HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (May 14, 2012) – Gov. Steve Beshear today announced funding to assist in a new restoration project at the historic Carnegie Library in the city of Hopkinsville in Christian County.
Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson joined local leaders to present the $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to Christian County to help rehabilitate the library.
“Historical fixtures in our Kentucky towns define the communities and help to make each of them distinct and memorable,” Beshear said. “This funding will go toward refurbishing the remarkable Hopkinsville Carnegie Library and will help repurpose it for many future generations to enjoy.”
Originally constructed in 1914, the Hopkinsville Carnegie Library was designed in the Classical Revival style made popular after the 1893 Chicago’s World Fair. The facility functioned as Hopkinsville’s public library for 63 years and has remained a prominent and unique downtown structure. However, since its vacancy in 1977, the building has suffered considerable deterioration.
The CDBG funding will help repair the library’s blighted condition and reduce health and safety risks to preserve the historical integrity of the structure and prepare it for future adaptive uses. The overall project will restore compromised structural components of the building, including repairing the roof, strengthening windows and doorways and stabilizing walls, footers and the foundation. CDBG funding will also be used to make the facility compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“Today’s announcement is about more than bricks and mortar—it is about preserving the past and investing in the community’s future,” Abramson said.
“The value of Hopkinsville Carnegie Library to the community is evident and the local residents’ determination to preserve the building is inspiring,” said Department for Local Government (DLG) Commissioner Tony Wilder. “We look forward to the potential of this prominent site and the positive effect it will have for Hopkinsville-area citizens of all ages.”
Hopkinsville Carnegie Library Inc. (HCLI) was created by a group of local residents to help raise private funds to assist in the library’s restoration. Many citizens have volunteered to aid the preservation and upkeep of the library. Recently, HCLI funded the stabilization of the library’s roof. The goal is for the library to serve as an outreach facility for students of all ages. Future renovated space will include a recital hall, gallery, lecture space and a repository for books, drawings, prints and information on Kentucky architecture.
“In Hopkinsville and Christian County, this Community Development Block Grant is a giant step forward, helping to give our past a secure future,” said Jim Coursey, executive director of HCLI. “We look forward to the addition of after-school tutoring at the Carnegie Library to help students of all ages with their writing skills.”
The state’s CDBG program is administered by DLG and funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Kentucky’s Congressional leaders’ ongoing support of the CDBG program ensures the availability of continued funding in Kentucky and nationally.