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19 East Chicago Avenue - Memorial Building

echgopresThe Village Board designated the property as a Historic Landmark on February 6, 2001 by adopting Ordinance O2001-6.

The Memorial Building was originally conceived in 1927 as a tribute to soldiers from Hinsdale who were killed in World War I. The building also memorializes those who were killed in World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Conflicts. The building's hilltop location had been identified in a master plan done for the Village by noted architect George Maher, who called the site Hinsdale's "natural front yard". The building was built and paid for entirely by the citizens of Hinsdale, with more than 2,000 people contributing to the original $171,000 cost. The design, by Chicago architect Edwin H. Clarke, is based on Philadelphia's Independence Hall. 

The Memorial Building originally housed a number of rooms for local organizations, the Village offices, and the Public Library. Also, the foyer at the heart of the building, "the shrine of memory", contains a commemorative work by noted sculptor Oskar Hansen. Since its completion, the Memorial Building has undergone several additions and renovations. The east wing was constructed in 1969, and the west wing in 1974. The northwest addition, housing the Library was constructed in 1989. The Memorial Building has always stood, both literally and figuratively, at the heart of Hinsdale. 

The brick, 2 ½-story structure is a fine example of Colonial Revival design. A classic cornice above the second story windows on the original building is decorated with modillions and moldings. Four columns with ornate capitals support a central pedimented pavilion on the south (primary) elevation. Bedford stone sills and lintels define the windows and form two belt-courses around the building. Large, multi-paned windows in the central pavilion of the north elevation have round-arched tops. The building also has a tall Colonial Revival cupola that contains a clock tower. 

View of 19 E. Chicago Avenue from Maple Street, portion of original Memorial Building construction. 

Aerial view c. 1940 - photograph courtesy of Hinsdale Historical Society.


Please contact the Village Planner at (630) 789-7030 with any questions and for assistance in designating your home as a landmark.