The Foundry Art Centre is a dynamic community art center dedicated to the creation and presentation of contemporary visual arts. Our mission is to connect everyday people with the arts through our studio artists, educational classes, special events, and exhibitions. Featuring a state-of-the-art gallery space, the Foundry hosts national and international juried fine art exhibitions and curated traveling exhibitions.
This 36,000 square foot building was formerly a part of the American Car and Foundry complex. ACF Industries traces its history to 1873, the year the St. Charles Car Manufacturing Company was founded. This was one of the 13 railroad car-building companies that merged in 1899 to form the American Car and Foundry Company. The Foundry Art Centre building, which dates back to around 1920, is concrete – see the roof trusses and supports – and brick. The only steel is the large I-beams that support the 7 ½ ton crane at the north end of the Grand Hall. The crane lifted finished rail cars onto tracks that ran down the middle of the Grand Hall as recently as October 2003. During the war (from 1943 – 1946), American Car and Foundry welded turret tops for Sherman Thanks. The tanks, brought in by railroad cars, were finished here. The crane lifted the turret tops onto the tanks once they were welded. For a period of ten years, the building was used to store parts used by the McDonnell Douglas Corp
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