Today, Watertown’s Carnegie Library is maintained and occupied by the Codington County Historical Society and is used as a community Museum. This beautiful historic building is located in the heart of Downtown Watertown and many local residents still refer to it as “The Library.” It was built with a grant from the Carnegie Foundation in 1903.
When Andrew Carnegie was using his fortune to give people all around the world the opportunity to read and learn he included some standard features. One was a large staircase.
The entry staircase symbolized a person’s elevation by learning. Most libraries also had a lamp post or lantern installed near the entrance, meant as a symbol of enlightenment.
At the Historical Society we are big fans of historic architecture. We love this historic building, but we don’t like that the stairs form a barrier for some people who want to visit.
In order to maintain the historic architecture of the building we have chosen a lift that will not be directly attached to the building. The project will include concrete work to prepare for the lift, installation of the lift and then building a structure around the lift to protect it from South Dakota winters.
Please consider donating today to help us provide a lift so people of all abilities can join us.