Riverview Library

A short distance south of St. Matthew's School, at the corner of Humboldt and George, you will find Riverview Library.

The industrialist (founder of US Steel) and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie gave money for the building of 1579 public libraries in the United States. The standard view is that he did this for the benefit of immigrants (as he was, from Scotland) and their children, to enable them better to rise in the meritocratic society of the United States. A few cynics might speculate that he desired also to expiate guilt over his brutal treatment of his workers (think of the Homestead Massacre.)

The Riverview is one of three Carnegie libraries in St. Paul, all built in 1916; the others are St. Anthony Park and Arlington Hills. There is disagreement about who designed Riverview and St. Anthony (they are very similar.) St. Paul Public Library ascribes them to the untraceable “Cameron and Company.” Architectural historian Larry Millett gives credit to St. Paul city architect Charles Hausler. The most delightful feature of this library is the abundant light invited in by the enormous windows.