Pacific Grove Public Library

A Brief History of the Pacific Grove Library

The Pacific Grove Public Library was first established in 1886 and moved to its present location on Central Avenue in 1905.

The Pacific Grove Library Association also dates from 1886. In 1904 the collection was given to the city which obtained a Carnegie grant of $10,000 in 1906. The Pacific Improvement Company donated the lot, itself valued at $10,000. Total costs far exceeded the grant; therefore, plans were modified and the difference made up through taxation. McDougall Bros. designed the building and Henry Chivers and the Granite Rock Company were the builders. At the dedication, Paris Kilburn praised the building in which size but not quality was sacrificed. He named all the craftsmen, and berated complainers: “What you want here is your taxes not lowered but increased, and abandon the idea of getting something for nothing. “The library was enlarged in 1926, 1938, 1950 and most recently in 1978-1981 with the new steep gable roof incorporating all.”

The picture above is of the original Carnegie building. Although the exterior has changed somewhat, it is still in the Mission style, and many of the original features on the interior, including the lovely arches and windows of the Reading Area, have been maintained. These features along with a library staff long noted for friendly assistance and high quality service combine to provide a welcoming atmosphere to everyone who visits the library.

Below is a picture of the reference section of today's library.

Reference Room

If you have questions, comments or suggestions,
please call 831-648-5762.