The Historic Casino Hall, 254 N. Jefferson, La Grange is currently the site for the visitors center. We stopped to get a map of the painted churches and see if we could dance on the floor. Keanna, the smiling employee who met us at the door gave me some brochures which had history of the hall, then gave us a tour and chance to dance.
Ten German immigrants organized the Casino Association of La Grange in 1858. It was never a gaming hall, but had the intent of serving as a gathering place for the community. By July 1880, the building was constructed which housed a gathering space, school and performance hall. By 1884, the main focus was education, though theatrical performances were still regularly scheduled. The school moved out in 1924 and renovations let the Fire Department and City Hall move in. City Hall moved in 1968 and the Fire Department moved in 1992. The Senior Center remained until the building closed in 2006. In 2014, the City Council voted funds for a complete building restoration. It now houses the La Grange Visitor Bureau, office space for the La Grange Economic Development Corporation, and important to us, the performing arts center upstairs.
The floor boards looked original, but they were smooth for dancing. The hall is available for rental. It had a great lighting and sound system, stage for a band with an open, airy feel. We enjoyed talking to Keanna and learning more about the area. The visitors center is full of information, not just La Grange, but the entire county. Stop and check it out – and see if they’ll let you dance a two step upstairs too!