The Carnegie

Edgartown Village Historic District, Martha's Vineyard, MA

Given to Edgartown in 1904 by Andrew Carnegie for the enrichment of its citizens, the library—acquired by the Vineyard Trust in 2016—is a piece of history. The trust commissioned a restoration of the building to transform it into a visitor center, showcasing the organization’s twenty historic properties.

While it largely preserves the first floor’s plan, with its entry sequence and reading rooms, the renovation includes new historically appropriate slate floors and casework based on the existing moldings. Newly added exhibition space behind, lined with new bookshelves and display cases, houses the trust’s permanent exhibition, Living Landmarks.

A hole was cut in the center of the exhibition area’s floor to open it to the lower level—one of many steps taken to turn once-cramped, dark spaces into flowing, light-filled ones. From the first floor, visitors can now look beyond a glass-paneled balustrade to the exhibits below. The restored building now brings history to life.