Q: What is the history of the Corinth Library?
In the 1950s, before the Johnson County Library had funding, volunteer run libraries were spread through the county. In 1953, a branch was opened in the Prairie Village Shopping Center. It was located in the basement of one of the shops. When funding was available in 1956, the library moved upstairs to a rented space on the Concourse.
In 1961, voters approved a bond issue that allowed for the site purchase and build of a library in Prairie Village. Corinth opened its doors on February 24, 1963. The branch site and that of the adjacent Corinth Shopping Center were already famous in Kansas City history. The clothier Herbert Woolf built Woolford Farm on 200 acres and raised thoroughbred racing horses. He hosted lavish parties whose guests included Theodore Roosevelt and many other notables. In 1938 his horse Lawrin won the Kentucky Derby. Lawrin is buried on the top of the hill just west of the library.
In 1967, another bond was approved and Corinth expanded to its current size. In 1988, Corinth underwent an interior renovation that added an elevator, emergency egress, and windows on the east side of the building.
The 2015 Comprehensive Library Master Plan identifies the need to replace Corinth with a new building. No site or timeframe has been announced, but a feasibility study is ongoing between the City of Prairie Village, YMCA of Greater Kansas City, and the Library Board to consider the possibility of constructing a community recreation and wellness center and a new Johnson County Library branch facility on land that is in closer proximity to the City's Harmon Park.
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Article researched and originally written by Jerry C. Roy, 2010
Edited and updated by Traci M., 2019