Waukegan Park District officially acquires Carnegie Library

  • The Waukegan Park District board of commissioners and Leadership Team and Waukegan Historical Society board of directors at the Carnegie Library, which has been acquired by the park district in partnership with the historical society.

    The Waukegan Park District board of commissioners and Leadership Team and Waukegan Historical Society board of directors at the Carnegie Library, which has been acquired by the park district in partnership with the historical society. Courtesy of the Waukegan Park District

  • A rendering of the proposed Waukegan Carnegie Center, which will house the Waukegan Historical Society's expanded history programming, archives, collections, exhibits and research library, and will also be used by the Waukegan Park District.

    A rendering of the proposed Waukegan Carnegie Center, which will house the Waukegan Historical Society's expanded history programming, archives, collections, exhibits and research library, and will also be used by the Waukegan Park District. Courtesy of the Waukegan Park District

 
Updated 8/19/2020 1:57 PM

Submitted by the Waukegan Park District

In partnership with the Waukegan Historical Society, the Waukegan Park District has announced that it has officially acquired the historic Carnegie Library from the city of Waukegan. The Carnegie Library is at 1 N. Sheridan Road, downtown Waukegan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Designated as a Waukegan Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Carnegie Library will become the new site for the Waukegan Historical Society's expanded history programming, archives, collections, exhibits and research library. The building will also be used by the Waukegan Park District for programs, classes, events and registrations.

For the 50th anniversary of the Waukegan Historical Society, the Waukegan Park District Board of Commissioners approved a resolution to fund the expansion of the Waukegan History Museum. The Waukegan Park District and Waukegan Historical Society plan to transform the Carnegie Library into a dynamic education and cultural center. The restoration of the Carnegie Library will begin with a design development process, after which bids will be accepted and the construction phase will begin. To date, more than 70 percent of the estimated funds needed have been raised from private sources. The restoration project is anticipated to be completed in three years.

"The Waukegan Park District is committed to working with the Waukegan Historical Society to restore the Carnegie Library and strengthen downtown Waukegan," Waukegan Park District President Jeremiah Johnson said. "The community will benefit greatly from this project with expanded history offerings and events. We can't wait to welcome the community into the renovated Carnegie Building."

"The Waukegan Park District is proud to take ownership of the Carnegie Library and partner with the Waukegan Historical Society to renovate the building," Waukegan Park District Executive Director Jay Lerner said. "The renovation of such a historic building will allow us to expand our programs and share our local history with the community. Along with the Waukegan Historical Society, we will save an important part of Waukegan's history."

"We couldn't be more excited to partner with the Waukegan Park District to restore the Carnegie Building, one of Waukegan's most historical landmarks in the heart of the city," Waukegan Historical Society President Josh Bill said. "We have recognized a need for more space for more than 10 years. The Carnegie Building will allow us to expand the Waukegan History Museum's programs and exhibits."

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