1903 Library – Elwood, IN

Added to OHD on 6/27/18   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   42 Comments
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124 N 16th St, Elwood, IN

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  • $95,000
  • 0.1 Ac.
If you are interested in historic buildings you won't want to miss this old Carnegie Library that was built in 1903! Granite stairs lead to the main level. Most of the original woodwork is still in place with beautiful crown molding, large pillars, bookcases and a circular desk. There are also two restrooms and offices on the main level in addition to the main space that was used for books. There are two working fireplaces on the main level and another fireplace in the lower level which is a walk out basement. The lower level offers several large rooms and a restroom. The limestone exterior offers wood windows with exterior aluminum storm windows and painted metal on the facade. The building is being sold as is but has lots of potential. — MIBOR #: 21574429
Contact Information
Tracy Ward, Carpenter Realtors
Links, Photos & Additional Info

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42 Comments on 1903 Library – Elwood, IN

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  1. ddbackerddbacker says: 484 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1971 Uninspired split-level
    Prairie Village, KS

    This could easily be converted to a very cool law office.

  2. Karen I says: 171 comments

    My mind is spinning: Restaurant, daycare, private school, boutique hotel, even private residence. Fireplaces in a library? Wow. Anyway, it looks to be in pretty good shape and wouldn’t take much to bring it back.

  3. CoraCora says: 2054 comments
    OHD Supporter & Moderator

    Clinton, TN

    OHHHHHH I want this. I would convert it right back into a library, just for me, but to live in.
    (fantasizing) I would live among the books. Put my bed in the middle of the shelves, with the books all around me. Make the circulation desk my home office. No TV. Just a record player with shelves full of classic vinyl, the books, microfiche, periodicals, a coffee maker and a wine cabinet, and me.

    This is just too wonderful!

  4. Jenny Bean says: 6 comments

    I can’t even…Mosaic Floor!!! Wowie Wow Wow!!!?

  5. Sharon says: 16 comments

    I could see it as a sewing/knitting shop. Lots of bolts of fabric and colorful balls of yarn with a coffee cafe’ and big over stuffed chairs to sit in. Make the basement into a sewing room for making quilts and having classes. If only…..

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 938 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      I don’t even sew but I would come to a store like that in a place like this!

    • Danelle says: 6 comments

      I was seeing it as a converted house, except that round desk would be my sewing/crafting area. I could have all my vintage sewing machines out around me with work space to spare! Then the rest would be library/living space.

  6. jeklstudiojeklstudio says: 1050 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1947 Ranch

    Boy, how I wish libraries still looked like this. The new one where I live has no soul whatsoever. A big box with tinted plate glass. I guess we’re lucky there still is one at all.

    • BethanyBethany says: 3429 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1983 White elephant
      Escondido, CA

      Yes; they just don’t build them like they used to. Although I will give a nod to one of my former towns, Camarillo, CA, where they built a library worthy of the name, design-wise, with a children’s library that you would want to just visit for the heck of it even if you had no kids.

  7. julie A.julie A. says: 147 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1914 foursquare farmhouse
    New Germany, MN

    What i want to know is, what’s under that carpet! More awesome tile?? This is so cool! It just made the top of my favorite list! It had me at the front door and only $95,000? What a beautiful building.

    • JennyBean72 says: 6 comments

      Totally! What’s under that carpet! We want a peeky peeky! You just can’t help but sigh at the craftsmanship going on here right! It’s soooo important to preserve these historical jewels…I pray someone turns this into something so special that it can thrive like it deserves to once again.

  8. CoraCora says: 2054 comments
    OHD Supporter & Moderator

    Clinton, TN

    So, all afternoon at work I’ve been thinking about this library building. I so hope someone buys it that will leave all it’s character intact. It’s just fabulous. ??

  9. Tlm says: 1 comments

    Oh I want this for an art gallery and jewelry and Lapidary classes. Nice place.

  10. Joe says: 748 comments

    When I saw this one, I was pumped. I loved the outside and the main central desk. I couldn’t wait to see the bookshelves that would have been built in 1903 like the rest of the building. Any one who loves books would have found this perfect, but alas, all but a few of the shelves seem to be gone. Heartbreaking. It would still make a good home for someone in this electronic age. For me, it leaves me saddened.

