Lawrence Town Hall Rental and Foundation Information
The Lawrence Town Hall is one of three buildings in Lawrence listed in the State of Michigan register of historic sites. The building, at 122 W. St. Joseph, was built in 1902. Over the years the building was the main venue for plays, recitals, concerts and movies. It was a regular stop in the 1920s and 1930s for touring Vaudeville groups. The Township and Village governments also maintained their offices there along with conducting meetings and hearings. The Village Jail was also located in the hall underneath the stage.
The offices of Lawrence Township Treasurer and Supervisor moved out of the hall in June of 2010, and the building was sold to the newly formed Lawrence Town Hall Foundation in December 2010.
The Foundation is a non-profit public charity (IRS 501-3C) responsible for managing and maintaining the building. Funding for the Foundation is through pledge donations and grants.
An application for inclusion of the National Register of Historic Places is currently being submitted, as this is a requirement for many historic preservation grants. The mission statement of the foundation is to preserve the historic Lawrence Town Hall building and maintain public ownership and use. Some goals and objectives include: To rehabilitate the Town Hall building so it can be used as a community center for the public, regardless of the season, to create a community center offering an historic venue for meetings, weddings, plays, artistic expression and other uses desired by the community, to be included on the National Registry of Historic Places to allow obtainment of historic preservation grants and funding resources.
The business philosophy of the foundation is as follows: It is important that there be no geographic conflict. The Town Hall building is in the Village of Lawrence, the Township of Lawrence and Van Buren County. All in the community should be able to use it. The cost of rehabilitation, maintenance and upkeep should be sustained initially through charitable contributions and grants. Future costs could be offset by assessing equitable fees for special private functions and or leasing a portion of the building (i.e. basement leased for offices). Membership in the foundation is based on public donations of any amount. No minimum or maximum. Donation form can be found here.
Upon assuming the building, the Foundation’s first steps will include:
- Basic remodeling of the basement (old library) and lease it to a small business or other organization
- Apply for grants to allow use of the main hall all year
- Convert offices to handicap-accessible bathrooms
- Heat/energy modifications
- Barrier-free entrance to basement and main hall
- Communication plan to get the word out regarding availability of the Hall for special events
The Foundation meets every Saturday at the Lawrence Township Community Services Building at 11:30 a.m. Anyone interested in joining the meetings are welcome. Board members include Kim Thompson (President/Treasurer), Paul Garrod (Vice President), and Phil Glennie (Secretary).
Lawrence Town Hall Rental for parties, weddings, special meetings Info
- $350 to rent the use of the entire building (main floor and basement) for a one day event, or $200 for use of either floor.
- $50 for use of either floor for a birthday party (under age of 14), $150 for birthday party (15 an over) $250 for both floors for birthday party 15 and over
Terms: 50% down payment + $100 damage/cleaning deposit required to secure the date, balance due one week prior to the date. Down payment will be forfeited if cancelled within 30 days of the secured date. If cancelled >31 days prior to event then entire down payment will be refunded but a $100 cancellation fee would apply. Rental form here.
Contact Info for the Town Hall Foundation/Rental Inquiries:
- EMAIL: LawrenceTownHallFoundation@gmail.com
- STREET ADDRESS: Lawrence Town Hall Foundation, PO Box 37, Lawrence, MI 49064