The Building

Windom Hall

In the late 1880’s, the activity and enthusiasm of the Scottsville Dramatic Club indicated a need for a theater in the community. Other groups in the village were in favor of a larger meeting hall.

By 1891, James H. Kelly purchased the home of early settler, William H. Hanford, at 28 Main Street, Scottsville. The house was razed and with the cooperation of local investors, Mr. Kelly made plans to construct a large community hall. The architect for the building was Charles Ellis of Rochester. Myron Pope was engaged as builder and Isaac Leake was the mason. The building had a seating capacity of 468: 368 on the ground floor and 100 seats in the gallery where folding opera chairs were used. The 20′ x 40′ stage had both inside and outside exits, a drawbridge and drop curtains. Kitchen facilities were located in the basement. The building was dedicated on February 17, 1892 with a grand opening celebration.

Windom Hall became the meeting center for many groups in the community. High school commencements, church groups, lodge meetings, a library reading room, suppers and dances, in addition to the Dramatic Club productions kept the building in use.

Over the years ownership of the Windom Hall building changed from private investors to the Village Improvement Society to the established Scottsville Free Library Association in 1935.

In 1994, the building was listed in the New York Historic Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

From a historical standpoint, with the exception of local churches, probably no other building in the Village has had a greater impact on the lives of those residing in the Scottsville area. In its early history it was the setting for almost every noteworthy social and cultural community event.

The building has undergone many restoration projects in recent years.  The most extensive occurred in 2000 when the Honor Wall was disassembled and moved to the back of the stage it had concealed.  The opened area provides comfortable seating and an ideal location for programming.