Historic Preservation of Interiors: Collaborating with Public to Rehabilitate Sigourney Carnegie Library

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2015-04-14
Authors
Li, Albert
Hills, Amanda
Bixby, Hannah
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Interior Design
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Interior Design
Abstract

In 2014, Iowa State University’s (ISU’s) Historic Preservation of Interiors class (ARTID 469D/569D) collaborated with community members and the State Historic Preservation Office to propose concepts for rehabilitation of the Sigourney Carnegie Library. Research shows that the library is historically significant to Iowa because it manifests an international phenomenon of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that advocated cultural advancement through publicly shared and free literary resources and facilities. It is one of more than 2000 libraries founded within four decades and funded by American industrialist Andrew Carnegie. The Sigourney Carnegie Library served local residents for over 90 years, until a new public library replaced it. In 2013, Sue Winters acquired the library and sought assistance from ISU’s College of Design to convert its function to a residence. The process produced extensive historical documentation, ten preservation-sensitive solutions, and a collaborative research model of benefit to academia and communities.

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