On This Date In Twin Cities History - December 16, 1889
On this date in 1889, the first Minneapolis Public Library opens at 10th Street and Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Anthenaeum, a private subscription library incorporated in 1860 entered into a ninety-nine year contract with the Minneapolis Public Library Board in 1885, whereby the Public Library would house and administer the Anthenaeum’s books in return for their free use by the citizens of Minneapolis. Herbert Putnam, who would later become the librarian of Congress, was the first librarian of the Minneapolis Public Library. Built at a cost of $324,894, the original central or “main” library building was used until 1961 when a new library was built to replace it.
Minneapolis Public Library at 10th & Hennepin circa 1905 (MHS)