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Historic Ridgeview Public Library

In 1940, the first library in Hickory’s African American community of Ridgeview was started by Mrs. Nellie Harbinson Corpening. It was a small space inside a storefront building on 12th Street SW (now Center Street). The library began under the guidance of four local women and a grant from the WPA (Works Projects Administration). The rent was paid by local church groups, and the library’s materials originally came from the main Hickory library, Lenoir-Rhyne University, and private sources. Community interest and the library collection continued to grow, requiring more space. George Ivey purchased a lot at 1st Street and 7th Avenue SW and deeded it to the City of Hickory as a site for the library. Hickory civic clubs, businesses, and individuals continued to donate funds under the sponsorship of the Altrusa Club. The new Ridgeview Public Library opened in 1951. Today, the former Ridgeview Public Library remains a vital and important structure to the Ridgeview community and stands as one of the last links to the neighborhood’s past. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 12, 2001.