909 Jefferson Street, Red Bluff, California 96080

 

The Kraft Memorial Free Library building is one of the finest examples of architecture in Red Bluff, with a rich history as part of the Red Bluff community.  State of the art when it was built, it stands today as a glorious part of Red Bluffs history.  Built in the Classic Revival Style, also known as Neoclassic, it is on the National Register of Historic Places.  Exquisite oak woodwork, an enormous stained glass in the rotunda, three fireplaces, Douglas Fir floors, and magnificent carved stone are but a few of its highlights.  The main floor is accessed by the grand staircase, with interior stairs to the half basement and upstairs trustee room.  Sitting on the corner of Hickory and Jefferson Streets as one of the cornerstones of the Victorian district in Red Bluff, it is surrounded by verdant lawns, beautiful gardens and picnic tables for visitors to enjoy. 

Tour House of Design at the Kraft Library

Incredible 3D imaging allows you to walk the aisles at House of Design and enjoy home decor, gifts and floral arrangements against the backdrop of the stunning architecture of the Herbert Kraft library. 

1. Press the Play button in the center. 2. Wait for the video to load.  3.  Press play button in lower left hand side.

Kraft Library Architectural and Interior Details

The Kraft building is one of the finest examples of architecture in Red Bluff.  State of the art when it was built, it stands today as a part of Red Bluff"s history that will hopefully, always remain a viable part of the community.

The Kraft building is one of the finest examples of architecture in Red Bluff.  State of the art when it was built, it stands today as a part of Red Bluff"s history that will hopefully, always remain a viable part of the community.

Kraft Gardens


The Kraft is surrounded by a verdant lawn, beautiful trees and gardens hosting a wide variety of plants.  The pillars of the gardens are a Deodar Cedar, olive and Douglas Fir - three trees, whose age can only be guessed at.  Most likely nearing 100 years, they provide shade and shelter for the gardens and picnic tables for events and customers to enjoy.  Rock paths wind through the under-plantings of Japanese Maples, hydrangeas, evergreens, deciduous bushes and a multitude of perennials.  When fall arrives the Maples behind the building turn brilliant red, lighting the cottage room at the back of the main floor with a red hue – especially glorious during the brilliant sunsets which often backlight the Kraft.  The gardens are often used by local photography studios, high school students dressed for prom, and other local events.  At Christmas time they twinkle with myriad lights adding to the festive air of House of Design’s Holiday Magic – an annual event that draws crowds of people. 

Kraft Library History

Nineteen-hundred and six was the year Elizabeth Kraft asked what she could do for the community of Red Bluff.  She had lost her beloved husband, Herbert in 1895.  The two had spent a good part of their lives living in Red Bluff and she wanted to give the community something in his memory.  The Kraft family was very philanthropic and had already given Red Bluff the original site and building for St. Elizabeths hospital (the Old Duncan Robertson Residence at the NW corner of Sycamore and Main Streets.), a clubhouse for women  and in 1918 a childrens playground (on Rio St.).  It was decided that a library would be welcomed by the community.  Unfortunately, the San Francisco earthquake struck and construction in California was in disarray.  After a long wait, Mrs. Kraft decided to oversee the project herself and hired noted architect, Franklin Pierce Burnham to draw plans for a state of the art library.  READ MORE

Kraft Book Plate

Kraft Library Restoration

The Kraft building is one of the finest examples of architecture in Red Bluff.  State of the art when it was built, it stands today as a part of Red Bluffs history that will hopefully, always remain a viable part of the community.

January of 2006, just three years short of a century, the process of restoring the Kraft to her former beauty began.  It had seen much neglect for almost two decades, sitting on a huge lot surrounded by dead weeds in the summer, and the stone building growing lichens and moss in the winter.  Sadly, a number of leaks in the roof caused a fair amount of damage to the plaster walls, but the magnificent wood and plaster moldings were mostly unharmed.

Prior to Renovation
During Renovation
KRAFT.GARDENS