San Francisco Landmarks

San Francisco Landmark #239: Carnegie Library Sunset 30 January 2012
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San Francisco Landmark #239
Carnegie Library Sunset
1305 18th Avenue
Built 1918

The Sunset Carnegie Library was designed by architect Gustave Albert Lansburgh in the Classical Revival style. Lansburgh designed three other Carnegie branch libraries in San Francisco: Chinatown, Mission and Presidio.

Lansburgh drew two plans for the Sunset branch, one rectangular with interior stairs much like Mission and Noe Valley, the other octagonal. The octagonal was judged "quite impossible" and the other plan approved with slight revision.

In this version of the Classical Revival, the central entrance is recessed within a loggia formed by three tall round arches supported by two segmented Corinthian columns and two pilasters. Names of authors, many Western, are inscribed under the sills of recessed arched windows.

The Sunset branch was the fifth of seven Carnegie branch libraries built in San Francisco. All seven buildings still function as libraries (see map).

Some Carnegie Free Libraries in California

Some Other Carnegie Free Libraries in the West

The website Carnegie Libraries of California contains much information about these libraries.

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