History of the Carnegie Center
A gift to the people of Cincinnati by Andrew Carnegie, The Carnegie Center was built in 1906 to the specifications of the noted architectural firm of Samuel Hannaford & Sons and served as a public library until 1959 when it was sold into private use. Over the years, it was host to the FOP and VFW.
In 1993, Columbia Tusculum residents set out to restore this former Andrew Carnegie Library. Their efforts, supported by neighborhood organizations, interested individuals, foundations and The City of Cincinnati, resulted in the opening of the Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusculum as a nonprofit community center.
Perfect for formal occasions, casual events, or business meetings, this stately Beaux Arts building is dominated by large, arched windows, majestic 22-foot ceilings, brass chandeliers and concentric-patterned wood floors. Natural woodwork and window seats enhance the charm and warmth of the space. Two main rooms and a large entry hall offer more than 3,500 square feet of available space and are used in multiple combinations.
Remembering a Founding Member:
The Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusuclum would like to announce the passing to Brenda Lugary Morress in fall of 2022 and recognize her very significant contribution to establishing The Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusculum and preserving the community's architectural treasure. Below is a memoriam written by fellow founder, Catherine Herring:
"I think it's fair to say that without Brenda, there would be no TCCCT as we know it, and perhaps not at all- for it was Brenda who at a CTCC meeting after the VFW announced they were putting the building up for sale, raised her hand and said, in effect, "I think we should buy it." Although there were many raised eyerows following this suggestion, a committee was ultimately formed to explore the options and the rest, as they say, is history.
Brenda moved to CT in 1978- I think that qualifies her as a modern-day pioneer- and owned 3733 Morris Place until selling it in 2003.
Brenda was instrumental in the creation of the 1988 CT history booklet and was a regular participant in CTCC events, including spaghetti dinners and A Day in Eden.
In addition to "birthing" the idea of acquiring the VFW Hall, Brenda was the main visionary for what the building could become- a return to a social, cultural and civic hub for the community. Brenda was key in drawing many connections into the project: Mary Ann (Brown) Olding, then Director of Cincinnati Preservation Association, Marian Brown, who became our fundraising consultant, Judy Ruthven, Kris Lemmon and more.
Brenda viewed the project through her artist's eye, spending hours, for instance, researching just the right chandeliers, and giving a nod to the building's history as a library.
Certainly it required- and continues to require- a large team to take it from an idea to what TCCCT is today, 30+ years later, but without Brenda's voice and vision I've often wondered what 3738 Eastern Ave. would be.
So, raise a glass to Brenda and bless her or curse her, depending upon how you're feeling about TCCCT at any given time!"