in 1981 when it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
With books donated by leading citizens and ice cream social fund-raisers, Woodland's earliest library was started by the women of the community in 1874. An 1891 gift of $500 helped establish the free public library, which was provided a small space in City Hall. A grant of $10,000 was received from Carnegie in 1903. Dodge and Dolliver designed the Mission Revival building despite the objection to the rotunda by Carnegie's James Bertram; W.H. Curson was the contractor. From 1915 until 1979, a joint powers agreement existed with the Yolo County Library System. The separate City and County Libraries' administration systems occupied the same building and had limited shared operations, but had separate public service facilities. This did, however, result in funds from Carnegie of $12,000 to expand the building in 1915, giving the County Library a separate entrance on Court Street which proclaimed "County Library", while the main entrance on First Street proclaimed "Public Library". The addition was designed by W.H. Weeks.
The joint powers agreement ended in 1979, and in 1984, the community voted a users' tax to fund $2.5 million for renovation and expansion of the crowded and decaying, but historic building. When completed in 1988, the building was double in size and met earthquake and handicapped-access standards. The building belongs to the City of Woodland.