Featured for this Fast Friday is a monument to education located north of Baker Street on Peachtree Street in Downtown Atlanta’s Hardy Ivy Park. It is the Carnegie Education Pavilion, and the aging marble offers an interesting piece of Atlanta history.
This monument was built using the facade taken from Atlanta’s first public library donated through a gift of $145,000 to the city from Andrew Carnegie in 1901. A Beaux Arts structure designed by New York architects Ackerman and Ross was constructed at 26 Carnegie Way in downtown Atlanta by March of 1902. It was named the Carnegie Library (see picture below).
Before Carnegie’s creation the people in Atlanta used the Young Men’s Library Association. Racism was rampant. While open to the general public, only members of the Association were allowed to check out books and membership was restricted to white men only until 1873, when white women were allowed to check out materials.
The Carnegie Library of 1902 was Atlanta’s main central library until it was torn down in 1977. Parts of the exterior were saved, and in 1996 the Corporation for Olympic Development in Atlanta commissioned Henri Jova to use the materials to design the Carnegie Education Pavilion pictured above. The monument showcases four names: Carnegie, Asop, Dante and Milton, while the main inscription reads: “The Advancement of Learning”. Happy Fast Friday!