Howard Hughes, long-time Brown County resident and philanthropist has continued to support Brown County nonprofits, through his estate. On Friday, August 15, after several months working through the details, the Brown County Community Foundation became the proud owners of the former Hancock building, which will serve as its permanent headquarters, thanks to Mr. Hughes.

Located at 209 North Van Buren Street, the two-story building will be known as the Howard F. Hughes Building. Its prominent location will hopefully be a source of pride for the community and a symbol of a sense of community. The new space will house not only the Foundation’s offices, but will also be used to provide meeting space for the county’s nonprofits.

Mr. Hughes, who died in 2011, served on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation during its formative years, and his estate trustees, Marcia Flaherty-Likens and William C. Lloyd, have used Mr. Hughes’ philanthropic vision to guide their decisions. Howard believed in the mission of the Foundation to be a leader for positive impact in Brown County and to promote the spirit of giving back to his beloved community. Mr. Hughes frequently referred to his tenure on the Board as “enlightening” in regard to the important services available to Brown County residents in need, as well as the number of people seeking assistance. He also appreciated the various organizations that enrich the lives of those in the community-particularly through the arts.

Howard lived his Rotary motto, “Service Above Self,” and his generosity to individuals, and the organizations that serve them came from his heart. In addition to his work with the Foundation, Howard financially supported, as well as served on the board of several area nonprofits; Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Mother’s Cupboard, Brown County Literacy Coalition, the Career Resource Center and the Brown County Rotary where he was a Paul Harris Fellow.

hughes-building-sideIt is both fitting and fortuitous that the Hughes gift will be matched by the Lilly Endowment through its new GIFT VI initiative, bringing additional resources to the community and further strengthening the Foundation and its ability to serve the community. These Lilly funds establish a donor advised endowed fund that will support charitable interests to benefit the citizens of Brown County.

Flaherty-Likens stated; “there were occasions when Howard’s ideas were so large, or unusual, I was unsure there was a chance of them becoming a reality.” The Brown County Community Foundation is humbled and honored to implement this newest idea of creating a community building to honor Howard’s legacy as well as become a permanent home for the BCCF. This latest gift will no only serve to cement the legacy of Howard Hughes in the community but will also encourage others to support the Foundation as an agent of positive change in the community.


We’ve officially moved into the Howard F. Hughes Building! Construction is mostly complete, with us finishing up some final, small details. The building looks much different from the old wedding chapel that used to fill the property. Check out some of changes: The Renovation – Before and After