History of Veterans Memorial Hall

History of Veterans Memorial Hall

1910 -- Veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic (the Union Army in the Civil War) petitioned the county to hold an election for the establishment of a memorial hall to honor the soldiers and sailors who fought in the Civil War. The project was defeated.

1912 -- With the help of Spanish-American War veterans and the Sons of Veterans, the Grand Army of the Republic veterans tried again to establish a hall. This time the issue passed. A special building tax raised $16,000 and construction began in June 1915.

Dec. 10, 1915 -- Building is used for the first time when the Robert Anderson Post of the Grand Army of the Republic held its first meeting there.

1918-19 -- The Red Cross and Franciscan Sisters organized an additional hospital at Memorial Hall after soldiers returning from World War I brought a flu epidemic to the area, filling local hospitals.

1964 -- Building was almost demolished because the city of Waterloo wanted to acquire the property for a downtown parking area and build a new Memorial Hall near the Waterloo Recreation & Arts Center.

1966 -- Veterans Memorial Hall was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1996 -- Black Hawk County relinquished building ownership to the city of Waterloo.

1997 -- Waterloo City Council created the Memorial Hall Commission.

Timeline Courtesy Pat Kinney, Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier May 11, 2014