Menu Close

Archives Building Project

This page will serve as a timeline of the progress and construction of the CNWHS Archives Building located at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Thank You to all for your continued support of this project!  To make a donation to support the project click here.


With the building complete, take a walk through the facility before move in started via a 4.5 minute video.  The building will never be empty like this again.


The building is complete and McHenry county has granted an occupancy permit.  This view is in the store/museum room looking from the Wall of Memories towards the entrance door.

The front main entrance and vestibule to the store/museum room.

The library room which will house our books and other collections along with work stations.

The archivist office and regular work room.

The museum room with night lighting for special occasions illuminating the Wall of Memories.


The interior continues to take shape with a coat of paint on the walls and finished sealed floor.  This view looks south west in the retail area or store/museum room.

The research library.  The floor was ground and sealed with a matte or satin like finish.

The storage area.  Looks even bigger when it is cleaned up.

The storage area looking west.  All the joints were filled, any low spots filled and leveled off, then the sealant put down.  A nice and flat floor to work with.

A close up of the floor and joints.


The storage area looking at the main wall dividing the front work and display rooms from the back. Drywall is complete ready for paint.

The front windows of the archives library.

The archives library looking in.

The store/museum looking towards the entry door and door to the archives library.

The store/museum looking towards the wall of memories.

Gravel access and alley behind the building.


The rear garage door is installed.

Drywall is up showing a clearer outline of the storage area.

The archivist office.

The store/museum room.

Inside the library.


Most of the windows and doors on the front have been installed.

A view from the other direction.

IRM’s Multi-Purpose Building on the left, CNWHS Archives Building on the right.

Looking outside from the center doors.

The store and museum room, looking west at the windows and HVAC duct work progress.

The research library room, looking north east.

The HVAC ducting in the storage area.


The HVAC units have been set, viewed from the rear of the building.

The HVAC units viewed from IRM’s Main Street.


Work on the building continues inside with the interior walls being framed up.  Instead of photos, a 2 minute video better shows the interior of the Archive Building.


The brick after being washed.  The colors really show.

Post washing with interior work starting.

A view from Olson Rd.


Brick is complete.  A major milestone in the building project.

Looking east.  The brick will get a wash to clean up grout splashes.

East most building face – Travel Agency.  Will cover half of the store and museum space.

Center building face – Ticket Office.  Will cover half of the store and museum space.

West most building face  – Library.  Will be the archives library/office area.

Inside with the brick completed.


Brick work continues with most of the masonry wall going up.  Looking east.

Looking from the other corner at the front.  Looking south.

A view looking north west from the rear of the building looking out – the windows and doors are very evident now.


Front brick work has started.

Lower brick and masonry block on the left side or museum/store side (when looking at the front).

Cut limestone on the far right corner or research library side (when looking at the front).

Photo lab masonry room, located behind the research library.

A view inside the Photo Lab.  The Photo Lab interior dimensions are 16′ W x 14′ D x 10′ H.


The concrete floor is poured and stress relief cuts done.  Looking east from the right side of the building (from the research library front corner).

Inside looking towards the front of the building from where the Photo Lab will be.  Note the future locations in the floor for in floor outlets.

Looking at the rear garage and access door area.  Its starting to look more and more finished.

Looking at the rear garage and access door area from the outside.


Roof sheathing and insulation is complete.  Looking east.

A view from inside looking towards the rear south-most corner of the storage area.  The rear door and garage door will be in the opening on the left.


The main sheathing for the sides and rear of the building is up.

Looking into the building from the front.  This unsheathed portion will be brick, including the short warp around on the sides.


This week the main beams or girders were put up along with the roof purlins (rafters, joists).  Looking south east at the front of the building.

Looking north at the back of the building.


The building columns are up!  Looking south west at the front of the building.

Looking north from inside.


Metal building delivered.  Some assembly required.


Gravel backfill complete.


The foundation is complete and backfill with backfill in process.


Foundation walls half complete.  The outline of the building is now visible above ground.


Footings poured.  First concrete and first permanent piece of the future structure.


Building permit received.


Agreement with Illinois Railway Museum to locate the CNWHS Archives Building at IRM complete and signed.