Carnegie Library Request for Qualifications


In October of 2018, the City of Alameda released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from parties interested in restoring and leasing the historic Carnegie Building and - if desired - the adjacent Foster House. The goal of the RFQ was to find a tenant for the Carnegie that would provide cultural, educational and/or economic benefits to the Alameda community, restore and maintain the historic character of the building, and provide for public use of the building as frequently as possible. 

Proposals were due in December of 2018.

Please click here to download the RFQ(PDF, 538KB) , which includes a project overview, submittal requirements, and a full description of the selection process.

You may also click here to sign up to receive notifications about the RFQ and selection process

RFQ Update

Successful Proposal 

The successful proposal re-envisions the Historic Carnegie Library and adjacent Foster House as the Carnegie Innovation Hall, a state of the art center for innovation combining education and entrepreneurship with the arts, performance, music and technology. This versatile space will focus on educational programming during the day, and provide a venue for theatre, performing arts and other events in the evening. The proposal includes the full restoration and preservation of historic Carnegie Library. 

For more information about the proposed Carnegie Innovation Hall, please visit

Please click here to download(PDF, 25MB) the successful proposal from the Carnegie Innovation Hall team.

Selection Process

Two proposals were received in response to the RFQ. On January 29, a Selection Panel met to review and score the proposals. As defined in the RFQ, a score of 65 or higher was required to qualify as a finalist; one of the proposals did not meet this threshold, and was disqualified from further evaluation. The remaining successful proposal will move forward in lease negotiations. A lease agreement is expected to come before City Council for approval in spring of 2019. 

Selection Panel

The proposals were reviewed by a seven-member Selection Panel, including: a local architect and member of the Historic Advisory Board, a local architect and member of the Public Art Commission, a representative from the Downtown Alameda Business Association, the representative from the College of Alameda Fablab, the City's commercial real estate broker, the City of Alameda Risk Manager, and a Planner from the City of Alameda Planning Department.

Next Steps

City staff are in lease negotiations with proposal team. A lease agreement is expected to come before City Council for approval in spring of 2019. 

Community Meeting

The Carnegie Innovation Hall Team is hosting a community meeting for the Reuse and Restoration of the Carnegie Library on Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 11am-1pm at The Local, 1333 Park Street, Alameda. Please come share your ideas, interest, questions, and/or concerns at a community meeting for this exciting project.  

On Wednesday, February 13, 2019 a community meeting was held to provide more information about the successful proposal and the RFQ process.  Please click here to download the City's presentation(PDF, 952KB) from the meeting, or here to download the Carnegie Innovation Hall team's presentation(PDF, 78MB).



RFQ Objectives

Given the great civic, cultural and architectural importance of these structures, the City is seeking an end user that will:

  • Provide cultural, educational, and/or economic benefits to the community. Examples of these uses include, but are not limited to:
  • Cultural benefits: theatre, performing arts center, art museum, art gallery, arts organization, community cultural center
  • Educational benefits: library, science museum, historical society, community educational center
  • Economic benefits: workforce development center, job resource center, economic development corporation, restaurant, visitor center;
  • Restore and maintain the historic character of the building;
  • Provide for public use of the building as frequently as possible; and
  • Demonstrate the financial resources and experience necessary to complete the restoration and operate the facility.

The Carnegie Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Building History

Originally constructed as the Alameda Free Library, the Carnegie Building was one of the first three libraries funded by Andrew Carnegie to be built in California. Constructed in 1903, the Carnegie Building was designed by William H. Wilcox and John M. Curtis, and built by Alameda-based Foster & Son, at a cost of $30,842. 

The Foster House was originally the home of C.H. Foster, the contractor who built the Carnegie Building. C.H. Foster died in 1915, and his house was converted into the Children’s Library in 1926.

The Carnegie Building and Foster House remained in continuous operation as a public library until 1998, when the library moved into an interim building and later into the new Main Library. Until 2013, the Foster House was occupied by Alameda County Health Services. Both buildings are now vacant.

Key Documents