After countless fundraisers, donations, raffles, and years of hard work and dedication, the Carnegie building, located at 304 W. Chicago Blvd., has some new, artistic tenants.
The building was dedicated on February 10, 1905, after the Tecumseh School District applied for and received a $10,000 Carnegie Foundation grant in 1903.
One hundred years later, the building sat vacant after being purchased by local attorney Gary Baldwin in 2002. Up until 1962, the building housed the library when it then became home for the administrative offices for Tecumseh Public Schools, which eventually moved to the former Tecumseh Middle School.
In April 2010, the historic building was purchased by the then newly formed Tecumseh Carnegie Preservation League (TCPL), which was started by former Mayor and owner of Evans Street Station Richard Johnson.
While the first floor of the building is now fully occupied, seven artists operating in the seven available studios, plans to finish the entryway gallery and lower level continue.
“We’ll, at some point, plan a community open house, or maybe a gallery crawl type event as we get more settled in and the gallery space is more underway,” said Paula Holtz, Tecumseh Economic Development Director. “We would expect plans for the lower level to develop in the near future.”
Susan Amstutz of the Black Door Gallery and one of the artists renting space at the Carnegie said she hoped to see more studio space on the lower level.
“I know many people who want studio space,” Amstutz added. “I know that there will be other artists waiting to get in there.”
The artists will determine usage of the entryway gallery space, which is currently bare. Track lighting throughout the first floor was designed to give the space a feeling of being a gallery, and that style of lighting is used throughout the studio spaces as well.