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In 1906 Julia Morgan designed the Margaret Carnegie Library, as a Mediterranean revival centerpiece to the campus. It is a two-story, single gabled, rusticated stucco structure, that is capped by a roof of red clay tile. The entrance, is symmetrically placed at the center of the volume, with two series of three rectangular punched windows on each side. The upper story features five, equally sized, large arched windows, the center one of which has a balcony articulated in iron. Each of the gabled ends of the building have one central large window, with similar balcony as that whic is positioned over the entrance, and flanked on each side by a smaller rectangular window. Nearby, is a handsome Beaux-Arts period fountain sculpture of an elegantly fashioned ibis.
On the interior, the building's most notable feature is the Bender Room, the reading room located on the second floor. This space originally housed 7,600 volumes. Today, it contains carved redwood trusses, paneling, and built-in bookcases. From the vantage point of this reading room, one can also enjoy views out to the Oval, Mills Hall, and El Campanil, other significant sites on campus.
Annexes to the building were built in 1929 and 1940. In 1954, a further modern addition was constructed. Since this latter concrete, brick and glass addition does not compliment the building, the college would like to restore the library to its original freestanding form. From 1961-1963 the library underwent renovation and earthquake proofing.