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History

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Built in 1915 as a Carnegie Post Office, the building was designed in the classical revival style typical of early 20th century government buildings. The design owes much to the Beaux-Arts traditions of Parisian-trained architects of the end of the 19th century and features an Egyptian-inspired Edwardian-style frieze in the entryway and wainscoting throughout.

The post office moved to its current location in 1962. The building was sold to the City of Ypsilanti for $1, and the City renovated the building and opened the library there the following year.

Milestones

  • The original renovation in 1963 cost the City $128,000. The building opened as a library in November 1963
  • For the first few years, only the main floor was open to the public
  • In 1966, the Ypsilanti Historical Society renovated the lower level, which became the historical museum
  • Four years later, the Historical Society moved to its current location, and the library’s youth collection was moved to the lower level, where it remains today
  • The building was renovated again in 2002 by the Ann Arbor architecture firm of David Milling and Associates. The renovation restored many of the building’s original historic elements and also addressed maintenance issues. YDL-Michigan reopened in 2003
  • Library Plaza was added in 2006
  • The Teen Zone was constructed in 2009
  • Solar panels were installed on the roof in 2015

Original postcard drawing of 229 W Michigan Avenue as post officeimage of Model T's in front of 229 W Michigan Avenue at the Armistice Day parade of 1918