The Hauberg Civic Center, 1300 24th Street in Rock Island, Illinois, is also known as Hauberg Estate, a beautiful place tucked on top of the hill. This seven-acre establishment has been known by many names over the years since it’s completion in 1911, now serving as a host to many different events, supported by the members of our community.
First known as the Great House, it was built for Susanne Denkmann, daughter of F.C.A. Denkmann, co-founder of the successful Weyerhaeuser lumber company. Denkmann was a celebrated philanthropist in the community and while on the board of the Bethany Home (for orphans) met John Hauberg, a Rock Island lawyer. After connecting over a love of civic engagement, the two married and they became the home’s original residents.
The estate is beautiful. Outside is a sprawling lawn leading up to the house and Tulip Fountain, which is backed by a wooded landscape. Inside are many types of wood, a tip of the hat to Denkmann’s father’s industry. Tulips are a theme from the windows to the walls to the plaster details, the flowers can be found all over the estate.
The couple’s children donated the estate to the City of Rock Island in 1956 to be used specifically for a civic center. It is now in the care of the Friends of the Hauberg Civic Center, a 501c3 non-for-profit organization comprised of mostly volunteers. The Friends are responsible for the home, landscaping needs, restoration, marketing, and event scheduling.
The Friends of the Hauberg Civic Center have been organizing all sorts of events for the community to raise funds for the various needs of the estate. There are history talks and tours, wine dinners, scavenger hunts, and etiquette classes, just to name a few. All throughout the year are all sorts of things for all ages held on the grounds for everyone to enjoy.
My personal favorite so far is the Vintage Football Game. It’s an annual match between the Rock Island Independents versus the Moline Universal Tractors, a throwback to two teams that used to play in the Quad Cities.
I also enjoyed the Valentine’s Day Wine Dinner as well. A local wine distributor, Dimitri Papageorgiou, paired wines with food catered by Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano. Before each course he would describe the wine, how it was made, and where it was from. It was delicious and educational.
The Hauberg Civic Center is available for rent for private, larger events such as weddings or holiday parties. You can also call and schedule a docent-led tour to get a more detailed and personal visit, at 563-265-2753 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Tours are $10 for adults, children 12 and under are free.
To keep up to date on upcoming events or learn more about this historical gem of the Quad Cities, check out their website here.
If you’re interested in volunteering with or learning more about the Friends of the Civic Center, check out their Facebook page here.