Monday, June 23, 2008
Journal writing experience at Carnegie Library
This past weekend, I drove out to DeKalb, Ill., corn country and visited a pristine little town cut right out of Americana called Sycamore. The 12,000-population town also serves as the county seat. In the town square on Main and State Streets lie the neoclassic DeKalb County courthouse, an imposing post office and one of the most beautiful libraries in which I've ever facilitated a writing workshop.
The Sycamore Public Library was one of the original Carnegie libraries built through funding by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. First built in 1905, the Sycamore Public Library received an extensive addition and renovation in 1997. The new section is fashioned with a hip, modern interior, yet the exterior has kept the integrity of the original design. It makes a stunning statement in architecture and color to any passerby. The library director also suggested I take a drive down Somonauk Street on my way out of town, which is lined with huge well-maintained Victorian mansions of every color and facade. Worth the visit!
I also had the pleasure of visiting another Carnegie Library in Eureka Springs, Ark., in the last couple of years, which I intend on returning to this fall. It is not as large by any means as Sycamore Library, but just as charming.◦