Projects | Austin Town Hall
Austin Town Hall, one of six renovation projects the Public Building Commission awarded to Bailey Edward last spring, was originally built in 1870 and is a part of the Austin Town Hall Park Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Austin, originally a subdivision of Cicero Township, was the center of the township’s government and the Town Hall was built in the center of what was then named Holden Park. The brick building and its cupola are Georgian Revival-style, drawing heavy influence from Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. The building served the Cicero Township until 1898 when the neighboring areas forced Austin into annexation to the City of Chicago when Austin allowed the elevated train to extend into their community.
The Town Hall is now used as a recreation and cultural center for the surrounding community, hosting theater performances, family reunions, or community meetings. However, the building requires upkeep and renovations. Starting from the sidewalks, the entire multi-floor building has major accessibility concerns. Wheel chair lifts, automatic doors, and accessible pathways need to be installed to abide by ADA regulations. Bailey Edward conducted an in-depth survey to find accessible paths of travel and to change the configuration to provide universal access to all the building’s activity areas.
The Town Hall includes a lower-level indoor pool with locker rooms, an auditorium and fieldhouse. The locker rooms require extensive renovations and action to address accessibility challenges. Bailey Edward will design plans to renovate the locker rooms, provide additional seating and drinking fountains and improve the overall quality of the facility’s amenities. Moving forward, the Austin community will have an accessible and useful community center with new and improved amenities to better serve the community.