The Willowbrook Ballroom was originally built as an outdoor dance pavilion named Oh Henry Park by Austrian immigrant John Verderbar. Wildly successful, it was enlarged and fully enclosed in 1923, and a 10¢-a-dance policy was implemented. When it was destroyed by fire in 1930, a determined Verderbar hired a crew of 200 carpenters, and a new facility was built at a then-staggering cost of $100,000. In 1959, it was renamed the Willowbrook Ballroom, and dancers have since enjoyed the big band sounds of Count Basie, Teddy Lee, Harry James, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. As record crowds flocked to the 6,000-square-foot dance floor, the Willowbrook also became a favorite setting for weddings, proms, and other once-in-a-lifetime events. Today, the Willowbrook is one of only five ballrooms of its magnitude in the United States and the only one remaining in the greater Chicagoland area.
Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.
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