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The purpose of the Carnegie Art Center, directed by the Tonawandas’ Council on the Arts, is to sponsor, promote and encourage the development of contemporary visual and performing arts. Through the presentation of contemporary exhibitions, concerts, performances classes, and other fine art activities, it provides educational and cultural enrichment to the Western New York region.
The Carnegie Art Center History
Built in 1903 as the Carnegie Library through a gift of $20,000 to the City from Andrew Carnegie, this was the center of town of many years, the reason for its location. It was one of nearly 3,000 libraries built in the United States between 1885 and 1919 with money donated by the wealthy industrialist. It has a beautiful rotunda and two side galleries. The building opened in December 5, 1904. It was built to hold 18,000 books, with large a stained glass skylight providing light during the day and electric lamps lighting the reading rooms at night. The Carnegie served as a public library for over 70 years. It now houses the Carnegie Art Center, operated by the Tonawandas’ Council on the Arts. The building is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Sites.