Waukegan transferring ownership of Carnegie Library to park district

By Mary Chappell
Daily Herald correspondent
Updated 9/16/2019 10:10 PM

The Waukegan Park District will take ownership of the city's historic Carnegie Library in late 2019 or early 2020 as part of a public-private project with the Waukegan Historical Society.

The city council on Monday evening agreed to the transfer, although some details still need to be worked out, according to a news release from the park district.


Built in 1903, the Carnegie Library, 1 N. Sheridan Road, is registered on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a Waukegan historical landmark. It will be repurposed for expanded history programs, exhibits, collections and archives.

"We couldn't be more excited to restore and adaptively reuse one of Waukegan's most historic buildings," said Josh Bill, the president of the Waukegan Historical Society.

Jay Lerner, the park district's executive director, said the project will strengthen Waukegan "as a whole."

"The Waukegan Park District and the Waukegan Historical Society are partners that are committed to meeting the needs of the community and delivering," Lerner said. "We are enthusiastic about this opportunity and we'll work diligently with the city of Waukegan, once the agreement criteria have been met."

Waukegan's current library building, at County and Clay streets, has been in use since 1965.

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