About

In 1938, the City of La Grange purchased a 1,500 hundred volume private library housed in the Stiehl Home, located on the intersection of Fannin St and Franklin St. By the mid 1970’s the “little old library” held a collection of nearly 10,000 items and could hold no more.

In 1975, La Grange was designated as a Bicentennial city and as such was responsible for holding a celebration, doing something to document the past and creating something that looked to the future. These things had to involve wide community support. The Bicentennial Committee agreed that the appropriate statement to the future would be an affirmation of the heritage of its peoples and thus plans for a Library, Museum, and Archives facility were born.

The go ahead for construction plans for the proposed facility was given by the City Council in February 1975. The architect was Clovis Heimsath of Fayetteville. The chosen site for the complex was Block F, land the City had purchased for $800 in 1894. Groundbreaking was held on December 12, 1975. The Masons of Lafayette Lodge #34 laid the cornerstone in September 1976. This was the second Masonic cornerstone laid in Fayette County; the first was for the Fayette County Courthouse in 1890. The building opened and was dedicated during ceremonies held on April 20, 1978.

Eventually the Library, Museum, & Archives ran out of room again. Patron numbers increased and room to display exhibits and preserve items up to standards was getting smaller. In 1999, plans began for an expansion to the existing building. The building would increase in square footage on the first floor and a second floor would be built.

In Feb 2004, groundbreaking for the expansion took place. During the project the LMA was relocated to the Historic Casino Hall. The new second story was built to house a larger and state of art Fayette Heritage Museum and Archives. The expansion project was completed and the new facility, over 15,000, square feet reopened in February of 2005.