North Branch of the Minneapolis Public Library
The first branch library in the Minneapolis Public Library system was built in 1893-1894 and is one of the few remaining historically significant buildings in the Near North area of Minneapolis. When the library opened in December of 1894 it held more than 16,000 books. It’s also one of the few buildings still standing that was designed by architect Frederick Corser.
The interior was open plan with a large reading room, records alcove, and circulation desk. An addition in 1916 made room for additional stacks and a reading area with a fireplace. The majority of the stacks were located on the second floor. Storage space and a large community room were located in the vaulted basement. The library operated until 1979 and is the oldest existing building in Minnesota that was built to be a library.
Today, the building is used as a technology and career center by Emerge Community Development to support low-income members of the community. They raised $6.4 million to renovate the building.