Part of Mel Schroeder's life will be creeping by him Sunday on Main Street in Barrington.
Schroeder, 94, grew up in a 19th century house at 118 Wool St. that will be saved from demolition by moving about 2 miles west to Barrington Hills resident Jeff Baustert's property. Schroeder and his daughter, Linda Uziel of Mundelein, will be present Sunday morning to see the house being towed at a walking pace down Main Street to its final destination.
He was 10 days old when his parents brought him home from a hospital to 118 Wool in 1923. The structure, dating to the 1870s, was Schroeder's home until he got married in 1946.
Schroeder, a retired printing industry shipping clerk now living in McHenry, said he's glad Baustert will preserve his childhood home. He has memories of good family times, his cocker spaniel-terrier mix, Rex, and men who belonged to a church across the street and lived in his house for a while during the Great Depression and played with him in the yard.
"It was a lot of fun," said Schroeder, who served in the Army in World War II.
Uziel said she became aware of the planned house move after reading a Daily Herald article, then passed it on to her father. She visited the house until her grandparents moved to Wisconsin in 1964.
"The house has a lot of memories for me," she said.
Barrington officials said the house will begin rolling west on Station Street at 4 a.m. Sunday from its staging area at First Church of Christ, Scientist, then north on Spring Street and west for the bulk of the trip on Main. It is expected to be near Barrington High School at noon.
After passing the high school, the house will go south on Oakdene Road and west on Oakdene Drive before reaching Baustert's Barrington Hills property at approximately 6 p.m.
Officials said the Sunday morning move was selected in an effort to minimize traffic disruption in the village as much as possible. Main Street won't completely close, with Barrington police and public works employees closing and reopening streets and intersections as needed to accommodate the building.
Plans to move the house began in the summer after restaurateur Mark Hoffmann bought the former Wool Street Grill and Sports Bar, which will be converted into Moretti's Ristorante and Pizzeria. He also purchased the historic house and land next door for Moretti's parking.
Hoffmann said he didn't want to raze the home, so he gave it to Baustert, a documentary filmmaker interested in the preservation of historic structures. Baustert will use the building for a guesthouse.
Baustert said Friday he's eager for the twice-delayed move to happen. He needed permission from entities including the Illinois Department of Transportation, AT&T, Union Pacific Railroad, Comcast, Nicor Gas and ComEd.
"There's something about preserving and using old buildings and keeping them alive," said Baustert, who documented the conversion of Barrington's 119-year-old White House on Main Street from a former residence into a cultural arts and community center.
Originally a barn on the rear of Charles Wool's property, the building was moved west from the First Church of Christ, Scientist, property across the street to 118 Wool and occupied by the Schroeder family in 1923. The house was moved back across the street in July to the church lot in preparation for Sunday's jaunt to Barrington Hills.
Businesses most recently occupied the house. The last tenant was a hair salon.