Charles S. Greene Library

Charles S. Greene Library (HMC97)

Location: Oakland, CA 94612 Alameda County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 48.374', W 122° 16.58'

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African-American Museum and Library at Oakland

— Oakland Landmark Number 48 —

Dedicated in 1902 as the Oakland Public Library, this was the first Carnegie Library built in Oakland. Designed in the American Beaux Arts style by architects Bliss and Faville (who later designed the Hotel Oakland), it was Oakland's main library until 1951.

Oakland had outgrown its first public library, a wooden structure built in 1878 on the site of today's City Hall. Charles S. Greene, City Librarian from 1889 tp 1926, began a campaign to construct a new one. Andrew Carnegie's foundation offered $50,000 if the city would provide a site and $4,000 per year to maintain the library. The Ebell Society, a women's organization, raised $20,000 to purchase land and later engaged Coxhead and Coxhead to design a Children's Room.

The elegant exterior of tan brick and terra cotta is incised with the names of authors and disciplines and "Oakland Public Library." "Free to All" is inscribed above the main entrance. The interior exhibits elaborate oak paneling, classical columns and ornamented plaster ceilings. The second floor, with its coffered, barrel-vaulted ceilings, supported by massive columns, is one of Oakland's most imposing interior spaces.

Following the opening of the 1951 main library at Fourteenth and Oak Streets, this building served as a branch library, renamed for Greene, then as city offices until it was abandoned after the 1989 earthquake. Following extensive restoration, it reopened in 2002 as the new home of the African American Museum and Library at Oakland. It became an Oakland City Landmark in 1981 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
HM NumberHMC97
Series This marker is part of the Carnegie Libraries series
Marker Number48
Placed ByOakland Heritage Alliance
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 1st, 2014 at 8:48am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 563703 N 4184563
Decimal Degrees37.80623333, -122.27633333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 48.374', W 122° 16.58'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 48' 22.44" N, 122° 16' 34.80" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)510, 415, 925
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 659 14th St, Oakland CA 94612, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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