A chautauqua was a meeting place where people would gather to hear lectures and other events. The one in Shelbyville is famous for being in relatively good condition.
But surprisingly, there seems to be little money to fix it up. It’s sad to see a small town now utilize critical historic resources. This is one of the last ones standing, with its unique design, and the town can find no use for it? Really?
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LENGTHY – and very interesting – article describing the building’s interior and construction: http://shelbyvilleillinois.net/lake-shelbyville-illinois-chautauqua-auditorium-national-landmark-restoration-forest-park-shelby-county-il/
There is even a Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BC1zs1jh74
My late mother used to spend a week or so nearly every year in the ’20s and ’30s at the (still existing!) Chautauqua community North of Alton, off the Great River Road. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chautauqua,_Illinois