OUR HISTORY

Between 1868 and 1870, the Court Street Methodist Episcopal Church built this Second Empire style building at the corner of Main St. and Court Street on the former site of the American Hotel, a stagecoach hotel that burned in 1867. The Court Street Methodist Episcopal Church was dedicated on August 18th, 1870 with Dr. Hatfield of Chicago preaching the dedication sermon. The building cost $31,500 to build. The building was designed to include the church on the second and third floors with commercial tenants on the ground floor to help fund the church. Notable first floor tenants include:

  • DD Bates Grocery Store
  • Hardman Pianos
  • Sheldon Hardware Co.
  • Carr’s Food Store
  • Kroger
  • J.C. Penney
  • Smith Copy
  • Rock County Appliance and TV
  • Voigt Music
The Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Rock County Historical Society
The Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Rock County Historical Society

The ground floor originally had two retail spaces along Main Street divided by an ornate entryway in the center that has since been removed (ca. 1929) to accommodate one large store on the first floor. The rear of the ground floor housed the Sunday School Rooms for the Church. The ground floor configuration has been altered; however, the upper floors of the building have remained largely intact through the years. The mansard roof which is a trademark of the French Second Empire style architecture is one of the few examples that remain in Janesville. The Court Street Methodist Episcopal Church combined with the First Methodist Church in 1904 and decided to sell the property. The property was purchased in 1905 by the Janesville Masonic Lodge for $20,500.

The building was dedicated on December 27, 1906 with the Grand Lodge in attendance. The Janesville Masons used the building until 1965 when they built their current lodge. The upper 2 floors had sat vacant for 50 years. The Grafft family purchased the building in the fall of 2013 and began making plans to convert the space to an event hall. Construction began in January 2015 and was first open to the public for an open house on December 2, 2015. The second and third floor interiors have been painstakingly restored to bring back the beauty and charm of this historic building for its use as a banquet and event facility. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is located in downtown Janesville.

The Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Rock County Historical Society
The Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Rock County Historical Society
The Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Rock County Historical Society
The Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Rock County Historical Society

The Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville WisconsinThe Venue  Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, Janesville Wisconsin

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