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updated: 4/12/2011 6:34 AM

Glen Ellyn storefront can stay, house should go

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  • A task force report to the village of Glen Ellyn recommends a house at the back of the property at 810 N. Main St. be demolished, while the attached storefront commercial space be kept.

       A task force report to the village of Glen Ellyn recommends a house at the back of the property at 810 N. Main St. be demolished, while the attached storefront commercial space be kept.
    Tanit Jarusan | Staff Photographer

 
 

A task force recommends that a century-old building on a strategic corner in Glen Ellyn be demolished, while an attached commercial storefront building be kept.

But village trustees and residents on Monday expressed reservations with taking down the residential concrete block house at 810 N. Main St. until the building's possible historic value is investigated.

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Erik Ford, chairman of the 810 N. Main Street task force, said at a village board meeting Monday that group members found the structure to be uninhabitable. The house contains three apartments, which are all now vacant. The report states that the basement unit has sewer back up and mold infestation, and the roof needs replacement.

"The insides were shocking. It's hard to believe any of it was being lived in, to be frank," Ford said. "It's a shame to lose an old house, but in our opinion it was lost years ago."

Ford estimated it would cost about $500,000 to renovate the house, but group members didn't find it "economically salvageable given the condition it's in."

But several trustees said they'd like a historic preservation architect to evaluate the building to see if it can be saved, and wanted to make sure all options are considered for the property, located in what is known as Stacy's Corners at the intersection of Main Street and Geneva Road.

The village purchased the property in 2006 with intentions of the Glen Ellyn Historical Society eventually reimbursing the village and using it for its history park. But economic difficulties resulted in the society giving up full usage and ownership rights to the village last year.

Under a current agreement, the village has agreed to grant the society 50 feet at the back of the property to use as a connection path between two of the society's buildings: a history center and the Stacy's Tavern museum. But the task force recommends the village revisit that agreement, since it could have a negative economic impact on the property's potential.

Society President Bill Peterson said that not having the path could pose a safety issue to museum visitors, who would otherwise have to walk past a dry cleaners' parking lot to get from one building to another.

The society would also have use of a garage at the back of the property under the agreement.

The report also recommends the village retain the front commercial building and continue leasing it until the longer term outlook of the village-owned 825 N. Main St. property across the street is determined.

Trustees voted last month to approve demolition of a former gas station there and explore future redevelopment.

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