Former Carnegie Library and City of Winnipeg Archives

The former Carnegie Library and City of Winnipeg Archives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is on the 2018 Top 10 Endangered Places List.

Created by the National Trust for Canada

May 23, 2018

Location

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Why it matters

Built in 1903 with funds from US philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, this imposing classical style limestone building was Winnipeg’s first fully functioning public library. For decades, the library had some of the highest circulation in Canada, and was designated a heritage site in 1984. It ceased to function as a library in 1994 and then became home to the City of Winnipeg Archives.

Why it’s endangered

Closed in 2010 for construction and upgrades, a torrential June 2013 rainstorm tore the roof off the building and damaged the archival records. The Archives subsequently relocated to a temporary home in an industrial park. Four years later, the former Carnegie Library remains empty and in limbo with no funds allocated by the City for restoration, and an active search is underway for a new long-term home for the Archives.

Every year, the National Trust publishes its Top 10 Endangered Places List as part of its mission to raise awareness of the value that historic places bring to quality of life, local identity and cultural vitality.

First published in 2005, the Top 10 Endangered Places List has become a powerful tool in the fight to make landmarks, not landfill. The National Trust believes that historic places are cornerstones of identity, community and sense of place, yet every year, more are lost due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development and weak legislation. By shining a spotlight on places at risk, the Top 10 Endangered Places List raises awareness about their plight and bolsters the efforts of local advocates working to save them.

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