We are cautiously phasing in open locations. Visit our Library Express page for updates on services available, locations, and what to expect when you arrive.
Libraries started informally in St. Paul in the 1850s with private reading rooms.
1882 marks the official beginning of St. Paul Public Library.
SPPL had a variety of locations between 1882 and 1917 when Central Library opened.
1915: Market Hall fire burned the collection at the time.
Central Library constructed between 1914 and 1917 in Italian Renaissance revival; exterior in pink Tennessee marble, the interior is gray Mankato stone.
Total cost (including Hill Library): $1.5 million
Central Library cost $770,000 - including $130,000 for the site.
Andrew Carnegie supported St. Paul with 3 buildings:
...but declined to contribute to Central because of the nearby presence of James J. Hill.
Architect: Electus D. Litchfield of New York City
Central and 3 Carnegie libraries opened in 1917.
Central Library remodeled in 1949, 1985, 2002, 2015.
Click or tap the first photo to begin the tour.
Cost: $15.9 million
Interior was cleaned
New entrance from Kellogg Boulevard
Courtyard planted with 4000 perennials
Children's Room enlarged and moved to other end of the building
West wing of building opened for public browsing
Bremer Community Room - meeting room and setting for book talks, author readings, etc.
Rivercentre Connection (tunnel) built under 4th Street to connect to skyway system.
The oldest book in the library: 2 volume set titled Essays on the Superstitions of the Highlanders of Scotland, published in 1811.
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