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Carnegie Library

Architect : Max Sainsaulieu
2, place Carnegie, Reims
Date : 1928




The Carnegie Library is a municipal library of Reims dedicated to the study and to the heritage. Built in an Art deco style from 1921, she was inaugurated on June 10th, 1928 by the president of the Republic Gaston Doumergue.

The Carnegie library of Reims owes his name to the American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Its construction was indeed made possible, after the World War I, by an exceptional help of the Carnegie Endowment for the international Peace.

On May 3rd, 1917, a fire bomb destroyed the city hall of Reims. However, a part of the most precious collections had been able to be put under cover in Paris or in the cellars of the Saint-Clotilde church. By a resolution of April 20th, 1917 confirmed on December 16th, 1918, the Carnegie Endowment for the international Peace decided to dedicate 500 000 dollars to operations of reconstruction in regions destroyed of Belgium, France, Serbia and Russia. On this sum, 200 000 dollars were allocated to the city of Reims to be equipped with a new library.


The plans of the library were designedby the architect Max Sainsaulieu. The Carnegie Library is considered as a masterpiece of the Art deco style in France today.




The large entrance door of wrought iron, realized by the company Schwartz-Haumont, won a prize in the Exposition des Art Décoratifs in Paris in 1925.

The motives for the pediment were drawn by the Reims sculptor Édouard Sediey.






Mosaics and decoration of the entrance hall were realized by marble mason's workshops Merbès-Sprimont according to cardboards of the decorator Henri Sauvage. And are on two themes :

. Intellectual activity, poetry, philosophy, theology, history, legislation, medicine, chemistry, decorative arts, fine arts, music; 
. Physical or commercial activity, printing office, trade, weaving, agriculture, vine growing, sport, aviation, transport, finance.

The walls of the entrance hall are panelled of onyx of Algeria and bands of green marble.
The chandelier of the big entrance hall was drawn by the glass master Jacques Simon from Reims.
The three picture windows and the zenithal glass roofof the reading room were drawn by the glass master Jacques Gruber from Nancy.
The paintings of the reading room, representing floral motives, were realized by Madeleine Lacour.




 
 

The mosaics of the entrance peristyle were designed by A.Biret.



The building was completely renovated between 2003 and 2005 by architects Jean-Loup Roubert and Jacques Bléhaut.