Skip to main content


Timeline of Historic Milestones#

June 6, 1902#

June 6, 1902

Mrs. Donald A. McLean, president of the Columbian Club, and wife of a prominent Fort Collins doctor, wrote to the Scottish American philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie requesting funds for the construction of a public library building. A month later, Mrs. McLean presented a letter to City Council promising $10,000 in funds, under the following conditions: a demonstrated need for a library, furnishment of a suitable building site, continued maintenance through a tax, and allowing access for free.

April 7, 1903#

City Council announced that Lincoln Park (now known as Library Park) would be the location of the new library building. 

November 14, 1903#

November 14, 1903

Construction officially began on the new Carnegie Library with the laying of the cornerstone, made from the iconic red sandstone from the quarry at Stout, that would also come to encase the entire façade of the new building upon completion.

Winter 1904#

With funds running short on construction, Mrs. McLean wrote another letter, and Mr. Carnegie committed an additional $2,500, bringing the total endowment to $12,500.

July 1, 1904#

July 1, 1904

The Carnegie Library officially opens as the permanent home to the Fort Collins Public Library and Reading Room.



Carnegie Library was awarded a Works Progress Administration (WPA) grant for the construction of an annex to the building. 

March 30, 1939#

March 30, 1939

The WPA annex to Carnegie Library is dedicated, doubling the space of the existing building through an addition to the east side of the original 1904 structure. The project doubles the space of the library allowing for the construction of a new stacks room, expanded reading room, community room, and auditorium with stage.

October 18, 1976#

October 18, 1976

The Carnegie Library officially closes with the opening of the new Fort Collins Public Library located just east of the existing building, in Library Park. 



Following the demolition of the Pioneer Museum (itself established in 1941) in Library Park to make way for the new library, the artifacts and collections (including the already onsite historic cabins) were moved into the Carnegie Building, and it was renamed the Fort Collins Museum, to be managed by the City of Fort Collins.


Recognizing the growing community’s needs during the preceding 30 years, a public-private partnership between the City of Fort Collins - Fort Collins Museum and nonprofit Discovery Science Center, established the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, and construction soon commenced on its new home.



Following a review of the 2008 City of Fort Collins Cultural Plan, the City undertook a community engagement process to determine the future use of the historic Carnegie Library building. In April, the City Council, having reviewed the findings, supported the new usage of the venue as a community creative space.



Following the opening of the new Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, the soon to be called, Community Creative Center opens to the public as a space supporting the creative sector through innovative programming, incubator spaces, while making the building and its grounds accessible to the public at large. At this time the venue was and continues to be managed by the City of Fort Collins – Cultural Services department.



During the next 7 years, the Carnegie Center for Creativity or CCC, as it would come to be known, becomes home to a public gallery and studio spaces that are available to rent for exhibition, performance, teaching and event purposes. With the vision as a creative hub for the Fort Collins community it is used by artists from various disciplines, employing a wide range of artistic expressions. 

In addition, during this time the space would house offices for the Downtown Creative District, Arts Incubator of the Rockies, and local City Council members. The Fort Collins Public Access Network, today known as Fort Collins Public Media, also began a longterm rental within the space, which still exists today.  



With the unexpected closure of the venue to public access due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, along with vacancies in some of the office spaces, it was decided that the timeline for a planned renovation of the historic structure, with partial funding of $1.7 million from the 2015 Community Capital Improvement Program (CCIP) Ballot Measure, would be fast tracked. 

Along with other endowments and fundraising initiatives, in early 2022 the City of Fort Collins was awarded a further $2.4 million as part of a Community Revitalization Grant through the State of Colorado’s Office of Economic Development & International Trade. 

By late 2022/early 2023, constrution would commence on the most extensive facility upgrade and renovation to date. 

2024 & Beyond#

2024 & Beyond

With an anticpated reopening in mid-2024, the newly named Center for Creativity [CC] will be positioned to become a cultural and community hub for another 120 years. The space is being returned to its sandstone roots, bringing the architectural character of the building front and center. In combination with structural upgrades, mechanical improvements, and modern technologies in sustainability & accessibility, the CC will be well poised to become a distinctive space for artists, performances, meetings, workshops, classes, and special events well into the future.

Picture of Heritage Courtyard and Cabins

Situated adjacent to the old Carnegie Library, the Heritage Courtyard at the Community Center for Creativity, is an open air historical park preserving some of the areas oldest structures, including the 1864 Auntie Stone and 1858 Antoine Janis Cabins. 

Explore More Heritage Courtyard History