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More than a century ago the women of Corbin, KY – specifically the ladies of the “Improvement Club” – petitioned none other than famed industrialist Andrew Carnegie to fund one of his (the Carnegie Foundation’s) public libraries in the small Kentucky railroad town.
After agreeing to come together as a community to see the facility run and maintained, the railroad tycoon approved the funding and the building was completed in 1916.
In 1968 the building ended its tenure as the Corbin Public Library when additional space was needed. Over the last 50 years, it has seen a smattering of other uses, but the last few years have seen this Registered Historic Landmark falling into decay; A tragic state for such an important cultural and architectural icon.
Enter the Carnegie Center of Corbin.
In 2018, i/A began working with the non-profit organization to reimagine the facility – giving it a new life as yet another cultural and community amenity. The program consists primarily of an addition which would provide much-needed support and access spaces, including ADA-compliant restrooms, ADA-compliant vertical circulation, a kitchen and various storage spaces. The existing structure will be converted into two levels of open community space. Each floor will be able to be reserved for events and gatherings ranging in a wide variety of event types.
The design is intended to celebrate the original structure by allowing the new addition space to stand apart in its aesthetic and collect inspiration from the history of the community and the various uses the original library had seen over its lifetime.
The project is currently fundraising. For more information or to inquire about how to donate to the project, visit the Carnegie Center of Corbin’s FACEBOOK PAGE.