Every once in awhile someone stands at the front desk, gazing at the huge brass light fixture overhead and asks "What was this before it was a library?" And a few times I've heard people wonder aloud about whose house this used to be, admiring the fireplaces on opposite sides of the building. It’s a grand structure, unlike any of the other libraries you may have visited in Calgary. But Memorial Park Library has always been a library - the first in Calgary, the first in Alberta.
As Calgary Public Library celebrates its’ centennial in 2012, we're proud to be the place where it all began. After persistent endeavours on the part of the Calgary Women’s Literary Club, which still meets regularly at our branch, and with a substantial donation from philanthropist and industrialist Andrew Carnegie, Calgary Public Library opened its’ doors to the public January 12, 1912.
Of course we're equipped with all the modern conveniences library users require now, but if you’d like to experience the unique, historic ambience found only at Memorial Park Library, you’re welcome to stop by for a visit. Bring your coffee and read a newspaper in a comfy leather chair by the fireplace, inspect the intricate architectural details and original terrazzo floor, or peruse the magazines in our sun-drenched reading room.
Find historic photos and information on all our Centennial Celebrations at cpl100.ca
Read more about Canada's Carnegie libraries in a recent article by the Canadian Register of Historic Places.