Herald JournalHerald Journal, Sept. 15, 2003

Meeting is set to decide Waverly Village Hall's fate

By Lynda Jensen

The findings of a long-awaited report from the architect firm about the historic Waverly Village Hall was set by the Waverly City Council for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9 at the Waverly Village Hall.

The architect is expected to unveil two options, one for remodeling the hall, and the other for construction of a new community center, not counting the demolition costs for taking down the Waverly Village Hall in the first place.

Results of a forum related to the hall's purpose, or whatever building may be built in its place if it isn't restored, were gathered in the past.

Top ideas included an open space for dancing, dining, use as a safety shelter, and smaller conference room areas, among other ideas, were suggested by 19 people representing a cross section of clubs and organizations Jan. 7.

This closely matches the original and modern day uses for the building.

The building was constructed in 1940 under the New Deal program known as the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and was used for town dances, church socials, wedding receptions and speeches by political figures such as Hubert Humphrey.

The original village hall burned down in the summer of 1938. The WPA received plans for a new building that December. Bids were let in May of 1939, and by Labor Day in 1940, Waverly residents celebrated their brand new hall with baseball games, dances, and a carnival.

"The new structure is one of the most beautiful small town municipal buildings in Minnesota," wrote the Wright County Journal-Press.

Construction of the hall carried a $70,000 price tag. Waverly's share was $20,000.

Much of the structure is reinforced concrete, which made it easier to build with unskilled labor since the mission of the WPA was to find work for those made jobless by the Great Depression.

Use of the material also kept the cost down for the federal government and Waverly.


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