Cañon City Public Library
516 Macon Ave

Public LibraryThe Cañon City Ladies Library Association organized in 1886 to start a public library. They began raising funds and collecting books, and soon opened a reading room with a lending library of 200 donated books on Main Street.

By 1901 the library had grown to 4,000 books and more space was needed. The ladies wrote to Andrew Carnegie, the Pittsburgh steel millionaire who was helping to establish libraries around the nation.

Carnegie agreed to help, and the cornerstone was laid on Macon in 1902. Architect Charles C. Rittenhouse, contractor U.S. Okey, and stonemason Fred Kober built the structure in the Classical/Revival style. They used reddish and buff colored sandstone from the local Harding Quarry. The flooring was ceramic tile and the library furnishings and furniture were oak. The Ladies Library Association turned the library over to the City of Cañon City when it was completed.

By 2005, the library was crowded and needed repair to both the original Carnegie and a 12,000 foot addition built in 1982. An extensive 2014 renovation project included restoring the reading room to its original appearance, opening a 1902 time capsule in December and placing a new time capsule in the cornerstone in February, 2015.

Landmarks on the Cañon City Tour