    • hearsetraxhearsetrax says: 231 comments

      Shelves can be installed or replaced,a good book can never be replaced by a computer

      I think these few quotes put it best about “man vs electronic age”

      (bonus points for those who can name the Star Trek Episode without clicking the link)


      • Joe says: 748 comments

        There are very few books that one can’t find online. The shelves that would have been built at the same time as and inside of this building are not replaceable. They were perfectly accurate period shelves. They would have matched the color finish and style of the woodwork that has survived. The patina that comes with age would also have exactly matched. It would be excessive to say that it is a shame that IN ADDITION TO the original shelves it would be great if they had all of the original books, and contents including the decorative arts such as library tables and chairs, original plumbing fixtures in the bathrooms, original lighting fixtures in their original locations,…..but…..
        IT IS A SHAME that this library building doesn’t have the old shelves, all of the original books, and contents including the decorative arts such as library tables and chairs, original plumbing fixtures in the bathrooms, original lighting fixtures in their original locations. Let’s not shy away from certain excesses thereby failing to preserve the things which mark our own era.

  11. CandyCandy says: 148 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Carpentersville, IL

    The desk area could be a great kitchen if you made this in to a private home…

  12. Marie says: 202 comments

    The Carnegie library in our city is being used as our historical museum. It’s wonderful and glad to see this great reuse of an architectural gem.

  13. This library is an absolute gem!! I would definitely snatch it up and convert it into a private residence with an amazing shop in the basement for my business. I am disheartened to see the remnants of what must have been a sizable portion of original bookshelves now gone. Additionally, I wonder if there was an original stained glass skylight in the center beyond the main desk? Perhaps this was a skylight with a cupola at the top. If so, it seems that that too was taken (ripped out). Nevertheless, this would be an amazing home! All that space just has my mind going crazy with ideas for furnishings and decorations!

    • CandyCandy says: 148 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Carpentersville, IL

      If you look at my second post above, with links to pics of our Carnegie Library in Defiance OH, the link that allows you to do a 360° tour also allows you to look up at the astonishing stained glass on the ceiling/skylight. I’m wondering if this is a staple in Carnegie libraries … Especially since you mentioned it.

  14. Woeisme says: 150 comments

    In Vacaville Ca. they turned it into the Chamber of Commerce. A good fit for this great building.

  15. Adele says: 15 comments

    Everyone sees “desk area” I see amazing bar for my new home! This place is fantastic.

  16. hearsetraxhearsetrax says: 231 comments

    I agree with “Cora” I’d love to see some one turn this into a personal library/work space for one to live in

    of course I’d have a stock pile of true crime/other books written by cops and of course the oddish mini collection craft/DIY books

    could live without the wine cellar though, but wouldn’t mind a mini arcade/VR game room jejeje

  17. Miss-Apple37Miss-Apple37 says: 1155 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1875 Limestone house
    Langeais, Loire Valley,

    Love the mosaics floor! What a beautiful hall with the wood elements, columns…

  18. Heather says: 2 comments

    There couldn’t be anything better than to LIVE in an old Library! My only wish is, it came with free books! What an incredible space! So much possibility!

    • Brigid says: 596 comments

      Oh Heather! I so agree. I can’t imagine anything better than to live in a library. I almost need one for my own book collection. I would make it to look like the one in Beauty and the Beast-heck with the prince, I want the library!

  19. Zann says: 521 comments

    Second hand book shop. Hands down. Or just my house with my own private library in the front.

    Library themed coffee shop, used books in the front, coffee shop in the back, maybe?

  20. Jo Ann Graham says: 119 comments

    I can see a restaurant. Super cool hostess area, bar off to the side in the smaller of the two rooms with the fire place and then the dining room in the larger area. Kitchen downstairs and you are set. It would be wonderful! If you have a ton of money to start with!

  21. Ira Kaplan says: 2 comments

    Art museum, library coffee shop retaurant!

  22. Amelia says: 23 comments

    I could see a place to put all my books out into the open and my crystal/depression glassware… Love for it to be my house… The center desk into a place for reading and my tv/radio/cd’s to be played… and space to spare for sewing projects… And to have a kitchen that “I” really like 🙂

    I would almost be willing to move to Indy for that place alone…

  23. Kimi says: 4 comments

    I wouldn’t be surprised if at least some of the bookshelves were hiding in the building somewhere….basement?? I see an open door off the main basement with various furnishings in it- could be more of those!! Place is HUGE, right?!

  24. Barb says: 1 comments

    I have a set of Mark Twains novels…a 24 volume set…very old. I’ve always struggled to find a way to display them as the character of the old books is so unique.

    This is a bit extreme but it’d be a perfect place to display them…

  25. Jeff Moe says: 1 comments

    I’d love to found my own BBQ joint here–enough space for firewood, huge smokers in the basement, plenty of seating room, I could go on forever…

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