Carnegie Free Library

Also known as: Cherokee County Administration Building
210 N. Limestone St., Gaffney, South Carolina

Former Carnegie Library in Gaffney, SC


Old Cherokee County Administration Building Former Carnegie Library

Photo taken by Michael Miller

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The Carnegie Free Library, built 1913-1914 as one of fourteen public libraries built in South Carolina between 1903 and 1916 with funding from Andrew Carnegie and the Carnegie Foundation, is significant both as an example of Classical Revival public architecture and for its role as Gaffney’s first public library. It is representative of the trend toward the establishment of American public libraries in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The library is a one-story over raised basement red brick Classical Revival building constructed according to the designs of Arthur W. Hamby, one of the well-known Columbia, South Carolina, architectural firm Hamby & Rorke. The gently pitched standing seam metal roof is hidden from view by a brick parapet which wraps around all four sides of the rectangularly shaped building. Set upon a brick basement, the two levels are delineated by a heavy limestone watertable. Granite steps flanked by stepped cast stone-capped pedestals lead to the centrally located double leaf wood and glass paneled doors at the entry to the main (second) floor of the building. In 1937 the original structure was doubled in size by a rear addition. Listed in the National Register June 2, 2000.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 2, 2000
Reference number
Architectural style
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Classical Revival
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Government office
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949

Update Log 

  • October 22, 2013: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Overview"