Between 1886 and 1919, New York industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated more than $40 million to construct 1,689 Carnegie Libraries. Of these, about 30 were built in Texas and only 13 of those remain standing today with less than half serving their original purpose as a public library.
According to the National Park Service, “When Andrew Carnegie died in 1919 at age 84, he had given nearly one-fourth of his life to causes in which he believed.
His gifts to various charities totaled nearly $350 million, almost 90 percent of his fortune. Carnegie regarded all education as a means to improve people’s lives, and libraries provided one of his main tools to help Americans build a brighter future.”
In 1912, the City of Palestine was granted Carnegie funds in the amount of $15,000 and began construction on the beautiful building located at 502 N. Queen St. in downtown Palestine. The structure itself remained relatively unchanged since its completion in 1914 and became a Registered Texas Historical Landmark in 1970. After 71 years, the public library outgrew the space and relocated in 1986. The building then served as City and non-profit offices, event space, Chamber of Commerce offices, and a railroad museum.
502 N Queen St