Carnegie Building Basement & Caretaker’s Flat

16 Argyle Street, Hobart

Architect: Alan Cameron Walker, Douglas Salier (1903–07)

The imposing Carnegie Building was the site of Hobart’s first public library, partly funded by Scottish–American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The building’s story dates back to 1860 when the local council borrowed money to build the Town Hall on condition that a library be included. It took more than a decade for the library to become established in the Town Hall, and by 1902 it had more than 100,000 users. Since the library moved to Murray Street in 1960, the Carnegie Building has been used as Council offices, an art gallery and is now home to the Maritime Museum of Tasmania.
While the galleries are well-known as public spaces, the cellar in the south -east corner, built in the part of the building that extends over the original water’s edge of Sullivan’s Cove, and the caretaker’s attic flat are usually home to museum storage and the ghosts of past librarians and, perhaps, borrowers. Join the staff for a behind the scene look at the hidden basement and original caretakers flat.

Open: Saturday 12 November, 10 am – 4 pm

Highlights: Take a peek inside the original cellar and caretaker’s flat



Building Type


Architectural Period

Victorian (1851-1901)



History of Hobart

Suitable for Children


Level Changes

Stair Access Only

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