The Carnegie Building, located at 200 W. 9th Street in Lawrence, Kansas, like many “Carnegie Libraries” nationwide, was built using donated funds from steel titan Andrew Carnegie in 1904. It has served as the Lawrence Public Library, the Lawrence Art Center, and today it is rented out for events by the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department. The building itself was added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Old City Library in 1975.
On the second floor of the Carnegie Building is the large Heritage Room. The walls in it – as well as the East Gallery – are lined with plaques and banners that help tell the story of America’s growing pains by focusing on the Kansas experience. Early struggles here included pitting Indigenous Americans against Western Expansion as well as a complicated political battle over slavery’s expansion.