Constructed in 1906, Jemison-Carnegie Heritage Hall was originally Talladega Public Library. This fine example of Beaux Arts Classic style is attributed to Frank Lockwood (1865-1936), a Montgomery, Alabama architect who is most noted for his additions to the State Capitol.
Ideally situated on South Street East in the heart of the National Register of Historic Places' "Silk Stocking District," Heritage Hall provides the community an opportunity to take advantage of Alabama's growing tourism industry. Its location is approximately 15 minutes travel time from interstate 20, which traverses central Alabama from east to west, and U.S. 231, which links Tennessee to Florida gulf coast, passing through the heart of Alabama. Two blocks north of Heritage Hall are Talladega's "Historic Square," another designated historic district, with access to thoroughfares Alabama 77 and Alabama 21.
A new building to house the library was completed in 1979 with a public dedication ceremony on September 30, 1979. In the months that followed the City Council of the City of Talladega established the Talladega Heritage Commission, delegating to its complete authority and control of the landmark Jemison-Carnegie Main Library Building. On October 7, 1981, the Council passed Ordinance No. 1130 and Ordinance No. 1133, thus giving the powers and responsibilities regarding the operation of a local museum and cultural center to this Commission. The goals of the Commission included the adaptive restoration of the building as a permanent not-for-profit institution and provision of access to quality arts experiences and the humanities.
Jemison-Carnegie Foundation, a fund-raising, membership and support organization, was then incorporated, specifically structured to include input from every area of community interest and activity. In addition to organizing fund-raising activities and membership, the Foundation sponsors the Jemison-Carnegie Heritage Hall Service Guild.
The purpose of the Service Guild is to enrich, stimulate and promote awareness, appreciation, and knowledge of the Arts for children, adults, members, and many others, through a program of arts education which may include lectures, films, exhibits, and tours. This organization provides volunteers for the Docent Program of Jemison-Carnegie Heritage Hall.
Heritage Hall Museum continues to expand its exhibitions, arts enrichment programs, workshops and events to serve as a center of cultural Heritage and quality arts experiences for Talladega and surrounding communities.