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Old or Unusual Kingdom Halls


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A comment from Bro Julians topic on his Kingdom Hall got me thinking

https://jwtalk.net/forums/topic/38171-kh-construction-in-germany/

 

Is your Kingdom Hall old or unusual?  My hall started life as a smoke house - smoking herrings, kippers.  Built around 1900.  Then brought in the 1950s and converted into a Kingdom Hall.  The main auditorium is upstairs, with the lobby, toilets and other rooms on the ground floor.  The smoking ovens were still there until the 1990's, blocked over by a wall, when they were removed in a refrub to make more space.

 

I know there are other halls that are old or are converted buildings.  Is yours?  Would like to find out where the oldest building that is now a Kingdom Hall is, and what it used to be.

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I was one of the original members of a Hall that was just phased out. When we first started the Congregation we rented a building that had been a "theater". The small town dates back to the 16th century although it was not incorporated until 1881.

 

The theater building is one of the older buildings still standing although it has never been declared "Historical".

 

This is the building:

image.png.9cdc2b65176eded5c34db5244eb97840.png

 

The newer building to the right is connected to the original building. The original building has wooden floors that tend to lean to one side. We had to build a stage to use the building as a Hall. The movie screen was no longer there. There was only one restroom and it is behind where the stage was built. We used the newer portion of the building (the part on the right) for the literature room. Interesting thing - to use the restroom during the meeting meant you had to go outside by the front door and enter the part on the right by its front door and go back to the door that connected the two buildings. There, we had a "Restroom Attendant" posted and he would tell you if the restroom was available. If it was cold or raining, you still had to go out and in again.

 

There was a building right next door that used to be a Radio Shack Store. It was empty and got rented by one "church" after another. They would play loud music, beat loud drums and carry on quite a bit. At Times, it caused a real distraction in our building because they were so loud.

 

When that building became available, we bought it and converted it into a KH - this was in the 1980's. This is what it looked like:

image.png.d1b5849fc4f09aa1daa408d8ab2ed523.png

 

Oh, and if it looks like the KH roof sticks over the building to the left - that is not an illusion ... it does!

image.png.c01177eca9888cbd0fe78f6fa43203b7.png

 

The area behind those plaster areas on both sides of the doors still contain the store windows - they are encased inside the walls.

 

This Hall is no longer in use and the building is up for sale - some of the publishers were merged into our Congregation a couple months ago.

 

I know this is not a really "old" KH - but it may qualify as "unusual"

"Let all things take place decently and by arrangement."
~ 1 Corinthians 14:40 ~

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BTW - I might add:

 

If you noticed, there is no parking lot. The city recently did away with most of the on-street parking. The Congregation relied on using the empty parking lot of a closed convenience store across the street.

 

The lack of parking, the strange property lines, the amount of work needed (which includes needing a new roof) are some of the reasons the Branch decided to dissolve the Congregation and put the building up for sale.

"Let all things take place decently and by arrangement."
~ 1 Corinthians 14:40 ~

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The first KH I attended was somewhat new, built on land donated by a family (still in use today). Before that the KH was a renovated church. Bathrooms were outside with no heat. Few got up during the meeting for a bathroom break!!

 

The next KH I had visited before we were part of that congregation. They met in a rented upstairs space over a downtown office/store. We had to carry our chairs up and back for each meeting.  Eventually a hall was built and has been expanded three times (still in use today).

 

Presently I am in a lovely recent build (about 5 years old). But we have many older ones who have shared with me their stories. A sister in her 80’s told me of the first KH in the area – they bought a tavern in town!! She said she would use the back door to enter. Another sister said if you took out a territory it was a whole town - rural at that. Later the tavern was sold to two sisters who moved the building further out of town and made it their home. It has been pointed out to me more than once by some other long-timers. When the sisters died it was sold and the current owner is a ‘do not call’ (don’t know if he knows the history). Two more KH’s were since built, sold and we are where we are at today.

 

 

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1 minute ago, jwhess said:

The original part of our KH was built in 1970.  The hall is one of those (few?) with a sloping auditorium floor with fixed theater type seats.  The branch rep was just here and his wife said it looked like a small "assembly hall"....❤️

Do you mean sloping as in it slopes down from back to front as in a theater, cuz we have one of those too..

One small crack doesn't mean you are broken; it means that you were put to the test and didn't fall apart..

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31 minutes ago, Dove said:

Do you mean sloping as in it slopes down from back to front as in a theater, cuz we have one of those too..

Yes indeed.  There were some halls built in the RBC era that featured this type of floor and seating arrangement.  It is not a style used in the current construction programs.  In fact, up until this current year, the major remodels that the LDC did included removing the slope and flattening the floor to use standard chairs and a low stage or platform. Our hall had part of the slope removed, the at area was back-filled with gravel and then a new flat section was poured in the front of the auditorium.  We had a water problem since that part of the floor was below ground level.  It is fine now.

 

Currently, the LDC does not advise removing the sloped floors because of cost.  So I think we can keep them.  I like the floor but it makes carpet maintenance difficult with the floor bolts that anchor the seats are poking up through the carpet at every seat.

