|Location||421 Brady Street
|Area||less than one acre|
|Architect||Frederick G. Clausen|
|Architectural style||Romanesque Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||83002446|
|Added to NRHP||July 7, 1983|
The Hibernia Hall (or Hibernian Hall) is a Romanesque Revival building located in downtown Davenport, Iowa, United States. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. The Hibernia Hall is located on the east side of Brady Street, near the middle of the block. The building’s neighbor to the north is the Philip Worley House (1860). To the south are the Democrat Building (1923) and the Forrest Block (1875). All of the buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Irish immigration into the city of Davenport started with the Irish Famines from 1845 to 1849 and religious persecution in Ireland, which was all under British rule at the time. The Irish numbered 1,961 people in Davenport in 1858. They generally, but not exclusively, resided on the east side of town in and around the area known as Cork Hill. For the most part the Irish immigrants who came to Davenport were laborers who worked in such industries as river men, railroads, telegraph building, and in the areas flour and saw mills.
Like the Germans, Davenport’s other large ethnic group, the Irish formed fraternal organizations. The Fenian Society was the first such group to form in 1864. Largely, the group provided their homeland with military, moral and economic support. Eventually, interest declined and it was replaced in 1881 with the Irish National Land League of America. That organization was replaced three years later with the Ancient Order of Hibernians. In 1885 the Iowa Hibernians held their convention in Davenport.
The Hibernians purchased the Davenport property on Brady Street in the late 1880s or early 1890s. An 1886 Sanborn Fire Insurance map shows a Christian Chapel on the site that would become the Hibernia Hall. It was a two-story building with a deep setback from Brady Street. By the 1892 Sanborn map, the same structure was known as Hibernian Hall. The building dates from about 1855. The group remained active at this location until 1937. The building was converted to retail space on the main level and office space on the upper floors.
Davenport architect Frederick G. Clausen designed the front section for the Hibernian’s in January 1891. The original structure is intact at the rear of the building. The Hibernia Hall is a three-story brick building. The foundation in the front is mostly likely constructed partially of brick and the original building’s foundation in the back is likely stone. The building suggests the Richardsonian Romanesque style found in the vertical grouping of windows within round-arched arcades and the general sense of mass and weight. The building also features wide piers with plinth-like capitals.
The Hibernia Hall is a doublewide storefront with a central projecting pavilion. A gabled parapet and decorative pinnacles top the pavilion. The entrance to the upper floors of the building is found in a turned brick arch in the center pavilion. Above the entrance is an ornate grill that contains the building’s name, “Hibernian Hall”.
The oversized windows of the building’s upper stories are now reduced in size by infill. The exterior walls between the windows of the second and third story features decorative brickwork. A simple metal cornice is found across the top of the building.
The following are clubhouses in Scott County that are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places:
- Eldridge Turn-Halle
- Northwest Davenport Turner Society Hall
- Outing Club
- Wupperman Block/I.O.O.F. Hall
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- Svendsen, Marls A., Bowers, Martha H (1982). Davenport where the Mississippi runs west: A Survey of Davenport History & Architecture. Davenport, Iowa: City of Davenport. pp. 1–10.
- "Hibernian Hall". Davenport Public Library. Retrieved 2010-10-05.