East Branch Library

Classical-Revival gem

The fourth of Carnegie's reform-era libraries in Nashville

By 1919, the Edgefield/East Nashville suburb has grown large enough to justify Andrew Carnegie partially funding a public library here. In order to secure his funding, Carnegie libraries had to fit a formula of public support, an openness to provide a free service to all, and a proven need. The first Carnegie library in Nashville in 1904 on Polk Street.

The East Branch was designed by the New York architect Albert R. Ross who designed many of the Carnegie libraries in a characteristic Classical Revival style to convey Carnegie's conception of public libraries as temples of learning. The library opened on May 8, 1919 with grand, patriotic festivities.

This library was initially segregated and there was another Carnegie library on Hynes and 12th Avenue North called the "Negro Carnegie Library" that was meant to serve the African-American population of Nashville.

This building has withstood had a major renovation in 1999 to return