Carnegie Reading Room

The Carnegie Reading Room at Elmhurst Library is named after businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835 – 1919).

The name honors the original Elmhurst Library building, which was a “Carnegie Library”, built with money donated by Carnegie. Over 2,500 Carnegie libraries were built across the world, between 1883 and 1929. In 1907, funds totaling $240,000 donated by Andrew Carnegie were used for the construction of seven new libraries in Queens, including the old Elmhurst Library. The one-story structure served the community for 110 years, but more space was needed, and in 2011 the building was demolished. The new four-story library opened in 2016. The only artifact saved was the edifice of the old fireplace, which is now in the 3rd floor room of the children's section.

Four Carnegie Library buildings (Astoria, Poppenhusen, Richmond Hill, and Woodhaven) are still in use in Queens at this time.


"ANDREW CARNEGIE: Pioneer. Visionary. Innovator.” Carnegie Corporation of New York, accessed August 29, 2023,!/

Additional information provided by James McMenamin.