The Chidsey building was constructed in 1941. Formal dedication sponsored by the Jaycees on November 13, 1941. Thomas Reed Martin and Frank C. Martin were the architects. The building style is Mediterranean Revival and Art Moderne. The building opened in May, 1941 as the city’s first public library. It was dedicated to John and Ida Chidsey whose $25,000 contribution made the project possible. The building functioned as a library from 1941 to 1976.
Over the years, the library needs outgrew the space in the Chidsey Building. The replacement was the Selby Library in 1976.
The former library building was used as a museum for the Sarasota History Center and was used by the Sarasota County Visitors and Convention Center.
The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on May 4, 2011.