Library Visit: Carnegie Building, Chillicothe, IL

Carnegie Library Building
822 N. Second St
Chillicothe, IL 61523

Carnegie grant date: Apr 19, 1915
Grant amount: $10,000 
Opened: 1917
Served as the town library until 2005 
Currently the home of Waxwing Books

For my birthday earlier this month, we took a mini road trip to Chillicothe, IL (about 2.5 hrs south-west of Chicago) to visit the town’s old Carnegie library that is now home to a bookstore.

A solid building that is still going strong as a bookstore. Waxwing Books is owned by Richard and Wendy Popp.
Carnegie didn’t require towns to put his name on the library and preferred that they didn’t, yet many towns wanted to pay homage to the man who provided the funds to get their library going.
Close up of the front entrance light fixture.
The glass partition sits on top of an original oak desk/shelving unit that marked off the librarian’s space. The glass partition is not original but was added at some point during the library’s lifetime and not by the bookstore. The lighter colored desk in the forefront was also added by the library and was presumably the checkout desk. Now it is display space and cash wrap.
Close up of the office space. The owner told me they still have the swinging door that closes off the space.
Staircase leading downstairs where there were perhaps once community meeting rooms and offices for library work. Now off limits to the public.
Original oak bookshelves line the interior.



Some seating for browsers.


The new arrivals section caught my eye.


A present to myself found in the new arrivals section, some H.L. Mencken.
U.S. Presidents section
Window and cornice detail.
A view of the back of the library.


Side view. The interior staircase pictured above is through this side door.
The owners of Waxwing Books moved in very soon after the library moved out and have been going strong for eight years now.

Stay tuned for the next post which will feature the new Chillicothe Public Library.

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