established in 1915,
revitalized in 2018
Andrew Carnegie gave more than $300 million to over 1,000 communities across the United States, assisting them in constructing public libraries. Carnegie’s Foundation required ongoing support from both cities and communities, requiring a 10% funding match each year for the upkeep and continuous growth of the public library program. The City of Mishawaka also needed to provide land for the library, eventually offered by Fred G. Eberhart, donating a large plot of land on Hill and First Streets.
Mishawaka’s Carnegie Library was designed and built by architect A.F. Wickes. Constructions began on September 7, 1915. Wickes’ exterior design was atypical of most Carnegie libraries during that time, including the inscription over the entrance - “An idle book never loses in power. An idle man does.” On May 5, 1916, the new Carnegie Library officially opened its doors and was accepted overwhelmingly by the public and the press. The Mishawaka Enterprise referred to the building as “Carnegie’s Princely Gift”.
In 1969, a new library was built in Mishawaka, and Carnegie Library sat vacant. After 3 years of vacancy, the library was donated to the Civil City, but they did not have the funds to renovate it, leading to threats of demolition. Throughout the years following, many have proposed to restore the library for numerous uses, including an airplane museum, office buildings, and banquet hall. Eventually the library was converted to a private residence, keeping the building safe from demolishment. Yet, the upkeep and restoration of the library was a massive project for the homeowners, and in 2016 they sold the library to George Pesek, owner and operator of Market Fresh Gourmet Restaurant Group.
George had a vision for the library as a lively, restored restaurant and event center. After 2 years of extensive renovation and restoration, we present to you Jesús Latin Grill and Carnegie Library, bringing new life to both Mishawaka’s Carnegie Library and Downtown Mishawaka itself.