Historic former Carnegie Library in Middletown back on market

The property is listed for $175,000 by owner whose planned $4.3 million renovation didn’t come to fruition.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

MIDDLETOWN — The former 112-year-old Carnegie Library, once called “a catalyst” for the redevelopment of the Oakland neighborhood, is back on the market.

In 2018, Dan Mayzum, owner of Architecture Renewal, purchased the property and half-acre land at 1320 First Ave., for $5,000, or $90,000 less than it was appraised in 2017 by the Butler County Auditor’s Office.

He has listed the property for $175,000 with Comey & Shepherd Realtors, said Realtor Rebecca Weber.

The land is valued at $4,000 and the building at $750, according to the 2022 tax evaluation from the auditor’s office.

Since listing the property recently, Weber said it has generated “a lot of talk, no action.”

Multiple incentives and tax abatements are available for the project due to its location and historic designation, according to Weber.

She’s showing the 15,488-square-foot property to a potential buyer, who’s “in love with the building,” on Saturday, she said.

Weber, a residential Realtor, envisions the property being renovated into nine to 12 “affordable housing units.”

Two years ago, during an interview with the Journal-News, Mayzum said he remained enthusiastic about the future of the building that may be converted into a brewery, restaurant, bar, meeting and banquet rooms.

“The library has been a destination,” Mayzum said at the time. “It was and it will be again.”

At the time, Mayzum said it would cost $4.3 million and years to complete the major renovation.

In 2018, Mayzum said the project would be complete by the summer of 2020, but the lack of funding and grants and the COVID-19 pandemic delayed construction. Two years ago, he hoped to be open two years after the roof was replaced.


1910: Carnegie donates $25,000 for the library building and furnishings. The city is responsible to purchase books and maintain the building at a cost of about $2,500 a year.

1911: Construction on the building begins.

1913: Construction is complete.

1981: Middletown Public Library moves to South Broad Street. Several companies run unsuccessful businesses inside the Carnegie.

Dec. 21, 2007: Citizens for Historic Preservation purchase property for $36,500.

April 9, 2013: Princeton Commercial Holdings purchases property for $7,750.

June 19, 2018; Developer Dan Mayzum purchases the building and land for $5,000.

2018: Mayzum says the renovation project will be complete by the summer of 2020.

2021: Mayzum says the project will be complete two years after the roof is replaced.

August 2023: Comey & Shepherd Realtors list the property and land for $175,000.

SOURCE: Journal-News archives, Butler County Auditor’s Office

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