Winnebago Town Hall
The Winnebago Community Historical Society is committed to renovating and repurposing the Town Hall as a focal point for community activities.
Our Vision—Meet Me at The Town Hall
The Town Hall is the centerpiece, the “gem,” of Winnebago.
It is the place to be for entertainment and events, for exhibits and workshops, for community organizations and family gatherings.
It anchors our heritage and helps us imagine the future.
It is community owned, community supported, and community focused.
Our Plan—One Step at A Time
Renovate and repurpose.
Keep the great architectural features and modernize for 21st century uses.
Complete work in phases, as funds are available.
Raise funds for the renovation.
Open and use the Town Hall as often as possible during the renovation process.
Town Hall History
The Winnebago Town Hall at 116 S. Benton Street in Winnebago was built by the Trustees of Winnebago Township and dedicated in December 1893. The building was home to a wide variety of activities through the years and served as the meeting place and office for Winnebago Township officials. Winnebago Community Historical Society assumed ownership of the building and adjacent garden in 2018.
The original building interior was a large hall with a raised stage, a balcony, and a kitchen area. Large windows on the north and south sides bathed the hall in light. As time passed, the windows were covered over, the stage and balcony were closed off, bathrooms were added in the balcony space, the ceiling was lowered, and all the interior features were covered with paneling. As we have gotten to know the building, we have been pleased to discover that many of the original decorative features are still there under the paneling.
Our Renovation Work
Over the years, the building has sustained significant water damage, primarily from water coming down the exterior walls, eroding the brickwork and penetrating the basement area. Our priority was, therefore, new roofing, fascia, gutters, and downspouts. We completed that work in 2018, along with a new sump pump in the basement.
Since then, we've completed these projects--
Installed ADA compliant, handicap-accessible restrooms with baby-changing stations on the main floor in the space formerly occupied by the kitchen. This included repair of floor joists and electrical and plumbing work.
Began renovation of the entry area.
Renovated the garden area with tree removal, renovating the rose bushes, new plantings, new benches, and a new fence across the back of the garden.
Installed drainage tile around the exterior perimeter and tied the drainage tile and sump pump into the Village storm sewer system.
Began exterior paint removal and brickwork repair.
Still To Do
Complete entry area renovation.
Repair/replace eroded brickwork.
Repair/replace existing windows.
Install ADA compliant front entrance door.
Repair floor joists in the main hall area.
Renovate or replace the main hall floor.
Install a galley kitchen at the back of the main hall.
Open the stage area.
Open the balcony area.
Remove the false ceiling and repair the original vaulted ceiling.
Open the original window spaces and install replacement windows
How You Can Help
We have been fortunate to receive some grant funding and donors have contributed towards the Town Hall Renovation Campaign goal of $195,000. But we need your help to continue this work!
Contribute to the Town Hall Renovation Campaign.
Volunteer to help with Town Hall work days and projects.
Rent the Town Hall for your function. Read the usage policy and reservation form.
Visit the Town Hall for our programs and events.