Parks, Recreation & Facilities
Carnegie Arts Center
Turlock's Carnegie Library was built in 1916 through the combination of land gifted to the City by the Civic Improvement Club of Turlock and a gift from the Carnegie Corporation of $9200. The City of Turlock has since owned and operated the building. Hugh Davis of Bowen & Davis, Fresno, designed the predominantly brick library in a Classical Revival style. The building is listed in the 1990 inventory of California Carnegie Libraries, conducted by the California State Office of Historic Preservation, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in January 1993.
The library relocated in 1968 and the building was in use as a City recreation and community center until 1982 when it became a full time arts center, housing the offices of the Turlock City Arts Commission (TCAC).
Increasing problems associated with the aging and out-of-date building prompted the creation of a non-profit foundation, The Carnegie Arts Center Foundation, Turlock, in 1996. In a unique partnership, the City of Turlock, the TCAC, and the Foundation joined together in a commitment to restore and expand this important community landmark. Through the efforts of the Foundation Board, funds were raised toward construction of additions to the Carnegie building. City and County funds were secured for some initial costs, and the City began to work with architect Larry Wenell, of Wenell, Matheis & Bowe, to develop a three-part expansion and restoration plan for the facility.
The first phase in this effort, construction of the Albert & Josephine Ferrari Tower, began in the spring of 2005. The Tower was designed to provide ADA compliant access to both levels of the Arts Center, handicapped accessible rest rooms, and upgraded mechanical equipment to support the remainder of the project. Tragically, the Carnegie Arts Center suffered the effects of a disastrous fire in November 2005, gutting the upper floor of the building and severely damaging the new construction.
Following the fire, many citizens volunteered to sit on committees to determine the fate of the Carnegie. Those selected to serve listened to the concerns of residents about the need to preserve one of Turlock’s most significant historic buildings and to provide for the future by securing affordable access to the arts for the greater Turlock region. Citizens who spoke out were convinced that the City needed to preserve the old Carnegie within the context of new, larger addition that would continue to serve the cultural needs of the community well into the future.
The TCAC Building Committee continued to work with architect Larry Wenell and developed plans for the renovation and expansion of the Carnegie Arts Center which were presented to the City Council in September 2007. In October, in direct response to widespread and vocal public interest in the project, City Council identified approximately $7.6M in funding from a variety of sources that could be available for the Carnegie project.
Planning continued in detail and in the Spring of 2009 plans for the 18,000 square foot, two-story Carnegie Arts Center went out to bid. These plans include two multi-purpose rooms, studio classrooms, an exhibition gallery, a small retail gallery, catering kitchen, lobby and office space, and an outdoor plaza. The TCAC and Foundation envision an active venue for all residents of Turlock, young and old, to experience and celebrate art in all its forms.
Carnegie Arts Center Foundation, Turlock
Mission Statement: The Carnegie Arts Center Foundation, Turlock, seeks to preserve our past and create our future by providing funds for and overseeing the preservation and expansion of Turlock’s historical Carnegie Arts Center as a public venue for cultural enrichment.
The Carnegie Arts Center Foundation was established in 1996 to facilitate private giving and assist the City in its efforts to improve the facilities of the Carnegie Arts Center. In May and December of 2000 the Foundation secured generous gifts of $150,000 each from the families of Albert and Josephine Ferrari and of Annemarie Gemperle. These funds, combined with $60,000 from Stanislaus County, $60,000 from a State of California local assistance grant, a matching $60,000 from the City of Turlock, and $30,000 from Flora and Bernell Snider, form the basis for future fundraising efforts toward completion of the expansion and renovation project.
Following the identification of construction funds and the directive from City Council to proceed with the new plans, the Foundation began to shift its fundraising efforts from “bricks and mortar” to an Endowment Fund to support increased programming anticipated for the expanded arts center. To date more than $100,000 has been raised. The Foundation’s desire to step up fund-raising and maximize efforts in the relatively short period before the 2010 opening of the new Carnegie Arts Center has led to the formation of an Advisory Committee specifically for the Endowment.
The Foundation’s goal is to work for the benefit of and in partnership with the City of Turlock to provide a permanent funding source for arts and culture programs at the Carnegie Arts Center.
For more information about the Carnegie Arts Center Foundation or the renovation project, please call the Turlock City Arts Commission at (209) 668-5599, ext. 4614. Donations to the endowment fund can be made at any time. Please make checks payable to:
Carnegie Arts Center Foundation, Turlock
P.O. Box 2568
Turlock, CA 95381