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3 minutes ago, jwhess said:

Yes indeed.  There were some halls built in the RBC era that featured this type of floor and seating arrangement.  It is not a style used in the current construction programs.  In fact, up until this current year, the major remodels that the LDC did included removing the slope and flattening the floor to use standard chairs and a low stage or platform. Our hall had part of the slope removed, the at area was back-filled with gravel and then a new flat section was poured in the front of the auditorium.  We had a water problem since that part of the floor was below ground level.  It is fine now.

 

Currently, the LDC does not advise removing the sloped floors because of cost.  So I think we can keep them.  I like the floor but it makes carpet maintenance difficult with the floor bolts that anchor the seats are poking up through the carpet at every seat.

Thank you for not saying, well it wouldn't be from side to side, cuz it was kinda a dumb question....:D

One small crack doesn't mean you are broken; it means that you were put to the test and didn't fall apart..

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our KH was a church....we removed the steeple....but had the pews for the first few months

 

\got a nice renovation a few years back when it flooded during CO visit.....

 

when i was a kid in NJ we had a room over a store

 

and an automotive place - later purchased by an auto upholstery dealer and he left the " Watchtower-on the roof"  for like 10-15 years

 

got to work on one last year in South florida -- its been there since the 60's and still has a "Watchtower" on the top of the building

 

kinda cool

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I visited my Mom's congregation in Woodruff, WI  in late '70's or early '80's.

They sub-leased a room from the Free Masons , or Shriners, some group along those lines. The artwork on the walls had the 'eye' and the 'pyramid ' that you see on back of the dollar. Weird to say the least.

The brothers had permission to remove the framed decorations during use of the room, but the brothers felt it would only risk breaking something, so they let them be.

Ultimately, they built a beautiful brick KH on land out of town.

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I’m not if many people are aware of this one, but here in Queensland (Australia) there is a very old KH that is on postcards. It’s in a very northern town isolated town in far North Queensland called Cooktown. Here is the excerpt from Wikipedia:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Cooktown_Hospital

Old Cooktown Hospital is a heritage-listed former public hospital and now Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall at May Street, Cooktown, Shire of Cook, Queensland, Australia. It was designed by Francis Drummond Greville Stanley and built from 1879 to c. 1881 by Alfred Doorey & Son. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992.[1]


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2 hours ago, Antz12 said:

I’m not if many people are aware of this one, but here in Queensland (Australia) there is a very old KH that is on postcards. It’s in a very northern town isolated town in far North Queensland called Cooktown. Here is the excerpt from Wikipedia:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Cooktown_Hospital

Old Cooktown Hospital is a heritage-listed former public hospital and now Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall at May Street, Cooktown, Shire of Cook, Queensland, Australia. It was designed by Francis Drummond Greville Stanley and built from 1879 to c. 1881 by Alfred Doorey & Son. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992.[1]


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Very interesting. I also found a Watchtower article about it here:

 

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1992602

 

Enjoy!

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This is our hall. To my knowledge, it's the only duplex (Double Kingdom Hall) in NZ. However there is a Tri-plex in South Auckland.

 

The awning you can see (for vehicular drop offs) is in the middle between the 2 halls, making it a very long building. There are 4 english speaking congregations, 1 chinese, 1 korean and we now have a Russian pre-group that's started recently. I took this photo to be used on our congregation letterhead.

 

kingdom Hall.jpg


Edited by Dave
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In the 1950's our Kingdom Hall in Key West Florida did not have heating or air conditioning.  I have attached a picture of our solution.  These fans were made by the husband of one of our sisters and I helped staple the cardboard to the handles.  When you entered the hall, you picked up one of these from a table by the door.

 

KW Fan.jpeg

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1 hour ago, jwhess said:

In the 1950's our Kingdom Hall in Key West Florida did not have heating or air conditioning.  I have attached a picture of our solution.  These fans were made by the husband of one of our sisters and I helped staple the cardboard to the handles.  When you entered the hall, you picked up one of these from a table by the door.

I needed one of those the other night. It was pretty warm even with the Aircon going.

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8 minutes ago, jwhess said:

Sr. Sandr, some Assembly Halls have murals outside of the auditorium.  I remember this one from the AH near Casa Grande, Arizona.

 

 

ariz1.JPG

Yes, we still use murals, but I was remembering the ones that used to be behind the podium. They were nice to look at but I wonder if they were thought of as distracting because they were right behind the speaker and maybe taking away the concentration of the audience of what was being said. Or they may have just fallen out of favor due to time and circumstance..most likely the case. They were also quite expensive and difficult to apply and even kept clean..


Edited by Dove

One small crack doesn't mean you are broken; it means that you were put to the test and didn't fall apart..

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About 1980 we remodeled our hall and the sister in charge of the stage setup (before RBC or LDC) had them wallpaper the back wall of the platform with Paisley design.

It made you dizzy watching the speaker with that pattern. 


Edited by jwhess
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