Duncan Hall History


Communicate, Create, and Celebrate the important occasions that

 punctuate and add meaning to our lives...



A century ago, a group of Lafayette women came together and found the need to form the Community House Association (CHA). They sought to improve the quality of life of other women who had been attracted to the growing city of Lafayette to seek employment and attend school.

The CHA established training programs and housing for these young ladies, as well as the first Kindergarten in this area. In addition, many of Lafayette's important civic groups, from the YWCA to the Girl Scouts to the Civic Theater, found their first home at the Community House which was eventually established near 6th & Ferry Streets.

Sarah Ely's mother was a charter member of the CHA and Sarah later became a member herself. Sarah married her boss at Duncan Electric, Thomas Duncan, the Scottish born inventor/industrialist/philanthropist. He grew to admire the important work of the CHA.

Thomas died in 1928, leaving resources to the CHA to construct a gracious, spacious Georgian, Colonial-style building to be a meeting place for social, patriotic, charitable, educational, and cultural events. The CHA is a not-for-profit corporation comprised of a board of 33 with several advisors. This group continues to work today to enhance the quality of life in Lafayette, through preserving and promoting Duncan Hall.

The recent Secret Garden renovation is the latest phase in the extensive turn of this century revitalization of Duncan Hall.  The Duncan Hall Board and Staff are most grateful to each of the many volunteers, who have generously donated their time and resources to preserve and beautify this historic, community treasure on Ferry Street.

Thomas Duncan's gift to Lafayette provides a unique, relaxing, beautiful and historic setting in which we all may: Communicate on matters of importance; Create and share music, art, and theater; and Celebrate the important occasions that punctuate and add meaning to our lives.

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Copyright © 2012      Thomas Duncan Hall, Inc,     619 Ferry Street,      Lafayette, IN 47901    Telephone (765) 742-4788      All Rights Reserved.