HEMMENS CULTURAL CENTER
How many other cities can boast of a world class symphony? Elgin can. And we have a fantastic Choral Union as well. This is their home, the Hemmens Cultural Center. From the backside it looks like a big brick cube but the front side is a glass walled marvel of acoustical engineering. The Auditorium was built in 1969 as part of a downtown civic center complex. The performance space was designed for the Symphony and Choral Union but all sorts of other musical acts and theatrical performances take place here.
So why is it called Hemmens, you ask? Well, it was named for Hattie Hemmens, widow of Walter Hemmens. The couple was childless and decided to leave their fortune to benefit the citizens of Elgin.