Andrew Carnegie (1835 - 1919) San Bernardino's Carnegie Library (1904 - 1958)
Andrew Carnegie made his fortune in the steel industry and is well known for funding libraries.
The above postcard shows San Bernardino's Carnegie Library, at the southwest corner of 4th and D Street, and behind it, the 1874 and 1898 courthouses located on Court Street.
In 1902, the city of San Bernardio was offered a $20,000 grant by the Carnegie Corporation and architects Burnham and Bliesner were selected to design the Classical Revival style building.
The library was opened August 10, 1904. In 1920, the Carnegie Corporation provided an another $7,600 for an addition to the building, and the city passed a $10,000 bond to support the expansion.
The Carnegie Library was a beautiful piece of architecture with a wide staircase leading to the rounded, column-guarded entrance at center. A dome protudes over the front corner of the library where large windows and a rotating door stand beneath the words "Public Library", that are carved into the stone. Two lamp posts stand at the end of the staircase to light the sidewalk which extends down the streets on the left and right.
In 1957 the Carnegie Library was declared unsafe. Rather than rennovate it, the city demolished it in 1958.
It was replaced in 1960 by a new library, located at 401 N. Arrowhead Avenue. In 1984, it was demolished to make room for the County Administration Center.
At the time, the Municipal Auditorium, in Pioneer Park, was in need of rennovation and consideration was given to remodeling it to serve as a library. Instead of converting the Municipal Auditorium into a library, it too was demolished and the Norman F. Feldheym Central LIbrary was constructed in its place.
Note: Andrew Carnegie funded 2,509 libraries throught the world, including 1,679 in the United States. From 1899-1917, the Carnegie Corporation provided grants to build 142 public libraries in California. As of 2009, 85 of the 142 Carnegie libraries in the Golden State were still standing and 36 were in use as libraries.
For over 11 months the Southern Pacific Railroad prevented a train from entering San Bernardino from the South. Southern Pacific used legal and physical means to prevent the train from crossing the SP east-west track at the Colton Crossing.
Virgil Earp (a special agent for Southern Pacific and later the first City Marshall of Colton) led the group that prevented California Southern Railroad from heading north to San Bernardino.
On September 13, 1883, after a court order was issued and an "at grade" crossing (called a "frog") was installed, the first train arrived in San Bernardino from National City (just south of San Diego). The train, pulled by Engine No. 4, was operated by the California Southern Railroad, later owned by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.
Fred T. Perris, a civil engineer and surveyor for the railroad, was at the whistle. (Photograph by H. B. Wesner)
Note: On August 28, 2013, a public celebration was held to dedicate the opening of the new Colton Crossing Rail-to-Rail Grade Separation. After 130 years the east-west Union Pacific Railroad tracks were raised to pass over the north-south BNSF Railroad tracks. This will alleviate congestion at the crossing, which accommodates more that 100 trains each day.