A view from inside the historic Carnegie Library on Exchange Street in Binghamton. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]

The doors of the Broome County Public Library building on Exchange Street in downtown Binghamton closed more than 15 years ago.

Since the library moved to a newly-constructed facility on Court Street, few people have had the opportunity to enter the historic structure which was built as the result of a gift by Andrew Carnegie.

The Binghamton Public Library opened its doors in 1904, the same year the neighboring Security Mutual Building and the nearby Press Building were constructed.

SUNY Broome Community College has plans to turn the old library into a culinary and events planning center. President Kevin Drumm said engineering and architectural experts have studied the building and concluded it is "very structurally sound."

WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program will follow developments on the planned project.

Before work gets underway, we took a walk through the library, which has been since 2000. We were fascinated by what we found, including some things we'd never seen in any of our past visits to this special building. We reminisced about the old library with Broome County Historian Gerald Smith, who worked there for many years.

Sit back... watch and listen.

The Carnegie Library as it appeared shortly after it opened in the early 20th Century. [Broome County Public Library photo][/caption]
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