Preserve the Playhouse

Photo by Brooke Lavite
The Haskell Playhouse is located on Henry Street in Alton.
by Kiersten Connolly
Staff Writer

The Lucy Haskell Playhouse has been a staple in Alton since 1885, and now it’s readying to meet its demise unless the community pulls together to raise $50,000 by May 8.

Currently, the donations for saving the Playhouse total $20,000, which is only 40 percent of the necessary amount needed.

“It’s such a shame that the playhouse could be coming to an end. I’ve always loved going there just to look around – I found it almost therapeutic. Alton wouldn’t be the same without our playhouse,” science major Alex Young said.

Pride, Inc. has pledged to pay for the paint for the project after the old lead paint is removed and disposed of. Pride, Inc. also has offered to restore or replace rotted exterior wood, and had donated the foundation work and interior repairs to get the playhouse back into the state it deserves.

With all the necessary restorations that have to be completed, it will take not only the committee, but the community as a whole, to keep this project going.

“I would hate to see the setting to one of my very favorite childhood memories disappear and cease to exist. As a child, I would love to pretend the house was my own and I was the ruler of a kingdom. One day I want my kids to experience this – that’s why I am helping to save the playhouse,” said elementary education major Lauren Wetzstein.

According to a member of the committee, it is vital for all the money to be raised, and every penny counts especially when it’s going toward renovations of a 129-year-old building.

People can send or bring tax-deductible donation checks made out to the Lucy Haskell Playhouse Fund to the Alton City Treasurer’s Office, 101 E. Third St.

Donations are also being accepted online using PayPal at



Haskell Playhouse did receive enough donations that it will not be torn down. Donations are still being accepted to help with restoration.

About Kiersten Connolly

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