Carnegie Library, San Luis Obispo

Carnegie Library, San Luis Obispo

The San Luis Obispo Carnegie Library is a remarkable example of a Carnegie library. Constructed in 1905 with funding from the Carnegie Foundation, the library served as the city's subscription library program, which had been in operation since 1894.

Renowned architect William H. Weeks, who designed 21 Carnegie libraries in California, crafted the design of the San Luis Obispo library in the distinctive Richardsonian Romanesque style. The library's architectural features include a tall hipped roof with two gabled wings, decorative elements such as gargoyles adorning the gable ends, and an entrance portico adorned with multiple round arches. The building's façade primarily consists of red brick with yellow sandstone trim, while the basement showcases a dark gray granite exterior.

Operating as a library until 1955, the building transitioned into a county historical museum the following year. Today, the library building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, recognized for its architectural significance and its role in the community's history.

Currently, the Carnegie Library houses the History Center of San Luis Obispo County, formerly known as the San Luis Obispo County Historical Museum. The museum offers visitors a glimpse into the region's rich history and culture through changing exhibits. Additionally, it provides a research room for individuals interested in exploring the area's past.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in San Luis Obispo. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Carnegie Library on Map

Sight Name: Carnegie Library
Sight Location: San Luis Obispo, USA (See walking tours in San Luis Obispo)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in San Luis Obispo, California

Create Your Own Walk in San Luis Obispo

Create Your Own Walk in San Luis Obispo

Creating your own self-guided walk in San Luis Obispo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
San Luis Obispo Introduction Walking Tour

San Luis Obispo Introduction Walking Tour

San Luis Obispo, or SLO for short, is a lovely Californian city with a strong Spanish heritage. Situated in the heart of the state's central coast, this hidden gem is known for its ability to “captivate the soul with its allure of beautiful natural setting, vibrant downtown area, and cultural scene.”

The region's history dates back thousands of years to the Chumash Native American...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
San Luis Obispo Historical Buildings Walk

San Luis Obispo Historical Buildings Walk

Architecture – the thoughtful making of space. One of the timeless values of historical buildings is that they continue to shape people long after the people shaped them originally. In the context of San Luis Obispo's historic architecture, it reminds us of the thoughtful design and craftsmanship that went into creating the buildings that still stand as symbols of the city's enduring...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles