Monday, February 27, 2012

Aurora Plans GAR Hall Renovation

From the Feb. 22nd Aurora (Il) Beacon "Aurora plans GAR renovation" by Stephanie Lulay. And a big thanks to friend Lulu for bringing this to my attention.

A plan to spend $730,000 on the restoration of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Memorial Hall is underway to work onthe exterior and part of the interior. It is located at Downer Place just east of Stolp Avenue.

It is being restored so that special events can once again be held there (this hasn't happened since the 1990s because of the building's deterioration).

The Aurora Public Art Commission also plans to have a Civil War museum there along with a small, non-circulating library.

The GAR Memorial Hall of Aurora Post 20, was dedicated in 1878. That post once had 700 Civil War veterans from 70 different Union regiments. By 1938, with membership declining, the post disbanded and turned the building into a memorial.

Built in the Gothic Revival style and designed by Aurora architect Joseph P.Mulvey. It was rock faced, ashlar laid limestone from Aurora quarries. A two-story addition was added in 1885 that served as a library and meeting place, but was torn down in 1963.

The octagonal building and stair tower is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Aurora raised $250,000 of the project and the rest of the money will come from tax icrement financing. All needed exterior work will be done along with plumbing inside and the building will be brought up to code. It is expected to need about another $775,000 to do all the needed work inside.

I have seen this structure before and it is definitely worth saving.

Always Good Needs When Siomething is Saved Like This. --Old Secesh

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