Batavia Historical Society announces new Expansion Plans

Tue April 3, 2018

BATAVIA, IL – A little over one year ago, the Batavia Historical Society kicked off the Batavia Depot Museum Expansion Project with efforts to raise $2 million over a five year period to expand the Depot Museum featuring added program and exhibit space, as well as much needed storage. To date, the Society has raised nearly $700,000.

The newest version of the plans is an improvement over the previous versions from 2017.  Historical Society members are excited about the redesigned modern entrance that compliments the unique design of the historic Depot, as well as the grand reception area that will take full advantage of the spectacular pond views. 

Staff worked closely with DLA Architects to ensure areas housing Historical Society artifacts will be appropriate for long-term preservation and that the common areas are bright and welcoming. One aspect people may not realize with the Expansion is that the new area will take some of the functions out of the existing Depot. By relocating the reception and restroom areas to the new addition, the Museum will be able to capture those areas in the existing building allowing for updating exhibits and the creation of new, interactive space.  

“We are very excited about the recent changes made to the original building addition design,” stated Historical Society Board Member, Dan Hoefler.

“The updated design conveys a scale and proportion that complements the existing Depot. Windows have increased at strategic locations to allow for controlled indirect daylight into the galleries. Visitors enter through a landscaped courtyard into a glassy main entry hall from the bike path. Other changes include expanded flexible exhibit space, a main foyer multipurpose room, and expanded artifact storage facilities. Our thanks to the Chamber, MainStreet, City of Batavia and Park District staff who participated in the discussions. The design is full of touches that have come to be characteristic of changes to historic buildings. This design will make Batavians proud of their Depot museum.”

Museum Curator, Chris Winter commented, “I’m excited to have our collections in one space with a workroom. I also look forward to the large exhibit area, where we can have displays shared from other museums. People will learn more than Batavia History when they walk through the doors – it will be a broad spectrum of changing exhibits.”

When the Depot was dedicated in 1973, almost half of the citizens of Batavia had contributed to the project, through donations of money, and labor.  The Furnas Foundation matched the monetary donations. The Batavia Depot Museum is one of the city’s most treasured landmarks and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Batavia Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information about the expansion project and the Batavia Historical Society, or to learn more about upcoming Museum events, log on to To donate to the Expansion project, visit the website or send a check to the Batavia Historical Society Expansion Project, P.O. Box 14, Batavia, IL 60510.