Holiday Opening Planned For Campbellsville’s New Civic Center
The new Campbellsville Civic Center is planned to be open December 1st. The building that previously accommodated Taylor County Public Library is being renovated and is almost ready for its new function of hosting Campbellsville City Council meetings and providing a multi-purpose facility.
Historically, the City of Campbellsville provided space for the offices of Team Taylor County. These offices were housed in the building on Broadway formerly known as the Campbellsville Water Company that was owned by the City of Campbellsville. The City Council decided that selling this building to Campbellsville University was a good economic move.
The city also owns the building on the corner of Broadway and Columbia Avenue, the previous location of Taylor County Public Library. The library has relocated to the former Gabehart Lumber building just off East Broadway.
The following historical account has been written with the help of our own Mrs. Betty Jane Gorin Smith:
On the corner of Broadway and Columbia Avenue, this two-story brick structure was built as the Campbellsville Baptist Church between 1889 and 1890 under Reverend W.D. Arvin for the cost of $8,000.00. Charlie Hoskins was the builder of the Gothic Revival church using bricks from his relative behind Campbellsville College, now Campbellsville University. Lancet windows pierce the facade that is visually supported by buttresses.
The Cumberland Presbyterians purchased the building from the Baptists in 1916. In 1955, an educational annex was added on the rear. In 1972, Laura Sue Toby and Helen Vaughn undertook the task of organizing and pursuing the creation of a public library for Taylor County.
In 1974, the City purchased the building and converted it into the Taylor County Public Library. Under the direction of Elaine Munday, the doors were opened on January 13, 1975 as the Taylor County Public Library with a collection of 16,842 books and other materials.
On this site was a wood-frame Baptist Church where Union soldiers were cared for during the measles and typhoid epidemics that hit Civil War training camps in the county in the fall and winter of 1861-1862. It also served as a courthouse after the Taylor County Courthouse was burned during the Civil War.
Currently the City is uncovering the stained glass windows, refinishing the hardwood floors, exposing the sloped tongue and groove wood ceiling, and renovating the educational annex to house Team Taylor County including Greater Campbellsville United, Downtown Renaissance, Community Ventures Corporation, Campbellsville – Taylor County Chamber of Commerce, and Economic Development Authority. Several City employees have assisted with the renovation and have saved the City thousands of dollars. Through the efforts and talents of these employees, the historic building is being restored very close to its original condition.
Plans are being made for the grand opening of the Campbellsville Civic Center. The date is set for Sunday, December 1st. The event is part of the Business and Professional Women’s Christmas Home and Historical Building Tours. The first City Council meeting is set for the following Monday, December 2nd. Some of our local youth will provide excellent entertainment on December 1st. Please make plans to come and enjoy an afternoon of fun and see for yourself the beautiful new Civic Center.