YORKVILLE — A building on the County Fairgrounds nearing its 100th anniversary is set to be renovated on time for the 100th fair this coming July.
The Racine County Board earlier this month passed its Resolution No. 2021-60 which authorizes the renovation of Racine Mercantile Hall, creation of a Mercantile Hall renovation account and transfer of funds from the stadium reserve to the Mercantile Hall renovation account.
The county received its rebate from the Miller Park stadium tax and put that in a separate account “knowing someday something really good would come along that we could use that money for,” District 11 Supervisor Robert Miller said. “I’m sure you’ve been to the fair, you’ve seen it, it’s a beautiful building, and it’s going to be put back into service with the partnership and these funds.”
Racine County is approved to give $50,000 from the Miller Park tax refund account. The total cost of the project is $100,000 with the remainder being fundraised by the community.
Four resolutions, including this resolution, were approved at the same time with a unanimous vote, 18-0. Supervisors Thomas Pringle, Tom Hincz and Melissa Kaprelian were absent.
“This is an opportunity to partner with some of our citizens who are concerned about a very historic, very beautiful building that we own,” Miller said.
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Julie Moyer of Union Grove came before the County Board to say she has a grass roots organization tentatively called Racine Mercantile Hall Restoration Committee that is renovating Racine Mercantile Hall, located on Old Settler’s Park grounds at 1549 15th Ave.
The organization is made up of people from Kiwanis groups, Lions Club groups, history groups and members of the county. These people have donated money and will be donating labor as well to get the project done.
Pictured is an older version of Racine Mercantile Hall. The hall was built in 1927 by merchants in the City of Racine so they could display their goods.
Racine Mercantile Hall was built in 1927 by merchants in the City of Racine so they could display their goods. The building hasn’t been open to the public for at least a handful of years, Moyer said. Currently, the building stores picnic tables.
“We would love to have the oldest building that’s on the fairgrounds refurbished and open to the public,” Moyer said. “This is a very unique building … we would love to use that building again to showcase history of the Racine County Fair, and also history of Racine County itself.”
It’s a 126-by-28-foot raised roof barn with wooden sides, paneled wood sheeting inside the walls and a poured concrete foundation and floor.
The building features two overhead doors on each end and 40 single-pane windows. A new shingled roof was installed in 2019.
The building was originally half dark green, half light gray. The renovation is set to return the building to the original colors along with lettering on the north and south sides in gray, black and gold — however, the lettering colors haven’t been completely determined, Moyer said.
The entire foundation will additionally be redone so the building will be raised and more stable than before. Currently, the floor is cracked and the building is leaning to the side, so with updates to make the floor a smooth surface, fairgoers will be safer, Moyer said.
The goal is to finish the project by June 1 of next year.
“We’re very excited,” Moyer said.
Photos: Animals, food, games and more at the 2021 Racine County Fair in Yorkville
Whitney Holler of Raymond takes her cow to auction at Racine County Fair
Whitney Holler of Raymond leads her prize cow into the arena Saturday for the livestock auction at the Racine County Fair.
Heather Ross makes lemonade at vendor stand at Racine County Fair
Heather Ross mixes a lemonade for a customer at the Candy Sweets vendor stand Saturday at the Racine County Fair in Yorkville.
Emily Augustyn of Bristol enjoys corn on the cob at the Racine County Fair
Emily Augustyn of Bristol bites into an ear of corn Saturday at the Racine County Fair, which was to conclude its five-day run on Sunday.
Champion rabbit rests in cage at Racine County Fair
A rabbit belonging to Rachel Kalbas rests in its cage alongside other rabbits Saturday after winning Best In Show during the Racine County Fair in Yorkville.
Michelle Muzia and grand-daughter Cecilia Venegas on carousel at Racine County Fair
Cecelia Venegas, left, 3, and her grandmother, Michelle Muzia of Caledonia, share a ride on the carousel Saturday at the Racine County Fair.
Riley Storm-Voltz leads his cow into auction arena at Racine County Fair
Riley Storm-Voltz of Franksville waits in line Saturday outside the auction arena to guide his cow inside for bidders to examine during the livestock auction at the Racine County Fair.
Mariana Bautista rides mini-tractor at Racine County Fair
Mariana Bautista, 9, of Kenosha, takes her turn on a miniature tractor Saturday at the Racine County Fair.
Cactus on display in flower competition at Racine County Fair
A cactus is on display as part of the photography and flower exhibition Saturday at the Racine County Fair.
Margaret Metzen sweeps poultry barn at Racine County Fair
Margaret Metzen of Raymond uses a broom to keep things tidy inside the poultry barn at the Racine County Fair in Yorkville.
Family enjoys picnic in the grass at the Racine County Fair
Enjoying a lunch of corn dogs and cheese curds, Josh Hiser of Kenosha, from left, finds a shady spot in the grass Saturday at the Racine County Fair with his daughter, Adilyn, 4, and son, Jacob, 8.
Sophia Matuszek of Raymond brings her cow into Racine County Fair livestock auction
Sophia Matuszek of Raymond brings her cow into the arena Saturday for the livestock auction at the Racine County Fair.
John Mathews of Eagle works speed pitch game at Racine County Fair
John Mathews of Eagle waits for his next customer at the Speed Pitch game Saturday during the Racine County Fair in Yorkville.
Aiden Brink of Waterford with his champion bantam chicken at Racine County Fair
Aiden Brink of Waterford on Saturday holds his bantam chicken, which won the best of its breed, during the Racine County Fair.
Emma Siemers of Waterford brings her cow into Racine County Fair auction
Emma Siemers of Waterford is all smiles Saturday as she leads her cow into the auction arena at the Racine County Fair.
Livestock auction at Racine County Fair with auctioneer Gary Finley
Auctioneer Gary Finley, foreground in hat, leads the action Saturday before a packed house as competitors show off their prize cows, hogs and other animals during the livestock auction at the Racine County Fair.
Lennox and Xander Christensen in covered wagon at Racine County Fair
Lennox Christensen, 1, and her brother, Xander Christensen, 4, of Dover, are riding in style in a covered wagon Saturday at the Racine County Fair in Yorkville.
Jack Grider of Bristol tries fishing game at the Racine County Fair
Jack Grider, 6, of Bristol, tries his hand at a fishing game Saturday at the Racine County Fair.
Nathan Rehberg of Burlington guides his cow into the Racine County Fair auction arena
Nathan Rehberg of Burlington guides his cow into the arena Saturday during the livestock auction at the Racine County Fair.
Sophia Matuszek pauses with her cow at the Racine County Fair livestock auction
Sophia Matuszek of Raymond pauses with her cow while waiting her turn in the auction arena Saturday at the Racine County Fair livestock auction.
Ilana McCormick, 2, of Racine, rides a pony at the Racine County Fair
Ilana McCormick, 2, of Racine, smiles while riding a pony on the guided pony ride Saturday at the Racine County Fair.
Kids on carnival ride at the Racine County Fair
Thrill-seekers prepare for a spin around the Edge carnival ride Saturday at the Racine County Fair, which features many rides and games.
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