In the first image Village Hall is pictured, circa 1936, at Ellinwood and Lee streets. The front of the building, as shown, faced Ellinwood Street, and the old Des Plaines fire station side faced Lee Street.
The photograph is from the Des Plaines History Center’s collection, and records show it was donated by the Des Plaines Fire Department in 1971.
The second image is of the same site as it appears today, with an American Mattress store, 1461 Ellinwood St., occupying the corner of a strip mall in the Library Plaza development area.
Since the opening of Library Plaza in 2000, the central block of Ellinwood Street has returned as a vital part of downtown Des Plaines. In Des Plaines' shopping heyday, this had been the very center of downtown, always with a wide variety of stores.
The third image is of City Hall today, 1420 Miner St., located about a block northwest of the former location, on the opposite side of Miner Street.
More on Old Village Hall
The Village Hall building stood at Ellinwood and Lee streets from 1892 to 1937, stated Shari Caine, director of the Des Plaines History Center. It was demolished and replaced by a building that held a variety of businesses over the years including a snack shop and shoe store.
That building was then torn down as part of the “Superblock” redevelopment project in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Caine stated. Nothing replaced that building until the Library Plaza redevelopment project in 1999.
Caine stated one interesting detail about the photograph was, if you look closely, to the left of the lamppost, that object was a drinking fountain.
“You can barely see a child there taking a drink,” Caine stated.