Green River Star -

By David Martin
Publisher 

Grant awarded for Carnegie study

 

January 30, 2019

It's a building that has been a part of Green River for more than a century, providing education and later justice to the city's residents.

However, now the Green River Carnegie Library building stands vacant and problems with the building have become more severe. The Green River City Council approved the acceptance of a $12,000 grant from the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office to fund a structural study of the building. The matching portion of the grant comes from $3,500 in cash already earmarked by the city and $4,500 provided through in-kind donations made by city and Sweetwater County staff.

Speaking to the Council during its Jan. 15 meeting, City Administrator Reed Clevenger said the building has sustained "a lot of damage" due to settling and water leakage.

"The building is in bad shape," he said.

While the library is a county-owned property, Mayor Pete Rust said the county is looking at opportunities to offload it and the Roosevelt Elementary School building, currently the home of Golden Hour Senior Center. Rust sees the building as a great opportunity for the city, believing the city to benefit if the building remains in county hands or ultimately becomes a city-owned property. He said the building would provide jobs in Green River if development moves forward.

"Either way, we're going to profit if we move ahead," Rust said.

According to Brie Blasi, director of the Sweetwater County Historical Museum, the building was one of two significant buildings constructed in the early 1900s. Blasi said Green River was experiencing a downturn in economic development and interest in the town, leading to a campaign by the town's prominent residents to promote the town. The campaign ultimately resulted in the construction of the Carnegie Library and the U.P. Depot.

"Everyone thought Green River was going off the map," Blasi said. "The Carnegie Library and the depot are the reason Green River is still here."

The library was completed and dedicated in 1907, while the depot was built in 1910. According to Blasi, the library's placement on a hill wasn't accidental. She said the building is somewhat hidden by Green River City Hall, but said Center Street originally passed through a portion of the building. The library faces what originally was a portion of Center Street, while the placement on the hill was a design choice that signified the idea of elevating oneself through education.

 

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