In 1919, the voters of Ben Avon assented to increasing the borough’s indebtedness by $15,000 for the purpose of erecting, equipping and furnishing a public building for municipal purposes with an overall budget of $45,000. To raise the remaining funds, thirty-five one thousand-dollar bonds were sold. This building, erected in 1920, has served the Ben Avon community over the last 100 years by housing the police station, fire -fighting apparatus, public meeting rooms and a serve-yourself library. Today, it continues to be the home of the Council Chambers and Borough Office.
2020 saw the Municipal Building’s Centennial Anniversary pass without much fanfare due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a dedicated group of borough officials and residents have come together to celebrate this milestone by creating the Centennial Project with the goal of ensuring the viability of the Ben Avon Municipal Building for the next 100 years.
Borough Hall Centennial Project
On Monday, April 18th, 1921, Ben Avon’s new $42,000 Municipal building, located at the corner of Church and Forest Avenues, was opened for public use. The second floor of the structure was furnished by public subscription at a cost of $3,000 and put to its first use the following Saturday by the newly formed young men’s club of Ben Avon.
The building, which is red brick and of colonial design, was built with a view of service to the community. The council's chamber, police headquarters and firemen's rooms were situated on the first floor. The fire apparatus was housed in the basement of the structure.
The second floor, initially known as the Memorial Room, was used by various groups including the War Veterans Club and furnished with a pool table, piano, lounges and game tables. Over the years the room was used as a serve-yourself library and community meeting space.
Today, the Borough Hall is still an integral part of the Ben Avon Community. The first floor of the building houses the Borough Offices and Council Chambers, as it has since 1920, when Council first began holding its meetings there, after having met in the Ben Avon School starting in 1893.
In addition to Council Chambers, the first floor of the building houses the Borough Offices for the Borough Secretary and Public Works Manager. The basement, initially the home of the fire-fighting apparatus, is currently used for the storage of Public Works equipment and Borough records.
The second floor of the building continues to be used as a community resource hosting private functions including birthday parties, showers and public events such as the Fall Festival, Light-up Night Festivities and Holiday House Tour. In recent years the space has been used for Avon Club meetings, Boy & Girl Scout activities and YMCA classes.
The Borough has done a wonderful job of maintaining the building over the last 100 years, but there are several challenges that need to be addressed so that the community can take full advantage of this valuable and historic structure. To ensure the Borough Hall continues to serve the community significant improvements and updates are needed, including:
- Updates to ensure American with Disabilities Act compliance,
- Modernization of heating and air conditioning,
- Updates to key infrastructure including plumbing, electrical, sidewalks and windows, and
- Providing for building safety and security needs.
The initial focus of the Centennial Building Project is to assess the current state of the building to determine what is needed to make it structurally sound and accessible by all members of the community. To do so, we need to identify what types of activities and amenities are desired. An Online Survey has been developed to solicit feedback from our residents and community members. By completing the survey and sharing with your Ben Avon friends and neighbors, you will have a stake in the next 100 years of Ben Avon Borough Hall.
Please take a few moments to complete our Online Survey to include your thoughts on the project direction.
Please check back from time to time as we will be updating this site with more information about the project and its progress.