Salvaged Brainerd Building bricks to go up for sale -- but only for one day

  • Bricks that were salvaged from the demolition of the Brainerd Building and Jackson Gym in Libertyville will be offered for sale May 9.

      Bricks that were salvaged from the demolition of the Brainerd Building and Jackson Gym in Libertyville will be offered for sale May 9. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 5/4/2015 5:51 AM

If you were sad to see the Brainerd Building and Jackson Gym in Libertyville reduced to rubble earlier this year, you have a unique opportunity to acquire memorabilia from the historic structures.

Later this month, for one day only, a local nonprofit group will sell bricks salvaged from the site, which was the first Libertyville High School campus.

 

The sale is set for Saturday, May 9, at the modern Libertyville High, 708 W. Park Ave. It will run from 9 a.m. to noon.

The bricks will cost $10 each. Sales will be limited to 10 bricks per person.

"Purchasing Brainerd bricks allows people to own a special and unique piece of local history," Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 Superintendent Prentiss Lea said.

The District 128 Foundation for Learning is running the sale. All proceeds will benefit the group, which financially supports educational programs at Libertyville and Vernon Hills high schools.

"It is only fitting that the proceeds from the brick sale benefit our foundation, (which) will help carry on the tradition of education excellence that began in 1917 when Brainerd was built," Lea said.

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Demolition of the buildings, which were on the northeast corner of Route 176 and Brainerd Avenue, began in December.

After the modern Libertyville High opened in 1956, the Brainerd campus was turned into a freshmen-only campus. It kept that use until Vernon Hills High opened in 1999.

The following year, the Brainerd Building and the Jackson Gym were shuttered because of health and safety issues. Despite being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008, they remained essentially unused since then.

The Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 board moved ahead with demolition plans last year after a community-driven effort to save at least one of the structures failed to garner the necessary funding.

The land will be used for athletic fields and parking.

District 128 officials initially weren't going to make any of the bricks available to the public. They reversed course in January, however, because of interest in mementos from the site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The demolition company set aside 1,000 bricks for the foundation. The bricks are from both buildings and are indistinguishable, District 128 spokeswoman Mary Todoric said.

About 2,000 additional bricks and other architectural elements from Brainerd were salvaged for use in a memorial to the school that will be erected on the property.

The foundation's bricks will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bricks cannot be reserved or shipped.

The group will accept cash or checks made out to the foundation.

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