Demolition begins on nearly 100-year-old building in downtown Mount Prospect

Demolition began Monday on the historic Edward Busse Building in downtown Mount Prospect.

The building at the northeast corner of Northwest Highway and Emerson Street dates back to 1925, said Emily Dattilo, director of the Mount Prospect Historical Society.

Nicholas & Associates, along with affiliate Wingspan Development Group, plan to build a commercial building featuring a two-story restaurant, Wingspan spokeswoman Dawn Fletcher Collins said.

The portion of the original building inscribed with the Busse name and the date of construction will be incorporated into the facade of the new building, she said.

The building was commissioned by Edward Busse, a member of one of the village's founding families, Dattilo said.

"That was the beginning of Mount Prospect's real modernization efforts," she said. "And keep in mind, this is less than a decade after Mount Prospect officially incorporated. So they were doing a lot to improve the town."

The hope was that the new buildings would attract businesses and people to the community. It also coincided with an extensive program of public improvements.

The demolition began around 7 a.m. Monday with the arrival of a two-man crew from Albrecht Enterprises Inc.

Excavation worker Jeff Noesen began by dismantling a wing that was the former home of Mount Prospect Eye Care and, long before that, Busse Foods, opened by Edward Busse's son, Edwin.

Fellow worker Viktor Yudenko held a hose and watered down the debris to control the dust generated by the teardown. Once the wing was reduced to a pile of rubble, the crew moved next door to prep the former location of Busse's Flowers and Gifts and Van Driel's pharmacy for demolition.

The office space above the pharmacy was used by Dr. Louise Koester, Mount Prospect's first doctor.

A walk inside the building revealed torn walls and shattered glass. The Mount Prospect Fire Department recently used the site for fire training.

Noesen said his approach puts a premium on safety, noting the demolition site's proximity to Northwest Highway and Emerson and the danger of debris spilling onto the street.

"Brick doesn't forgive," he said.

Alongside the demolition of the Busse building, workers proceeded with the construction on the HQ Residences on the former site of Mount Prospect's fire and police headquarters. The six-story building at 112 E. Northwest Highway is expected to include 82 apartments, six row homes, about 3,200 square feet for a restaurant and 121 parking spaces.

A portion of the Edward Busse Building was preserved prior to the demolition to be incorporated into the facade of the new building taking its place in downtown Mount Prospect. Courtesy of Wingspan Development Group
  Viktor Yudenko, of Albrecht Enterprises Inc., carries a bench pulled from the rubble of the former Mount Prospect Eye Care on Monday. Yudenko was part of a crew demolishing the Edward Busse building in downtown Mount Prospect. Steve Zalusky/
  Jeff Noesen, of Albrecht Enterprises Inc., gets ready to begin demolition work Monday morning on the Edward Busse Building in downtown Mount Prospect. It's being cleared to make way for a new commercial building anchored by a two-story restaurant. Steve Zalusky/
  The claw of an excavator tears into the Edward Busse Building in downtown Mount Prospect on Monday. The bench at the top survived the teardown. Steve Zalusky/
  A construction fence surrounds the nearly 100-year-old Edward Busse Building, as it was torn down Monday in downtown Mount Prospect. It's being cleared to make way for a new commercial building anchored by a two-story restaurant. Steve Zalusky/
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.