Petaluma – Historical Library & Museum

It is located at 20 Fourth Street in Petaluma, California, and is known as the Old Carnegie Library, Carnegie Free Library, and Petaluma Historical Library and Museum. It is a research library and history museum that serves the community of Sonoma County, California, and the United States. It was designed by Brainerd Jones as his first major commission before gaining regional recognition for his work on the Carnegie Free Library, which opened its doors to the public in 1904. The Petaluma Historical Library and Museum was established in the 1970s as a research library and historical museum dedicated to the history of Petaluma. The structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a result of its historical significance.

Petaluma’s first library, an Odd Fellows library, was established in 1858 and opened to the public within a decade. By 1878, the library’s ownership had been transferred to the city as part of the Rogers Free Library Act, which established a statewide system of public libraries. A total of $7,500 in local donations and Andrew Carnegie’s $12,500 gift provided the necessary funding for the Carnegie library project. It was constructed by R.W. Moller and W.S. Stradling from a design by Jones, who was working on his first major commission before becoming well-known in the region. The library first opened its doors in early 1906. The building was severely damaged by an earthquake on April 18, which occurred in the area. The building served as a Carnegie Free Library until 1976, with only a few modifications over the course of the decades. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, it has been in use since then. It has been transformed into a historical museum with a research library.

Using quarried stone from Stony Point, construction began in 1904 in the Classical Revival architectural style. The building was completed in 1908. There are columns and pediments at the entrance, which is two stories high. The interior features a vaulted ceiling, a skylight made of leaded glass, and wood paneling throughout. There are fan-glass windows, round leaded-glass windows, and a leaded-glass dome, which is the largest free-standing dome in Northern California and is the largest in the world. The Hoppy Hopkins Memorial Research Library, named after local historian Hoppy Hopkins (1921-2003), provides resources for historical, genealogical, and architectural research in the community, including maps, blueprints, newspapers, city directories, and yearbooks. The library is dedicated to the memory of Hoppy Hopkins. The museum contains artifacts that relate to the history of the area, including the Miwok people, as well as the chicken and dairy industries.

Helen Putnam Regional Park
Critical Control – Restoration service