The Hinsdale History Museum depicts the life of a middle class family living in Hinsdale between 1874 and 1900. Visitors are guided through seven authentically restored, period settings and small exhibit room. The museum is open to the public on Friday and Saturdays from 12:00 to 4:00 pm and by appointment. Tours for small groups are available upon request.
Hours and Location:
The Hinsdale History Museum is open Fridays and Saturdays 12:00-4:00 pm or by appointment.
The Hinsdale History Museum is located at 15 South Clay Street in Hinsdale, Illinois.
To contact us, please call 630-789-2600 or email us at HistoryMuseum@HinsdaleHistory.org
302 South Grant Street
Built in 1900 by German craftsmen, this former church stands as a symbol of Hinsdale’s spirit and sense of community. It has served not only as a church, but also as office space and a preschool. The building was saved from demolition through the efforts of the Hinsdale Historical Society, government officials and residents. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, Immanuel Hall continues to serve the community as a place available for public use.
IMMANUEL HALL TIMELINE
In 1999, a resident informed the Hinsdale Historical Society that the former Immanuel Evangelical Church, 302 S. Grant St., which at the time housed a Montessori school, had been sold to a private party and was likely to be demolished so a new home could be constructed on the site.
For months, the Society led residents and Village officials in seeking ways to preserve the small frame building, whose unique features were largely originally intact, in good condition and a vivid reminder of Hinsdale’s beginnings.
With the aid of a state grant – secured by state Senator Kirk Dillard and state Representative Patti Bellock, both Hinsdale residents – the property was purchased by the Village from its private owners, and later deeded by the Village to the Society.
The Society began the long process of assessing an appropriate rehabilitation of the building, which it renamed Immanuel Hall, and wanted to continue serving the community as it had throughout its 100-year plus existence as a church, office and school.
Various events and activities, including concerts, receptions, exhibits, meetings, rehearsals and a wedding, were held at the Hall to test its viability as a multi-purpose venue, and each was successful. Also, the Hall’s historic significance was enhanced by its listing on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places, designation as a local landmark and receipt of several preservation-related awards and citations.
Preservation architect Charles Pipal was hired. A concept plan for a rehabilitation of the Hall was created, and a fund raising committee was formed, with Mary Martha and Ted Mooney as honorary chairmen and Penny and John Bohnen as chairmen.
In nine months, the fund raising campaign raised sufficient funds from private sources to make the rehab possible. The largest contribution came from the family of Roger and Ruth Anderson and helped found the Society’s Anderson Architecture Center, located in the Hall’s lower level.
Approvals for the work were obtained from the Village, project manager Dan Ruzic was hired in the fall of 2006, and groundbreaking finally occurred in May 2007.
Not surprisingly, the rehab of the Hall was a near-total “gut job” of the lower level and featured the following: a 17x21-foot rear addition to improve access to the building, add new space and free existing space for other uses; a completely rehabilitated lower level for the above-noted Anderson Center and Society archives, as well as washrooms, a mechanical room and storage areas; a new, fully-equipped kitchen on the upper level of the building’s original rear room; and an extensively refurbished main floor on the upper level.
Also, a completely new roof, new gutters, a reconditioned bell tower and spire, a replica of the original finial atop the spire, new siding and trim to replace damaged areas, and new stucco on the exposed foundation; a complete interior and exterior painting, with the latter in a scheme close to the original; and state-of-the-art HVAC, fire detection and suppression, and safety and security systems; damp-proofing of the entire original foundation; insulation of the attic; and upgraded utility services.
The total cost of the rehab exceeded $1,000,000 including numerous in-kind contributions of services and materials.
The real bottom line: Immanuel Hall is ready to serve the community for another 100-plus years.
1900 – German immigrant tradesmen, many of them members of the new Immanuel Evangelical congregation, volunteer their labor to construct a simple, one-story, frame “carpenter-Gothic” style church, at 302 S. Grant St., from materials that cost approximately $3,000. The building was constructed in eight weeks. When construction is complete, the congregation, then numbering some 30 families, begins using the building for religious services (conducted in the German language) and social activities.
1920 – A full basement is dug beneath the building, which is raised approximately four feet to a new grade. The basement accommodates the congregation’s increased numbers and activities.
A small, two-story, frame American four-square style house is constructed immediately west of the church and is used as a parsonage.
1923 – A six-rank pipe organ (402) is purchased from M. P. Moller Pipe Organ Company, Hagerstown, Maryland, and installed.
1924 – Ten stained glass windows are purchased from Flanagan & Biedenweg Studios, Chicago, and installed.
1930s – The congregation joins a new denomination and becomes the Immanuel Evangelical and Reformed Church. Services in the German language are discontinued.
1950s – A one-story brick building with full basement is constructed immediately south of the church, and is used for religious and social purposes of the still-growing congregation.
1964 – The congregation, numbering some 160 families, relocates to what is now Burr Ridge United Church of Christ, at County Line and Plainfield Roads, Burr Ridge. Their former church buildings are used as a regional office by the United Church of Christ.
1982 – The church buildings are sold to a private party, who operates a Montessori school for 18 years.
1999 – The Montessori school owners sell the property to another private party, who plans to demolish the church buildings. Hearing about the sale from neighbors, the Society works successfully with Village and State officials and residents to save the church building from demolition. The parsonage and the brick building are demolished as part of the purchase agreement.
2001 to 2006 – The Society takes ownership of the property, and renames the building Immanuel Hall. A variety of events and activities are hosted at the Hall to test its use by the community. The Society retains a preservation architect to develop plans to rehabilitate the Hall. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is designated a local landmark, and receives numerous preservation awards and citations.
2005 – The Society embarks on a major fund raising campaign for the rehabilitation of the Hall, and in nine months attains its fund raising goal, with contributions coming entirely from private sources.
The largest contribution, $500,000, comes from the family of Roger and Ruth Anderson and helps establish the Roger and Ruth Anderson Architecture Center, a long-planned preservation and construction resource service of the Society, which will be located in the lower level of the Hall.
2006 – Applications for the rehabilitation of the Hall are approved by the Village of Hinsdale, and a construction manager is retained.
2007 – Ground is broken on May 11 for the 17x21-foot rear addition that is the most obvious exterior feature of the rehabilitation project.
2008 – The extensive rehabilitation project, which completely remodeled the lower level for the Anderson Architecture Center and refurbished the original features of the upper level and the exterior of the building, draws to a close.
2009- Doors open to the public, and the Hinsdale Historical Society shares with the community a great local treasure!
The Hinsdale Historical Society Archives and Research Library
The Hinsdale Historical Society Archives collects and preserves documentary materials relating to the history of Hinsdale. The collection includes photographs, books, ephemera, newspaper clippings, biographies and obituaries, house histories, city directories, maps, blue prints, high school yearbooks, and special collections.
Hours and Fees: The archives, located at the Roger and Ruth Anderson Architecture Center in the lower level of Immanuel Hall, 302 South Grant Street, is open for walk-in hours from 10:00 am-2:00 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Use of the archives is FREE for members, students with valid IDs, not-for-proft organizations and members of the press. The access fee for non-members is $5.00.
Staff Conducted Research Fees: For those patrons unable to visit the archives in person, we offer a Research for Fee service. There is a minimum one-our charge for staff to conduct a thorough search of our archival resources. The fee is $15 an hour for members and $10 for each subsequent hour. The fee is $25 an hour for non-members and $20 for each additional hour. To obtain a Research Request Form or for additional information about services and fees, please email Archives@HinsdaleHistory.org or call the Society at 630-789-2600.
To contact us, please call 630-789-2600 or email us at Archives@HinsdaleHistory.org