In 2016, the Kenilworth Park District took over the Kenilworth Assembly Hall with the goal of returning the facility back to the community center it was always intended to be. Fast forward five years, where on any given day you can walk or drive past Assembly Hall and see it being used by private and community groups regularly. On Mondays, you can witness the community come together for food truck nights and socials. On weekends, music events, children eating ice cream and in the fall, making smores.
In 2019, the COVID-19 Pandemic changed the world. Outdoor events became the only way people could feel a modicum of safety while visiting with one another. At that time, the Kenilworth Park District decided that instead of focusing on what they couldn’t do, they would focus on what they could do. Outdoor community events and summer camp were all the rave that year. The Park District Board, seeing no end to COVID-19 in sight, led a new project to improve the west side of the Kenilworth Assembly Hall with a brick patio, historically restored front brick walkway, ADA accessible ramps and parking, and a storage area for chairs, tables, and garbage receptacles.
Since taking the building over, the District has been dedicated to the historic preservation of the building. They have spent over $600,000 renovating Assembly Hall. A large portion of those funds have been spent solving exterior and interior water retention problems. The west lawn was the worst area for water retention, which caused hydrostatic pressure along the west foundation wall of the building.
With the proposed patio on the west side, the District will not only add an amazing amenity for the community to enjoy, but improve the foundation to a Nationally Historic Building and preserve it for decades to come.
The District worked closely with Woodhouse Tinucci Architects to develop the following conceptual plan, which was approved by the Park District Board.
An overall site plan can be viewed here:
At this time, the District is looking to raise private donation to help complete this amazing project. If you are interested in learning more about this project or becoming a donor, please reach out to Executive Director John Kiwala at firstname.lastname@example.org.