Help Memorial Building thrive in next century

The time to make a special contribution in support of Hinsdale’s enduring story is quickly running out.

In commemoration of the village’s 150th anniversary, officials launched the Memorial Building Historic Plaza & Railing Campaign. Funds collected will go toward restoring the original Chippendale roof railing on the nearly 100-year-old village landmark as well as renewing the outdoor gathering space adorning Hinsdale’s “front lawn” on the south side of the structure. The iconic and treasured symbol of Hinsdale owes its existence to the community spirit of an earlier generation of Hinsdaleans.

Following the end of World War I, there was widespread consensus that the village needed to honor residents who had served their nation. In particular, people wanted something that would serve as lasting tribute to those who left their cherished village environs and made the ultimate sacrifice far from home in defense of liberty. Local leaders unanimously agreed that the tribute should take the form of a functional building. Philip R. Clarke, chairman of the Hinsdale Memorial Building Committee, appreciated that the project must be communitywide in order to truly express the gratitude and civic pride of the village: erect a building to serve that also honors those who served.

In April 1927, the plans of architect Edwin Clark for the new Hinsdale Memorial Building at 19 E. Chicago Avenue were accepted at a village meeting, and a drive began to raise the $150,000 needed to pay for the project.

By the end of the campaign’s first week, 90 percent of the funds needed had been were raised.

At Tuesday’s village board meeting, officials announced that $62,000 had been collected for the 150th campaign, a testimony to the generosity of today’s residents and business community members. But more is needed to ensure that the projects are executed in a way that citizens can enjoy for generations to come.

Village President Tom Cauley summed up the campaign’s mission:

“To commemorate Hinsdale’s 150th anniversary and in honor of our service members, we are asking the community to come together to help renew the Memorial Building Plaza, which has served as Hinsdale’s natural front yard for nearly 100 years, and to restore the building’s roof railing, which was removed due to deterioration a number of years ago,” he stated. “This community-driven campaign will allow the village to renovate the building’s plaza to create a community gathering spot, as well as restore its historic roof railing. Additionally, this endeavor will further the legacy of the Memorial Building, which was originally funded by Hinsdaleans seeking to honor those who made the greatest sacrifice for our nation.”

Donors have five different levels to choose from when making a gift at

Let’s send off this milestone year with a final act of hometown pride by coming together to help renew and restore the Memorial Building plaza and roof railing, and be part of history.