The Layland Museum is comprised of multiple buildings located on Caddo St. and Main St. in downtown Cleburne. The museum’s gallery is located in the Carnegie Library building. The Smith History Center holds the research library and kitchen classroom. Beginning in 2022, many of the museum’s public programs will take place in the Studio located in the Cleburne Railroad Museum.
The Carnegie Library building houses the museum’s gallery and office spaces.
In 1900, the Women’s Club of Cleburne contacted steel industrialist Andrew Carnegie for assistance in building a library for the community. Carnegie, a champion of libraries, contributed $20,000 to the project, which the community then matched. The building opened on May 25th, 1905.
The building is a Greek Revival style that was popular in the era. The front entrance and main room feature ionic columns with ornamental necking. There are various styles of plaster decorate both interior and exterior features. The structure is largely unchanged from its original construction, though interior furnishings and finishes were changed through the years to match the latest trend. The restoration of the building to its original state is ongoing.
The Smith History Center serves as the museum’s support facility and annex. Its interior is divided into curatorial services, artifact storage, Armadillo Room with teaching kitchen for classes and demonstrations, and the Gillespie Research Library. The Armadillo Room and Gillespie Library are open only during scheduled programs or by appointment and are not available to rent.
Visible through the showroom windows on Main Street, a Sidewalk Exhibit of period vehicles, related objects, and neon lighting is a tribute to the building’s past as an automobile dealership.
The 1914 commercial building at 200 N. Main Street in downtown Cleburne was originally a grocery store. For many years it served as automobile dealerships. In 1994, the Layland Museum acquired the ideally located structure for future development. Rehabilitation, completed in the summer of 2010, returned the building’s exterior to its early 20th century appearance.
Many scheduled programs take place in the Studio. This multi-purpose space is equipped for audio/visual presentations as well as arts and crafts and more. Located at 206 N. Main in the Cleburne Railroad Museum, this space is shared by the Layland and Cleburne Railroad Museums.
Traditional and interactive exhibits tell the story of the railroads that were vital to the Cleburne Santa Fe Shops and Cleburne’s history.
Believed to have been built at the very end of the nineteenth century, this building was originally the Snowflake Dairy. In the mid-twentieth century, it was divided into three office suites. In 2016, one of those suites became the temporary Cleburne Railroad Museum. A remodeling in 2020-2021 reunited those three suites as the permanent home of the Cleburne Railroad Museum.