History of Museum
ADDISON HISTORICAL MUSEUM ORIGIN STORY
On July 2, 1973, during the administration of K. Arthur Naumann as Village President, the Village Board approved an ordinance creating a Historical Commission. As stated in the the ordinance, the duties of the commission were : to keep a running history of the Village, provide for the renovation of historical items, and to solicit and accept memorials.
The Commission held its first meeting on November 12, 1973. One of their first formal recommendations was to form a not-for-profit Historical Society to assist with endeavors. The Addison Historical Society was incorporated in the Spring of 1974. The commission also looked at moving the 1898 Village Hall to the municipal grounds for possible use as a Village museum.
In January 1976, the commission was given rooms on the second floor of the Municipal Building in space formerly occupied by the Addison Police Department. for use as a museum. Commission members volunteered their time and talent to paint the rooms and create displays. On July 4, 1976, the Historical Museum of Addison officially opened to the public.
Commission Member Pearl Morris painting rooms in the soon-to-be Historical Museum of Addison
In 1993, the Village bought the Century House at 129 W. Army Trail Blvd. which once housed German school teachers and their families. The commission tasked the Addison Historical Society with the job of raising funds and implementing the restoration of the home.
Century House, circa 1999
Site plan for the Proposed Historical Museum in the Addison Historical District
When the current Village Hall was being planned in the 1990's, no space was allocated for the historical museum. Instead, the Village sought funding to acquire and move the historic Balzer residence and Coach House from their Lake St. location to the newly created Addison Historical District on an empty lot adjacent to the Century House for use as a museum. The lot was donated to the Historical Society by the Krentz family. In March 1999, the Balzer Home and Coach House were moved by truck down Lake St. to their new home at 135 W. Army Trail Blvd. Both buildings underwent extensive renovations. The total project cost was upwards of $450,000 and paid for by donations, grants and Village funds. The Historical Museum of Addison reopened to the public at its new location in 2000, and the Coach House was formally dedicated in 2003. Today these buildings and the Century House make up the Addison Historical Museum campus.
Balzer House being moved in position at new location, circa 1999
Addison Historical Museum Campus, circa 2020