Ephraim City constructed their first library in 1914 with funds contributed by Andrew Carnegie.
Carnegie donated the entire cost of the building on condition that the town provide the land, books, librarian and an annual maintenance budget. The building was designed by the Provo architectural firm, Watkins, Birch and Wright who design many of Utah's public buildings especially in rural areas.
But by 2004, the Ephraim Carnegie Library had fallen into a state of disrepair. The limestone foundation was deteriorating, the building's painted and unreinforced masonry construction required a solution, and the interior was not fit to meet the growing needs of the library. With several suggestions of moving the library to a "new and improved" building, Utah Heritage Foundation helped facilitate discussions with the city and library board about what types of negative impacts leaving the building may have on Main Street and what preservation alternatives were available.
Ephraim City and its residents committed to staying in the Carnegie Library, hiring an architect and contractor who also committed to making the library fit for continued use. Special care was also taken in bracing the structure for a seismic event, restoring the yellow exterior brick, restoring the decorative wood windows, and installing a complimentary addition for an elevator.
To maintain the historic integrity of the building, a concerted effort was made to reuse the existing historic materials and only duplicate new materials when needed. The result was a magnificent building in the heart of Ephraim's Main Street that the public will continue to use for years to come.
Utah Heritage Foundation presented the award to Ephraim City.
Project Architect: MJSA Architects
General Contractor: Paulsen Construction