The Inside Scoop
FROM THE KNOT EDITORS
The First Look
The Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusculum was built in 1906 and was originally the public library until 1959 when it was sold to a private buyer. In 1993, a number of residents supported by the City of Cincinnati, Ohio and other organizations campaigned to return the building to the community. Their crusade was successful and this beautiful and historical Beaux-Arts building was turned into a center for the Columbia Tusculum community. This amazing building has some incredible period features including arched windows, 22-foot-high ceilings, patterned wooden floors and brass chandeliers making it a warm and charming, yet elegant, dignified and stately venue for couples looking for a refined setting for their special day. The Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusculum can easily be accessed through Interstates 71 and 471 and Highways 50 and 52 east of Cincinnati's city center.
Working in partnership with The Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusculum is Jeff Thomas, one of the most well-known caterers in Cincinnati with over 30 years of experience. Jeff is there to help couples with their preparations and event coordination and can offer a number of services to ensure couples have the wedding they have always wanted. Jeff offers couples tours of the premises, menu customization and tasting appointments. The following spaces are available at the venue for couples to use:
This is a stunning room with a polished wooden floor, high arched doorways and beautiful chandeliers. It has space for 125 seated guests or 175 for a cocktail reception.
This is smaller room than The West Room but has similar features. it would be ideal for a ceremony and has space for up to 60 seated guests or 100 for a cocktail reception.
This room can be used with either the East or West rooms and can be used as extra space for a ceremony or as an area for guests to chat and mingle.
This area is suitable for a small cocktail gathering or the bride and groom and their bridal party can use this space as a receiving line to greet guests as they arrive.
What You Should Know
This venue provides a caterer and wedding coordinator who will be happy to discuss all the requirements couples have for their wedding celebration. The hire of the venue is rented on a per room, per hour basis and includes the use of tables and chairs. Couples must use Jeff's Catering and Beverage service as he is the venue's dedicated caterer and this service will provide linens, centerpieces, the cake and more; couples just need to discuss their needs with the caterer.
Apart from the catering service, couples may arrange their own vendors; however, they must be pre-approved by the venue and adhere to the venue's policies. This venue does not allow any decorations to be attached to any permanent fixtures at the venue unless approved prior to the event. Confetti, glitter, birdseed, rice, petals and bubbles must not be used anywhere on the property. Candles may be allowed if protected in glass containers or hurricane globes. All decorations must be removed from the venue after the event.
The venue insists that couples ensure that any vendors hired for their event are made aware of the policies of the venue including the use of equipment and damage to property. Furniture and equipment are not to be pulled or pushed across the wooden floors to prevent damage and couples should ask for clarification on the insurance stipulations and find out what is needed as they may need to provide proof of an insurance policy before they can rent the venue. Couples can ask for approval for signs to be placed around the venue to direct guests.
A security deposit will need to be made to secure the date and rooms required. The remaining balance is due three months ahead of the event.
For a wedding in a beautiful historic building, The Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusculum is the ideal setting. The beauty of the interior means that very little additional decoration is required and everything is taken care of by the wedding coordinator. However if this is not enough, the following perks are also available:
- Rooms for the bride and groom to prepare for the ceremony
- Caterer preparation rooms and kitchen
- Event uplighting
- Ballroom dancing lessons
From the Vendor
Historic Charm for a Unique Wedding
Perfect for formal occasions or casual events 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. Full service options.
Amenities + Details
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$$$ – Moderate
Ballroom, Library, Historic Venue
Food + Catering, Planning, Rentals + Equipment, Service Staff
BeautifulReviewed on 5/05/2014 Lydia E
Excellent price! Such a beautiful building and lovely space for a wedding. It was such a bargain, and so cool to be married in a former library. It was a book-themed wedding, of course! The basement (where the bride gets ready) is quite a bit of a mess, though. That definitely needs to change. If the basement was tidied and had a nice space for the bride to wait, this venue would get 5 stars.
Not only is this venue beautiful, but having Jeff Thomas as the caterer gives you a built in wedding planner. I loved every minute of my wedding and this was the perfect setting. I didn't want a typical reception hall and the Carnegie Center was the perfect choice with it's mix of history and amazing architecture. I recommend this venue to everyone!
Such a beautiful venue and quite the bargain for the space! We had our wedding here in August with 195 guests. We really pushed the capacity to its limits but it was great and our guests were still comfortable. We worked with Jeff Thomas who is now the Carnegie Center's exclusive caterer. He and his team were wonderful!! He took care of figuring out table arrangements, all of the rentals(tables, chairs, linens), and provided the waitstaff and bar tenders who were fabulous. The food was beyond delicious, we had many guests comment that it was the best wedding food they have ever had. We didn't need to worry about a thing though out the whole process. I would recommend this venue to anyone in the Cincinnati area. It was a beautiful backdrop for a romantic and unforgettable night.
Beautiful Space, Rude and Unfriendly Event CoordinatorReviewed on 11/21/2013 Nina B
We had our wedding ceremony and reception at the Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusculum. We chose this space because it is BEAUTIFUL, historical, we were able to bring in our own caterer AND alcohol (a HUGE selling point since we were able to be a little more cost effective than using vendors from a preffered-caterer list as available at most other venues), and having the ceremony and reception at one location seemed most convenient for our guests (about 115). It is also very price efficient. The actual wedding night was gorgeous and we had so many compliments. However planning the wedding with the Event Coordinator COULD HAVE BEEN A MORE PLEASANT EXPERIENCE. Do not assume that just because you are guarunteed one hour in the venue before the night of the wedding that it'll be "rehearsal" time. We were told we could not hold our actual rehearsal at The Carnegie unless we wanted to do it at 10 AM on a Friday as they had another event that night. I understand that its a business and they can rent out their space as necessary, but they should make it more clear that rehearsal time is not included in the package. Also, the Event Coordinator was HARDLY accommodating. Her tone was always one of inconvenience and shortness. She was harsh about the rehearsal time and not apologetic about the inconvenience. My mother was not able to find some items the next day, so when she called to ask if items were left, the Event Coordinator's response was, "well, it's not really my job to look for things left behind..." No, but it is just a nice thing to do if asked by your customer. That being said, our staff person for the night was EXTREMELY helpful and polite. So looking back, it was a beautiful wedding and I wouldn't change a thing, I just wish we would have been treated a little bit more like a customer and not an ignorant inconvenience. It would have been a 5/5 if not for the service of the Event Coordinator.