Renovation of Carnegie Library gains support

The Ishpeming City Council has expressed a desire to change its meetings to a different location, and the ideal place is moving toward being a perfect venue.

Where is perhaps the most appropriate place to have council meetings? The historic Carnegie Public Library, of course, and ongoing renovation of the 110-year-old building will ensure it retains its elegant stature in the city for many years to come.

According to the brochure on the library building accessibility and renovation campaign under way to raise funds for the effort, there are two main goals: Keep the building relevant with the changing times while preserving its historical integrity, and to ensure that all patrons can enjoy the building by making it accessible following the standards set by the American Disabilities Act.

To meet those goals, the renovation is being done in five phases. The first phase involved installing ADA compliant ramps and entrance and improved steps. This phase was completed in October 2012.

The second phase, which was recently completed, included building ADA compliant restrooms on the first floor and a new programming room.

Next will come an elevator to make the building fully handicapped accesible, and this phase is being funded by a $100,000 grant from the Cliffs and Eagle Mine Marquette County Community Fund.

Phase four will involve weatherizing the windows of the building and installing air-conditioning, followed by phase five that includes upgrading the electrical system.

While much of the funding for the renovations have come through grants and donations, a significant sum came through an unexpected source – some old maps found stored on the first floor when it was being cleaned out for phase two work.

The maps from the 1800s were sold through Sotheby’s auction house in New York City, netting the library $78,000.

That was a welcomed contribution toward meeting the $300,000 goal of the fundraising campaign, as was the grant from the Cliff-Eagle Mine fund, but there is still the opportunity for others to donate to the effort. To find out more about how to get involved, log on to the website at