History of the Peoria Civic Center



Newspaper articles found at the Peoria Public Library date the concept of a Civic Center in Peoria back to the 1930's




Click here to see a promotional piece for the creation of the

 Peoria Civic Center

A coordinated effort for the Peoria Civic Center began to take form in the 1970's under the guidance of community leaders such as Mayor Dick Carver, David Connor and David Leitch.  A development plan was created, citing the Peoria Civic Center as the economic engine for downtown revitalization. 


August 31, 1976  the Peoria City Council passed the tax laws to make The Peoria Civic Center a reality.



On November 19, 1978 the Jefferson Hotel was imploded to make room for the Peoria Civic Center. 


World-renowned architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee designed the Peoria Civic Center.  Construction began after the official groundbreaking on April 30, 1979.  Lewis J. Burger was the driving force behind the funding, design, construction and initial operation of the facility








 Check out this blog post from the Peoria Journal Star for photos from the Peoria Civic Center's construction















The Peoria Civic Center was opened in February of 1982.

The facility featured Exhibit Halls A&B, Meeting rooms 134-218, the Arena and the Theater.  The Home and Garden show, held in February 1982 in the exhibit halls, was the first event at the Peoria Civic Center.   








The first concert held in the arena was Kenny Rogers on June 7th, 1982.
















In 1992 the Peoria Civic Center began a $10 million dollar, 104,000 square-foot expansion.












In 1993 the Peoria Civic Center opened its first expansion, which included Exhibit Hall C and meeting rooms 200-222. 






In 2007 the Peoria Civic Center completed a $55 million dollar expansion that included Exhibit Hall D, the Grand Ballroom, The Lexus Club, the Great Hall area and the indoor box office. 







In 2012, the Peoria Civic Center celebrated its 30th anniversary.