Click to Home
Stay Connected

Go To Search
Community Center History
History of Vienna Community Center
09-east with landscape-2.jpg

“Every effort you put back into this community comes back tenfold.”

- Quote by late Vienna resident Martha Pennino 

Shortly after World War II, the Lions Club first began talking about the need to build a community center; a place that would provide leisure-time activities and a meeting place for Vienna residents. In 1946 the Lions club began setting aside monies; the fund grew to $7500 when efforts were kick started in August of 1961. J. William Nutter, Donald Kennedy, and Martin H. Schindler helped to form two committees to handle bylaws and nominate officers for a community group to look at building a community center. Nutter was elected president; Kennedy was elected first vice president; and Maud Robinson, second vice president. Joyce White was the recording secretary; Beverly Schindler, corresponding secretary; George H. Jones, treasurer; and John J. Haslam, assistant treasurer. On January 18, 1962, the Vienna Community Center Inc. was open for business; it had been incorporated as a non-profit organization, chartered by the state of Virginia.

In its initial stages, the organization began accepting donations for community center groups such as Community Ventures Inc., which represented proceeds of several teen splash parties (teenage organized car washes) in the summer of 1961. The Vienna Women's Club worked tirelessly to hold rummage sales to raise money for the new building. 

A building committee was formed to study the best place to build the center as well as studying other community centers. The committee also asked James Madison High School students what type of facilities they would like to see in a new building.

Town councilman L. Dean Wallace assured the group of the town’s great interest in the community project. In the spring of 1962, the town had offered to give town-owned property as a site. Among some of the first considered was an eight-acre tract lying on Beulah Rd. reaching back towards Glyndon Street (known today as Glyndon Park). A published report had several sites considered as options for the new community center, stating that in 1964, the ” town considered making available a 2.38-acre site to the rear of Vienna Elementary School and the firehouse, extending out to Park Street.”

This is currently the location of the Vienna Community Center, a good central location with Cherry Street cut through linking Center Street and Park Street. Additionally, it’s located next to the W&OD Trail.

Frank Martinelli and Son were chosen as architects for the center. The original plans drawn for the community center were enthusiastically received from the board with unanimous approval at a January 1963 meeting. The plan allows versatility of the facilities to serve aboard range of community interests.

C. Henry Perkins was chairman of the fund drive. Mr. Perkins explained that contributors would be recognized as builders, Master Builder or Founders depending on the size of the donations. The plaque that recognizes those individuals, as well as individual groups proudly hangs in the front vestibule of the Community Center.

On April, 17th 1966 the building was dedicated before a packed crowd of town residents. Since the dedication, the building has been renovated three times, once in 1968, 1988 and 1998, and today remains a vital part of Vienna’s treasured community.