Bergman farmhouse in Hoffman Estates escapes demolition vote
The Bergman family farmhouse has stood for 116 years at what is now the northwest corner of Algonquin and Ela roads in Hoffman Estates, but it survived possibly the most vulnerable night of its long existence Monday.
Village trustees were poised to vote on recommending the structure's demolition after two proposals to restore and preserve it had apparently fallen through.
But Trustee Gary Pilafas argued that one of those options had not been as aggressively pursued as the other. He won approval for an extension of up to two months on the village board's final decision.
In the days ahead, the village staff will reach out to the firm of Evans Realtors for proof of its financial resources to undertake a springtime proposal to fix up and sell the house that had been occupied by members of its original family until mid-2015.
Mayor Bill McLeod backed up Pilafas on his request.
"The house has been there for a long time, so waiting another month or so doesn't seem like a big deal," he said.
The village had received more detailed information from another party -- a married couple -- who wanted to restore the house for their own use. But the traditional mortgage they proposed wasn't deemed sufficient for a reconstruction project of the scale of the Bergman farmhouse.
Pilafas argued that a possible reason Evans Realtors had never shown proof of its own financial resources was that it had never been asked.
In any case, both proposals are far from village officials' original intent to give the house to someone who would restore it as a public amenity or museum.
When no such interest materialized, it was decided that any chance of saving the house was better than none.
The farmhouse lies on the edge of M/I Homes' developing 81-home subdivision on the 37-acre former farm.
The company offered to donate the house to the village to assist its original plan to make it a public venue.