Saturday, February 13, 2016

Cabanne Branch of the St. Louis Public Library

Cabanne is one of seventeen branches in the St. Louis Public Library system.
It is located at 1106 Union Boulevard at Cabanne Avenue in the Academy Neighborhood.



It takes its name from the main street in the 1877 Cabanne Subdivision laid out by Dr. John S. Cabanne, owner of a long, narrow strip of land running westward from Union Boulevard. The doctor's home was located on this street (source). This part of the city was claimed by settler Jean Pierre Cabanne.

Cabanne is one of seven Carnegie libraries, it opened in July, 1907. This beautiful building was designed by Mauran, Russell, and Garden Architects and constructed by Harvey and Hall (source).
 photo source, circa 1910: SLPL Then and Now


There is a small parking lot at the rear of the building and bike racks along Union.
The grounds are landscaped and tiered. One could easily make an argument that this is the most beautiful branch in the entire system.
Aside from Central, the entryway is my personal favorite.
 St. Louis Free Public Library 1906
The first floor interior is very similar to the Barr Branch before it was renovated. The wood book shelves are original.
There is a children's area, computer space and adult library.
There is an auditorium in the basement that is very similar to the Carondelet Branch.
Children's programming takes place here as well as other community events.

This library is the last active Carnegie branch to get a modernization re-make. That is both a strength as you can see how the building was intended to be used by its original designers, but it is also a weakness in that it needs a refreshed look. I understand there are plans to eventually renovate this branch.

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