This is a neoclassical structure of Indiana limestone, with a columned portico, a marble interior, and 12-foot high Tiffany style stained glass windows depicting the Shakespearean figures Rosalind, Portia, and Ophelia. The Old Library is the architectural gem of the Elston Grove Historic Neighborhood. The interior offers four symmetrical chamber rooms, each adorned with the original marble clad fireplace.
Funds to construct the library were donated by local citizens, responding to a $10,000 challenge grant from industrialist John H. Barker. The total cost was $30,000.
The building was designed by Reed & Stem, a Minneapolis architectural firm, who also submitted the winning design for Grand Central Station in New York City. From 1978 to 2003, the building served as the city’s arts center.
The building stands on an acre lot with over twenty five-native trees and is located walking distance from Michigan City’s historic downtown and lakefront.