Village of North Bay Village Hall (1959)
3615 Hennepin Place
Tucked into a wooded ravine overlooking Lake Michigan sits a small structure that more closely resembles a small chapel than a government building.  The unique color of the herringbone brick pattern and the soaring height of the copper chimney spire hide the true purpose of this building.  Far beneath the surface, 26 feet to be precise, lies the village sewage pumping station. 
 
When the Village incorporated in late December of 1951, there was already a private sanitation system in place.  However, new standards by the State Board of Health in 1956 necessitated major changes in how municipalities disposed of their sewage.  In order for the Village to comply, they needed to tie into the newly constructed City of Racine sewer line on Main Street, and this would require a new pumping station. It was at this juncture that the Village Board decided to expand the proposed building to include storage and voting areas.  Later, the size of the building would be amended to include a meeting room. Until that time, the Village Board had been meeting in private residences and records were being kept in their homes.
 
Architect James Dresser, a Taliesin Fellow who had been an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright, was commissioned to design the “Village Meeting Room and Pumping Station Building.”  Mr. Dresser, who was well known for his organic designs, was selected because members of the Village Board admired his design of the Lake Geneva Library. Bondgard-Reidy was awarded the contract for the building for the amount of $47,758, and construction began on August 21, 1958.   
 
The center floor of the building is constructed of concrete and steel and serves as a storage facility for Village equipment.  The double doors at the east side of the building were designed to allow small trucks to drive into the building to simplify cartage.
 
Mr. Dresser’s organic design is shown to advantage on the upper floor of the building.  Notably, Mr. Dresser held a special meeting with the Village Board prior to the completion of his plans to discuss the indirect lighting used throughout the upper floor.   The soft colors of the natural wood, brick and cork throughout the room lead your focus to the wall of windows, which frame a magnificent view of Lake Michigan. This level contains the main meeting room with fireplace, four voting booths, a small lounge/lavatory and a kitchenette.   The main level has a capacity of 100, but was never intended for social purposes.  The meeting room is used for Village governance and voting.
 
On July 1, 1959, the new pumps were started.  On July 13, 1959, the Village Board held their first meeting in the new Village Hall.