Did you guess correctly in this week's So You Think You Know Kenilworth?
Marilyn Magnusson guessed on Patch:
"This is behind Sears school next to the basketball courts. I have run past it for many years on my way to and from the Green Bay Trail."
Melissa Rainford Fennelly guessed on Facebook:
"The Warming House! One side was used for sport stuff - especially skates before we went out on the iced over baseball fields. The other side was a community room used by scouts and the Sears 8th Graders for Friday night Drop-Ins!"
Well, they are both correct, it's Kenilworth Village House behind Joseph Sears School!
From Storage to a Place for Gathering
The Village House has an interesting history. The name of the building, along with its primary function has changed over the years. It has been, and still is, a versatile building that fills the needs of generations of Kenilworthians.
In 1930, the Kenilworth Park Board decided to create an ice skating rink for everyone’s winter enjoyment. They added floodlights for skating at night and loud speakers for music.
In 1938, a need arose for a structure to house the ice skates borrowed by some of the skaters. Through the collaborative effort of Starrett Brothers Construction Company and Clarence W. Anderson, as project supervisor, the Field House was built. Since the Field House was often used by ice skaters, it eventually became known as the Skating House.
The Skating House was so useful and placed so well in the community that the Park Board Commissioners voted to approve an addition to the building. This addition was later used for public meetings and various fundraising projects that benefited Kenilworth.
Village House Addition
The new section became known as the Village House and it was built by architect James N. Lindenberger in a style that would compliment the original construction. The Village House officially opened in March of 1966 and has been used by many groups since that opening date.
In 1970, Joseph Sears School decided to develop Drop-In Friday night gatherings for seventh and eighth-grade students. These Drop-In nights, held at the Village house, were created so students could have a place to go that they could call their own. Drop-In nights are not held as frequent as they once were, but they continue the tradition of hosting dances for the students with food and occasional raffle drawings.