A Joint Service of Bradley University and Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Historic Peoria Women's Club Restoration Officially Underway

DSC_0916.JPG
Tim Shelley
/
WCBU
New woodframe windows are the first step of progress in the Peoria Women's Club restoration effort.

The restoration of the historic downtown Peoria Women's Club is officially underway.

Kim Mitchell is the club's president. She said the top priorities are fixing up the windows, roof, and tuck pointing.

"So the timeline of those three is critical to get our building dried in. And so our goal would be to have that complete before the year end," she said. "And then that would let us go in and begin the restoration work inside."

DSC_0911.JPG
Tim Shelley
/
WCBU
Photos of the Peoria Women's Club in its original heyday.

That includes the second-floor, 425-seat music hall - which hasn't been used since a 1970 fire.

"We are the oldest theater in the original Peoria theater district," said Mitchell. She said the theater is a unique venue, with a raked floor and stage.

It's also still "acoustically perfect," she said.

"Our goal is to get the theater done as soon as possible so we can host plays, concerts, symphonies, opera, and corporate meetings and events," she said.

Developer Kim Blickenstaff contributed $1.5 million towards the club's $4 million dollar fundraising goal for a complete restoration.

Mitchell said the club hopes to finish up the project in the next four years.

The Peoria Women's Club was founded in 1886. The cornerstone was laid in 1893. The building is located at 301 NE Madison. Click here for more information.

We depend on your support to keep telling stories like this one. You – together with NPR donors across the country – create a more informed public. Fact by fact, story by story. Please take a moment to donate now and fund the local news our community needs. Your support truly makes a difference.

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.