Buildings and Grounds
The Petoskey District Library consists of our new building, which opened on November 22, 2004 and the original Carnegie building, which opened in November of 1909.
The library is one of the most important and ambitious public works this city has undertaken in decades. The new building sits elevated slightly above street level, emphasizing not only its prominent position in the urban architectural hierarchy, but also its importance in the lives of the people of this community. Traditional materials on the exterior of the building, brick, stone and concrete, give it a sense of permanence and solidity. The design is timeless, "Colonial Georgian with Mannerist tendencies" and one feels as if the building has perhaps been here all along, waiting to be discovered. --Jonathan Lee, Architect
One of the most striking architectural features of the building is, of course, the copper-topped cupola, its spire rising some 65-feet above street level. Each glazed facet of the cupola is framed by a pair of Corinthian columns, nearly eight-feet high. Permitting light to penetrate the center of the building, it also allows light to radiate outward, a powerful metaphor for the role of the library as a center for learning and the exchange of ideas. --Jonathan Lee, Architect
Six Corinthian columns, open books embedded in their Florentine Renaissance capitals, flank the stately entry.
Boldly patterned terrazzo floors in front of the circulation desk depict the rising sun, the light of learning and the dawn of knowledge. --Jonathan Lee, Architect
A large brass compass rose, centered under the rotunda dome, serves both as a symbolic navigation tool for explorers, and to strengthen the interior axial relationships of the space. --Jonathan Lee, Architect
The Waukazoo Street end of the new building is flanked by two Serviceberry trees. Among the other plantings on the grounds are Greenspire lindens, Nearly Wild roses, Green Velvet boxwood and burning bush.
The Petoskey Community Labyrinth is located on the grounds of the new library building. Thirty-five-feet in diameter, it is of the Medieval, 11 circuit "Breamore" design. It was constructed by The Labyrinth Company of charcoal and red paver brick.
One of Jim Miller-Melberg's play sculptures, this turtle was designed in 1960 and is still being manufactured today. It was donated to the Crooked Tree Arts Center by Wausau Tile Company, and is being displayed in the main library's courtyard.
The original Carnegie building, across Mitchell Street from the new library, was opened in November of 1909. It was closed with the move to the new building for renovation and repopened in September 2005, as community meeting room space.
Bruce Catton, a Pulitzer Prize winning historian and author who was born in Petoskey in 1899, is memoralized with this plaque created by another renowned Petoskey resident, Stanley Kellogg. It is located on the grounds of the Carnegie building at 451 East Mitchell. Street.