Waverly Village Hall (Waverly, Minnesota)

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Waverly Village Hall
Waverly Village Hall.jpg
Waverly Village Hall viewed from the northeast
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Location 204 4th Street, Waverly, Minnesota
Coordinates 45°4′0.4″N93°58′2.4″W / 45.066778°N 93.967333°W / 45.066778; -93.967333 Coordinates: 45°4′0.4″N93°58′2.4″W / 45.066778°N 93.967333°W / 45.066778; -93.967333
Area Less than one acre
Built 1939–40
Built by Works Progress Administration
Architect Walter R. Dennis
Architectural style Moderne
NRHP reference # 02000613 [1]
Added to NRHP June 6, 2002

Waverly Village Hall is a municipal event hall in Waverly, Minnesota, United States, built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) from 1939 to 1940. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002 for its local significance in the themes of architecture, entertainment/recreation, and government/politics. [2] It was nominated as a representative of the civic facilities made possible with New Deal federal assistance, as well as for its Moderne architecture and role as a community event space. [3]

Waverly, Minnesota City in Minnesota, United States

Waverly is a city in Wright County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 1,357 at the 2010 census.

Works Progress Administration largest and most ambitious United States federal government New Deal agency

The Works Progress Administration was an American New Deal agency, employing millions of people to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. It was established on May 6, 1935, by Executive Order 7034. In a much smaller project, Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects. The four projects dedicated to these were: the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP), the Historical Records Survey (HRS), the Federal Theatre Project (FTP), the Federal Music Project (FMP), and the Federal Art Project (FAP). In the Historical Records Survey, for instance, many former slaves in the South were interviewed; these documents are of great importance for American history. Theater and music groups toured throughout America, and gave more than 225,000 performances. Archaeological investigations under the WPA were influential in the rediscovery of pre-Columbian Native American cultures, and the development of professional archaeology in the US.

National Register of Historic Places federal list of historic sites in the United States

The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property.



Detail of the main entrance Waverly, Minnesota Village Hall.jpg
Detail of the main entrance

Waverly Village Hall is a rectangular building with a projecting entrance bay. It is constructed of reinforced concrete whose outermost layer was scored to form rectangular panels. A wide set of stairs leads up to three slightly recessed doorways at the main entrance. These were originally double doors flanked by Moderne light fixtures, but have been replaced with single doors and contemporary lights. Lined up above each doorway is a textured panel surrounding a small window. [3] This is surmounted by a metal Art Deco sign reading "Village Hall." [4] The corners of the main section and the entrance bay are rounded and topped with decorative fins. The sides of the main section feature three tall windows flanked by texturing similar to the front façade. [3]

Reinforced concrete composite building material

Reinforced concrete (RC) (also called reinforced cement concrete or RCC) is a composite material in which concrete's relatively low tensile strength and ductility are counteracted by the inclusion of reinforcement having higher tensile strength or ductility. The reinforcement is usually, though not necessarily, steel reinforcing bars (rebar) and is usually embedded passively in the concrete before the concrete sets. Reinforcing schemes are generally designed to resist tensile stresses in particular regions of the concrete that might cause unacceptable cracking and/or structural failure. Modern reinforced concrete can contain varied reinforcing materials made of steel, polymers or alternate composite material in conjunction with rebar or not. Reinforced concrete may also be permanently stressed, so as to improve the behaviour of the final structure under working loads. In the United States, the most common methods of doing this are known as pre-tensioning and post-tensioning.

Art Deco Influential visual arts design style which first appeared in France during the 1920s

Art Deco, sometimes referred to as Deco, is a style of visual arts, architecture and design that first appeared in France just before World War I. Art Deco influenced the design of buildings, furniture, jewelry, fashion, cars, movie theatres, trains, ocean liners, and everyday objects such as radios and vacuum cleaners. It took its name, short for Arts Décoratifs, from the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes held in Paris in 1925. It combined modern styles with fine craftsmanship and rich materials. During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress.

The main entrances lead to a foyer with a ticket booth flanked by doorways leading to the auditorium. Floored in maple, the auditorium measures 77 by 57 feet (23 by 17 m). Recessed into the far wall is a 43-by-17-foot (13.1 by 5.2 m) stage. Short hallways lead to rest rooms, dressing rooms, and rear exits. A lower level contains a large dining hall, kitchen, coat rooms, a locker room, and utility areas. [3]

Maple genus of plants

Acer is a genus of trees and shrubs commonly known as maple. The genus is placed in the family Sapindaceae. There are approximately 128 species, most of which are native to Asia, with a number also appearing in Europe, northern Africa, and North America. Only one species, Acer laurinum, extends to the Southern Hemisphere. The type species of the genus is the sycamore maple, Acer pseudoplatanus, the most common maple species in Europe. The maples have easily recognizable palmate leaves and distinctive winged fruits. The closest relatives of the maples are the horse chestnuts.


Waverly's original 1893 village hall, which housed the community's government offices, fire department, jail, and ballroom, was gutted by a fire in 1938. In the midst of the Great Depression the village did not have the funds to build a new facility. During this period, however the federal government was sponsoring numerous programs to assist local communities with construction projects that would also create jobs for the unemployed. [4]

Great Depression 20th-century worldwide economic depression

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late-1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline.

Waverly officials applied to the district office of the Works Progress Administration in January 1939. Their submission included preliminary plans by Minneapolis-based architect Walter R. Dennis, and the village had secured a site at a prominent intersection. The application was approved by the national office in March. In addition to construction of the new building, the application also provided for cleanup of the old village hall site and remodeling of a separate building recently purchased to be the new fire station. [3]

Construction began later in 1939 and was completed in August 1940. [3] The building was dedicated over Labor Day weekend in a festival that included band performances, baseball games, carnival rides, tours, and a dance in the auditorium. [4]

Labor Day public holiday in the United States

Labor Day in the United States of America is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday.


Waverly Village Hall was designed exclusively as an event venue—government offices and services were housed in other buildings secured shortly after the village's original hall was destroyed by a fire. The replacement hall quickly became a center of social life for residents of Waverly and neighboring towns. [3] It hosted numerous wedding receptions, as well as dances, school plays, banquets, and concerts. Waverly resident Hubert Humphrey gave numerous speeches there. [4] The hall was booked by churches and organizations like the Knights of Columbus, and even hosted athletic events such as basketball games and roller skating. [3]

The hall is still operated by the city of Waverly as an event venue. [5]

See also

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  1. National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service.
  2. "Waverly Village Hall". Minnesota National Register Properties Database. Minnesota Historical Society. 2009. Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Anderson, Rolf; Melanie Mullins (2001-12-14). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Waverly Village Hall" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-08-06.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Hatler, Carrie (February 2015). "Waverly's Moderne Village Hall". Forgotten Minnesota. Retrieved 2015-08-06.
  5. "Village Hall". City of Waverly. Retrieved 2018-03-15.