Spades Park Branch Celebrates 100th Anniversary!

March 2, 2012

Individuals of all ages are invited to a special community celebration when the Spades Park Branch of The Indianapolis Public Library commemorates its 100th year of service on Saturday, March 24 from 1 - 5 p.m. at the Spades Park Branch, 1801 Nowland Avenue.

Spades Park Branch

The Spades Park Branch is one of two remaining libraries in Indianapolis that were constructed from funds provided by industrialist Andrew Carnegie. The other local library is the East Washington Branch, which celebrated its centennial in November 2011. Carnegie funded over 2,500 libraries, of which 164 were in Indiana, the most of any state. Indianapolis had five Carnegie libraries created from a $120,000 Carnegie fund.

Built in Italian style of oriental brick and terra cotta with a red tile roof, the Spades Park Branch is located on property donated by Michael H. Spades, who also provided the land for the adjacent Spades Park.

According to an article in The Indianapolis Star on March 23, 1912, the dedication of the Spades Park Branch featured as the chief speaker state librarian Demarchus C. Brown, whose topic was "The Library as a Center."

"The library should be a center of intellectual or spiritual food, where the citizens of that community can come and get that pabulum needed for mental growth," Brown stated. "There should be a certain reverence about a library," he said, "inasmuch as it houses the best thoughts of the best men in the world."

During the Spades Park Branch 100th anniversary celebration, children and families can enjoy a magic show, face painting and balloon animals. In addition, the president of the Marion County Historical Society, Bill McNeice, will speak about the history of the Spades Park Branch and Carnegie libraries. There will be visits by "Benjamin Franklin", a prize raffle and cake for all. The Bruce Polson Trio will perform from 4 - 5 p.m., and the Library's new mascot, Digit, will make an appearance. Attendees are encouraged to bring old photographs of the eastside of Indianapolis to be scanned by Heritage Photo & Research Services for the Indiana Album.

Call 275-4520 for more information about this free Library event.