Carnegie Library

A front facing view of the Carnegie Library, in between two trees.


Libraries are critical. As Andrew Carnegie stated, “A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people.”  When the Manitou Springs Carnegie library opened its doors in 1911, the population of Manitou Springs was less than 1,400. While the population of Manitou Springs has almost quadrupled in population, the library remained the same size and occupancy limit (19). In addition, the building was never built to accommodate those with mobility issues and was not updated when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990, thus it is inaccessible to many with mobility-related disabilities.

The Manitou Springs Carnegie Library project scope consists of a 2,950 SF addition onto the 3,486 SF existing historic Carnegie Library as well as interior remodeling of the existing space. The design intent is to impact the historic structure minimally while adding missing accessibility components and expanding the library’s program offerings based on 21st Century library principles. The addition will be pulled back from the primary north elevation and dug into the earth to minimally impact the street perspective. Where the addition comes above grade, it will be located on the secondary south elevation. The addition’s roof area has been designed to give back accessible park space to the community while allowing the addition to remain submissive to the primary structure.

Final Design*

Contact Us

Hannah Van Nimwegen-McGuire

Planning Director
A 3D rendering of the front of the finalized design. Front facing.
A 3D rendering of the front of the finalized design. West facing.
A 3D rendering of the front of the finalized design. East facing.
Upper Level Floor Plan
A 3D rendering of the front of the finalized design. Birds eye view.
Lower Level Floor Plan

Final Site Plan (PDF)

*Minor aspects of the design may change through the permitting process.

A thermometer showing $1.9 Million funded out of $3.7 Million. "We are halfway there!"

The Carnegie Library Remodel and Expansion will cost approximately $3.7 Million, which is a significant cost for a City the size of Manitou Springs.

Total Cost**~$3,700,000
Current Funding:~$1,800,000
Funding Needed:~$1,900,000

**The City has not solicited bids for this project, nor has the City received permits for this project. This is an estimated cost.

Current funding is composed of a combination of private funding, Manitou Arts, Culture, & Heritage (MACH) Funding, and City Funding, minus the design expenses.

City Funding: ~$1,500,000

MACH Funding: ~$240,000

Private Funding: ~$370,000

Design Expenses: ~($270,000)

The City is actively seeking grants, further private funding, and other funding methods to help reach the total cost of ~$3.7 Million.

Grassroots donations are extremely important in this funding process, and providing a donation Carnegie Library Remodel and Expansion is extremely simple to do. The can be completed on computers and mobile devices, and provides a way to donate via eChecks or credit/debit cards.

Donations to the Carnegie Library Remodel and Expansion are for a public purpose, and therefore may quality for tax deduction in accordance with Federal and/or State income tax laws. Please consult with your tax advisor to determine whether your donation is tax deductible in whole or in part. Nothing in this communication is intended to constitute legal or tax advice.

The Path to Construction

  • 2002: Friends of the Manitou Springs Library was formed for the express purpose  of fundraising for and facilitating the restoration and expansion of the Library.
  • January 1, 2013: after a year of negotiation with the Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) and vote by the people of Manitou Springs, the Manitou Springs Carnegie Library joined the PPLD and became one of three Carnegie libraries in the District.
  • November 2019: the citizens of Manitou Springs voted Yes on the Manitou Arts, Culture and Heritage (MACH) ballot, a measure that will raise funds from a percentage of sales tax dollars for the Library as well as other historic, arts and cultural assets in Manitou.
  • 2020: A task force called the Preserve and Renew Our Carnegie Library Task Force, was formed in the Summer of 2020.
  • 2021: Ratio is selected as the architectural firm for the Carnegie Library Remodel and Expansion.
  • 2021-2023: 20 public meetings and three community engagement forums were held to establish, adjust, and finalize the design.
  • March, 2023: City Council gave unanimous approval for the Carnegie Library Remodel and Expansion Design.
  • April, 2023: Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) have approval for the Carnegie Library Interior Design
  • Tentative Future Items:
    • May, 2023: Final Design to be submitted to Pikes Peak Regional Building Department for permitting.
    • May, 2023 - August, 2023: Request for Proposals to be issued to contractors to provide bids for this project.

In 1910, local Manitou Springs physician H.M. Ogilbee convinced the Andrew Carnegie Foundation to donate $6,000 for a library. The City participated by purchasing properties at the current site and removing six previous buildings. Ground was broken in 1910. The classical Italian Renaissance library, designed by architect Thomas McLaren, was opened February 22, 1911. The population of Manitou Springs at the time was less than 1400.

Manitou Springs’ first library was established in 1900, in the Parish House of the St. Andrews Episcopal Church. The Reverend E.C. Bonell, Rector of the church, organized a club of 12 women, including several from each church in the town of Manitou Springs.

This club established the library in the church. Having no money to buy books, they asked for donations of books or money. After they had received three to four hundred books, they opened the library, and the women of the group took turns in keeping it running. The library was aptly named a Reading Room, for many people spent hours there in the little Parish House.

Read More History on the Save the Manitou Carnegie Library Facebook Page...


City Council Regular Session - March 21, 2023

Historic Preservation Commission - November 2, 2022

PowerPoint Presentation - February 23 & 24, 2022

PowerPoint Presentation From City Council Regular Meeting 11/2/2021

Manitou Springs Carnegie Campaign Plan

Design Presentation to the Community

Link to Resolution 1521