Carnegie Public Library

The Excelsior Springs Library was built in 1916 with a $10,000 grant from the Carnegie Foundation, through the efforts of the Civic Improvement Association to establish a library and reading room in Excelsior Springs. Prior to the purchase of the lot, a local committee had corresponded with George Kesser, landscape architect for the Excelsior Springs park system, in hopes that he would find a suitable spot for the library within Siloam Park. Kessler did not feel that there was a proper spot within the park, and his letter indicates that he really did not want to get involved with the controversy which was arising. Two groups of citizens then tried to promote and purchase lots in different locations. The present site at the corner of Broadway and Saratoga apparently pleased few people, and letters were sent to the Carnegie Foundation asking them to intervene, which they refused to do. In the meantime, the City purchased the lot for $1,000, and eventually the building contract was awarded to the lowest bidder, Bates, Cook & Wilson, for $8,803.94. According to the nomination:

Based on past building projects around the country, the Carnegie Foundation developed a leaflet entitled "Notes on Library Buildings" which was written in 1911 as a guide to each community along with the promise of funds. This was intended to prevent building blunders instead of attempting to correct them. All too many buildings were planned with expensive exteriors and inefficient, uneconomical interiors and usually there were so architects experienced in building libraries, particularly those for small or medium-sized towns.

The six editions of the "Notes on Library Buildings" varied only slightly in presentation and information. They provided certain minimum standards for the main requirements of accommodations in the libraries built with Carnegie funds. Each community was to obtain the greatest amount of usable space consistent with good taste in building. According to these "Notes" the best results for a small library could be obtained in a rectangular-shaped building with a basement and one floor (other shaped buildings would require extra attention and planning to avoid waste of space). The main floor, 12 to 15 feet high, would accommodate the bookstacks, the circulation desk area, and suitable space for reading by adults and children. Rear and side windows were to be about six to seven feet from the floor, thus permitting shelving all around. The floor could be subdivided as desired by means of bookstacks.

The Excelsior Springs Carnegie Library is a one story, three bay, brick Classical Revival building and has a rectangular floor plan, a high limestone foundation, and a shallow hip roof of standing seam metal. All sides of the building are three bays wide, which are demarcated by engaged fluted wood pilasters with Doric capitals, except for the west side, which has an exterior brick chimney in the place of one pilaster. The pilasters "support" a wide, plain cornice band beneath the widely overhanging eaves. The primary facade faces north. The main entrance is in the central bay, with stone steps leading to double, paneled wood doors with multi-light windows flanked by sidelights. The windows and sidelights are separated by slender engaged columns with Ionic capitals. Above, a semi-elliptical fanlight window has decorative spandrels. The central bay of the other three sides has a tripartite window. All window openings have stone sills, flat arches of radiating brick voussoirs, and a stone keystone. The windows are double-hung, with a fixed transform above. There is a smooth stone sill separating the basement from the first story. A decorative iron fence encloses the small yard area between the sidewalk and the front of the building. The two front windows have iron rails on their lower portion.

This building is listed on the local Register of Historic Places. Information was been obtained from its 1983 nomination form.

Police Station

Good Samaritan Center of Excelsior Springs, Missouri Inc.

Today a non-profit grassroots organization owns and maintains the property.