Streator Carnegie Library

An Andrew Carnegie Library listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places since 1996. With its two story high domed ceiling, ionic columns and oak staircases, it was considered too extravagant by critics when first opened in 1903. In the early twentieth century, a Carnegie library was the most imposing structure in hundreds of small American communities from Maine to California. Most of the library styles were unique, displaying a number of architectural styles. The architecture was typically simple and formal, welcoming patrons to enter through a prominent doorway, nearly always accessed via a staircase. The entry staircase symbolized a person's elevation by learning. Similarly, outside virtually every library was a lamppost or lantern to symbolize enlightenment.

The collection of the library contains 39,987 volumes. The library circulates 41,738 items per year. The library serves a population of 14,190 residents. The library also features many events throughout the year for kids and adults.

Streator Public Library 130 S. Park St.
Streator, IL 61364

Friends of the Streator Public Library Facebook Page

The Poundstone Flag
The library also features The Poundstone Flag. This flag was carried in the Civil War by Sgt. George Poundstone, a native of Farm Ridge Township in southern LaSalle County near Streator. Poundstone was carrying the flag on July 12, 1863 when he was wounded. When he was captured, Poundstone stuffed the flag inside his shirt trying to save it from being taken as a trophy of war by the Confederate forces. Poundstone was wounded three times that day, including injuries to his left thigh, chest, and left eye. The flag became covered in blood from his chest wound. The 35 star flag was found in Washington D.C. in 1885 and was stored at the Illinois State Military Museum. It was also displayed at the Illinois State Capital in Springfield until 1922, and in the Howlett Building until 2003. The flag then moved into a climate-control facility in Springfield. 

Around 2012, Streator resident David Reed began a fundraising drive to preserve the flag and return it to Streator. More than $16,000 was raised for the project. The flag was cleaned, stabilized, and a cotton backing was added. The flag is now available to view on the second floor of the library, and is one of 6 Civil War flags on display in Illinois.  

More information on the Poundstone Flag can be found through this link.


A view of the beautiful rotunda and newly restored murals.

In September 2023, the library celebrated the completion of its mural restoration.
Work was completed through funding from The Save America’s Treasures Grant and matching funds raised by the Library. The total project funding raised was $278,150.

The murals in the rotunda were completed in 1905 by Gustav Fuchs.
After a fire in 1945, the murals were covered with soot.
Parma Restoration removed the soot, and restored the paintings. Now, they are vibrant and bright.

Work was also completed by the following;

- Proud Electric installed lighting and compete electrical work.
- Oosterbaan Painting repaired cracks and restored the dome.
- Russ Lanning restored floors on the landing to original condition.

connect facebook twitter instagram