Is this old Arlington Heights home worth saving from the wrecking ball? Village board to decide.

A developer will bring his case to the Arlington Heights village board Monday about why a late 19th-century house should be torn down in a favor of a modern replacement.

It’s the first time in recent memory that the nine-member elected panel will consider a formal appeal of a design commission decision to reject a teardown request, in a town where hundreds of older homes have been demolished as part of the McMansion craze of recent decades.

In this case, the lower-level village commission — whose members are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by trustees — determined the two-story Italianate red brick and frame house at 716 N. Dunton Ave., had “significant architectural, historical, aesthetic, or cultural value,” per village code. They voted 5-0 on Oct. 10 to reject Barrington-based Mastercraft Builders & Carpentry’s petition to demolish.

But code also allowed the developer to make a formal written appeal to the village manager within 30 days, and for the board to make the ultimate decision.

Jerome Pinderski Jr., the developer’s attorney, called the design commission’s decision “arbitrary and capricious.”

“The wishes and desires of the community to preserve this particular property, though well meaning, are not relevant in the consideration of the application of the current village ordinance to the subject property,” Pinderski wrote in the 187-page appeal posted to the village website Friday.

The design commissioners’ decision came with the endorsement of their village staff liaison, design planner Steve Hautzinger, who recommended the building be saved for its historical significance. And most of the neighbors who spoke at the October meeting argued the home fits in their neighborhood of old homes.

The house in question, built in 1878, is one of 38 rated as “exceptional” in a 2004 Community Preservation Report prepared by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It also was identified as one of 30 significant historic structures in Arlington Heights in an early 1970s-era State of Illinois Historic Structures Survey.

But Pinderski called those reports into question, as well as the house’s purported value or significance. He acknowledged the facade is “interesting,” but argued the style in and of itself isn’t a significant architectural feature.

He added, the house wasn’t constructed by a well-known architect, no historic events took place there, and no one famous lived there.

But much of the attorney’s argument centered on the house’s “extraordinarily poor condition” — a crumbling brick foundation, water infiltration, mold and asbestos, among other problems.

The cost of repairs is estimated at $1 million, including a gut rehab and new electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. The biggest ticket item is replacing the foundation, which would require crews to physically lift the structure and suspend it in the air for several weeks while a new foundation is built, Pinderski said.

He also said the design of a new two-story home with two-car garage — intended for a client who wants to move there with his family — blends well on the Dunton Avenue block between Hawthorne and Vine streets. He called it a neighborhood “in transition,” evident by the number of new homes already built.

That includes Mastercraft’s own $1 million single-family homes built on the vacant lots on both sides of the 716 N. Dunton property.

The board meeting is at 7:30 p.m. Monday at village hall, 33 S. Arlington Heights Road.

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