Carnegie Public Library

219 W. Liberty St., Sumter, South Carolina


Carnegie Public Library, Facade

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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Sumterís first and only public library from 1917 to 1968, was one of the 1,679 public libraries built in the United States with funding from the Carnegie Corporation, and represents the trend towards the establishment of public libraries in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This simple Beaux Arts building was designed by local architects J. Herbert Johnson and N. Gaillard Walker, in conjunction with Secretary James Bertram of the Carnegie Corporation. This building represents the progressive and civic-minded nature of the citizens of Sumter during the first decade of the twentieth century, as well as the social responsibility displayed by Andrew Carnegie. Though the $10,000 cost of construction was funded by the Carnegie Corporation, the operation and maintenance of the library was the financial responsibility of the city of Sumter. The Sumter Civic League raised money to purchase books for the library. The building was a center for learning for the citizens of the city for a large part of the twentieth century. Listed in the National Register August 5, 1994. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on August 5, 1994
Reference number
Architectural style
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Beaux Arts
Areas of significance
Architecture; Education
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; A - Event
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Research facility
Periods of significance
1925-1949; 1900-1924
Significant year

Update Log 

  • October 23, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo
  • October 23, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller