In October 2018, the City of Alameda released a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the rehabilitation and reuse of the long-vacant Alameda Carnegie Library at 2264 Santa Clara Ave. and the adjacent Foster House at 1429 Oak St. The goal of the RFQ was to find a tenant for the Carnegie that would provide cultural, educational and economic benefits to the Alameda community, restore and maintain the historic character of the building and provide for public use of the building as frequently as possible.
Letter writer Claire Coustier (see adjoining commentary) inspired us to put our own opinions into writing regarding the city of Alameda’s lack of attention to the building they own directly across the street from City Hall.
The Carnegie Library still stands as an icon to philanthropy and education funded by Andrew Carnegie. Currently, it stands like a big filing cabinet for city documents.
Local residents often note Alameda’s historic architecture as part of the reason they enjoy living here so much. One particular gem hiding among so many Victorian-era buildings is the long-vacant Carnegie Library at the corner of Oak Street and Santa Clara Avenue. Just one block from bustling Park Street, indeed, directly across from Alameda City Hall sits a building of particular historic value filled with some dusty paperwork, rarely visited by anyone.