Created By: Historic Decatur Association
Completed in September of 1904, the Carnegie Library of Decatur was one of the 2,509 libraries built by the railroad tycoon and millionaire philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. At the turn of the century, Carnegie began donating money to non-profit,
educational organizations. Starting with a large library system in Pittsburgh, with a donation of $1 million, Carnegie began to fund libraries throughout the nation.
Decatur’s Carnegie Library is an example of one of the classic Carnegie buildings. Originally about 3,500 square feet and costing
$8,500, the building served as Decatur’s library from 1904 until 1973. When the main library outgrew the facility the Carnegie became the children’s library.
Beginning in 1999, the Decatur Arts Council had begun to share with the community the dream for a renovated Carnegie Library that would serve as a visual and cultural arts center and education facility. Construction and restoration of The Carnegie Visual Arts Center was completed in 2003.
Today, the center features local and traveling exhibits. The center is open to the public and there is no admission charge.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Old Decatur Historic District