Skip Site Navigation to page content menu

Current Location

In November 1966 the Charleston Library closed its doors at the old Lee Street location and began the move to Capitol Street, opening a new year at its new location on January 4, 1967.

This began a new era for the Kanawha County Public Library. John V. Ray directed the sale of the former library site at Lee, Hale and Dickinson Streets to the National Bank of Commerce for the unexpected sum of $711,000, which according to the Charleston Daily Mail was "believed to have established one of the all-time high prices for downtown real estate." The newspaper editorialized, "The Kanawha County Public Library is about to come into its own and its success makes pleasant reading." Additional construction funds were received through the Federal Library Services and Construction Act and the Appalachian Regional Development Act. The 1.5 million dollar renovation project was begun. Only the classic facade of the former Federal Building remained. The interior was extensively remodeled for library use.

The firm financial foundation established with the passage of the Special Bill in 1957 has been strengthened by annual per capita grants from the State of West Virginia through the West Virginia Library Commission. Gifts have also played an important role in the life of this institution. In addition to the generous contribution of Colonel Humphrey in 1920, a gift of $40,000 from the Joe Lowenstein Memorial Foundation made possible the exterior landscaping of the main library, including the sculptured fountain. Sculptor Robert Cronbach designed it to represent "water falling over rocks and mountains."

back to page menu