Andrew Carnegie was one of the wealthiest individuals after the American Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s. He became a philanthropist and used his fortune to create 2,500 free public libraries across 10 different nations. Of those, 23 Carnegie Public Libraries landed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Three of these are no longer in existence, and only 11 are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Carnegie Center of Corbin is one of the 11.
Built-in 1916, the Carnegie Library was the very first public library in Corbin. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Later used as WYGO Radio Station, the basement of the building was a food pantry managed by the adjacent First Baptist Church. In 2015 a group of concerned citizens came together to form the non-profit Carnegie Center of Corbin with the intention of raising the funds needed to preserve the building for future generations to come. The group raised enough money through private donations to purchase the building in November of 2020.
The City of Corbin has very few buildings left on this registry. Corbin's Carnegie Library shares traits with nearly all Carnegie libraries, all the way down to its Neo-Classical Revival Architecture. It proudly displays the steps leading into a columned entrance, which symbolized a person's elevation by learning, as well as lamp posts to symbolize enlightenment.
Come out to Austin City Saloon on June 21. A percentage of the proceeds will go toward the preservation of the Carnegie Center.