Carnegie Library Center

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File:Carnegie Library Center.jpg
The Carnegie Center is housed in the 1903 Carnegie library of Atlantic City

The Carnegie Center is an instructional site of Stockton University. Located in Atlantic City, the historic building is at the corner of Pacific Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard, one block west of the Boardwalk.

Architecture and history

The public library was founded in 1903 with overwhelming support of residents, who voted (6,062 for to 30 against) to create it.[1] It was originally named the Atlantic City Free Public Library.[1] It was one of thirty-six Carnegie libraries built in New Jersey with matching grants by Andrew Carnegie. His Carnegie Corporation granted $71,075 to the city on January 22, 1903 for construction.[2][3] Work on a $50,000 contract began in September 1903[4] and was completed in 1904.[5] The library was developed by architect Albert Randolph Ross, who also designed the library now used for the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. and the Orange Public Library.[6] With the words "Open to All" engraved above its main entrance, the building was dedicated on January 2, 1905. Carnegie wrote, “I trust the Library will fulfill its mission in the highest degree, becoming the center of light to all people.”[1] Ross used a symmetrical classical style design include central stacks open to the public, natural light in public areas, separate public spaces with specialized materials (rather than one large reading room). The building had art gallery, museum, and meeting rooms to promote education through different media as well as books.

While the building received some renovations, the exterior remained intact and the interior was only slightly altered. The three-story, 9,000-square-foot structure features a marble, granite, terra cotta exterior, terrazzo floors, Scagliola-finished columns, and marble and iron staircases.[1] It was used by the Atlantic City Public Library until 1985,[7] when it relocated to a larger building completed in 1985 at Tennessee and Atlantic avenues.[8]

The Carnegie Library was used by miscellaneous municipal offices until finally abandoned in 1994, no longer able to meet contemporary needs without substantial upgrades. The building stood vacant for nearly seven years.[9]

Re-opening as Carnegie Center

The collaborative efforts of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), the City of Atlantic City, and Stockton University enabled the preservation and renovation of the historic building.[9] The redevelopment project was planned to create a satellite site for the College's classes in the city, as well as for continuing and professional education, and community uses. Stockton College is located in nearby Pomona, and has developed other facilities in Atlantic City to make its offerings accessible to more people.

Starting in 2001, the building received renovations of more than $5 million. As Stockton College's gateway to Atlantic City, Carnegie Library Center represents its commitment to civic engagement.[10] The College has also helped redevelop the nearby Dante Hall Theater for its use in Ducktown.[11]

The College offers undergraduate and graduate courses; and continuing education and professional development programs at the Carnegie Center. In addition, the building has spaces for use as a meeting and conference center, and for community outreach. It houses the College office of Management Development and Professional Services, as well as the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland counties. The building includes a 75-seat lecture hall, multi-purpose room seating forty, state-of-the-art computer laboratory, a 15-seat executive conference room, and three seminar rooms, each with 25-person capacity.[12] It is equipped the modern communications technology, including wall-mounted displays, high-speed wireless Internet access, document cameras and VCRs.

The Civil Rights Garden, a tribute to the Civil Rights Movement, was developed adjacent to the Carnegie. It is used in support of public lectures, receptions, and other events.[1]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 history "Carnegie Library Center History" Check |url= value (help). Stockton University. 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  2. Bobinski, George S. (1969). Carnegie Libraries: Their History and Impact on American Public Library Development. Chicago: American Library Association. ISBN 0-8389-0022-4. 
  3. Jones, Theodore (1997). Carnegie Libraries Across America. New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-14422-3. 
  4. "Preparing the Exodus from the New Jersey Resorts", The New York Times, August 30, 1903, retrieved 2011-10-12 
  5. "Carnegie Library Center - Atlantic City, NJ". Waymarking. September 11, 2010. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  6. "Library History". Port Jervis Free Public Library. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  7. "ATLANTIC CITY'S SEASON; A Carnegie Library to be Erected at a Cost of $60,000. Dangerous Sport of Canoeing on the Ocean in Favor -- Plan to Reclaim Vast Tracts of Meadow Land.", The New York Times, p. 24, 1903-02-15, retrieved 2011-10-12 
  8. "Library History". Atlantic City Public Library. 2 January 2006. Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Strauss, Robert (September 9, 2001), "BRIEFING: EDUCATION; ATLANTIC CITY BRANCH", The New York Times, retrieved 2011-10-12 
  10. "Carnegie Library Center". Richard Stockton College. 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  11. "Stockton College, St. Michael’s Church, Collaborate to Revive A.C.’s Dante Hall", The Press of Atlantic City, June 9, 2011, retrieved 2011-10-14 
  12. "Carnegie Library Center". South Jersey Cultural Association. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 

Coordinates: 39°21′34″N 74°25′51″W / 39.359391°N 74.430753°W / 39.359391; -74.430753

External links