We are thrilled to share that The Carnegie is officially open to the public after the formal ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday, June 23rd, 2018. Once Edgartown’s former library, The Carnegie was sold to the Vineyard Trust (formally known as the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust) in 2016 for $1 and was revitalized as a visitor center showcasing the Trust’s twenty-four historic properties on the Island.
We were honored to be invited to preserve this significant piece of Island history. The building was built in 1904 as a gift from Andrew Carnegie, a world-renowned philanthropist and Edgartown summer resident, on land offered by Caroline Osborn Warren, the daughter of a local and famed whaling captain. The Carnegie’s past was the precedent for its future. It continues to be a source of information ultimately maintaining its original intended use, which coincides with the Trust’s mission with every property they preserve. The transformation is dynamic and exciting as it will continue to serve another generation and lifetime of community involvement and activity.
The formerly cramped and dark library now features open spaces flooded with natural light. Mahogany cased openings radiate off the entry gallery to the various exhibits on the first floor. We cut a hole in the first floor to create a strong visual connection between the first and lower level. Peering over the balcony and down below is a large table top map of the island displaying all of the Trust’s properties and suspended above is a large wooden ribbing of a rescue boat used by the Coast Guard. Built-in bookcases and exhibitions filled with historical artifacts wrap around the remainder of the library.
Despite the foul weather, the ceremony was well attended by donors, members of the trust, volunteers, and the local community at large. The Carnegie will be open Wednesday through Sunday until October, and then on selected dates during the holiday season. To learn more about The Vineyard Trust and The Carnegie, visit their website.