May 18, 1904: Winnetka Congregational Church Pastor Benjamin Severance Winchester made the case that a new church building was needed. Land was available on the southwest corner of Lincoln and Pine, for cash only. Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Smith stepped forward to make the purchase possible. There was much skepticism among the members as to whether or not the project was doable. Nevertheless, an architect, Arthur S. Coffin, was engaged to develop plans.


October 27, 1904: Plans for the Norman style stone structure were approved by the congregation and ground was broken early in November.

January 15, 1905: Cornerstone was laid.

February 4, 1906: "Impressive services of dedication extended throughout the day, and the new church was crowded with members of the congregation, scores of non-affiliated villagers, and a host of notable guests. A handsomely designed program recorded the events of the day." A bronze tablet containing the Salem Covenant of 1629 is located on the southeast wall of the Chapel, a gift from Mrs. Douglas Smith in 1906. All of the windows and the electric lights were donated by church member families in memory of loved ones. This building was the Winnetka Congregational Church until the present sanctuary was built and dedicated in 1936 and was thereafter known as the Children's Chapel


January 9, 1911: The Winnetka Community House was authorized by Congregational Church members to be built next to the new church building. Construction began in May, 1911, and the completed community center was dedicated to the youth of Winnetka on November 17, 1911. Its biggest appeal was a proper gymnasium, the only one in the community at the time!

1954-55: Harkness Hall, connecting the Children’s Chapel and the Community House, was built as the church school building for WCC and named after long-time minister Samuel Harkness.

2001: The Harkness Outreach Center, NFP, was established to own, manage and operate Harkness Hall and Children’s Chapel for its three tenants*, when WCC no longer needed the property.

2007: The Chapel, now known as The Winnetka Chapel, entered on the National Register of Historic Places.