McKee House a reminder of resilience

Posted10/16/2016 12:01 AM

DuPage County is rich in history and several of our forest preserves are open green space graced by the presence of amazing buildings that are not only of historic value but also serve a variety of purposes or are in the process of becoming more useful.

Some examples of this are Mayslake which offers a venue for theater and musical performances, Klein Creek Farm offering a view of life on a farm in the past, Graue Mill, a working mill and museum about the Under Ground Railroad, and the emerging St. James Farm to name a few.


Then there is McKee House in Churchill Woods that stands strong with a leaking roof and the possibility of being torn down. This house was the original office and a guard house for that preserve.

This beautiful building of limestone quarried locally was constructed by the WPA during the 1930s and is a symbol of the resilience of Americans even in dark days. The discussion of what the fate of this building should be has been going on for a decade. An engineering study was done to deem the house structurally sound. Discussions and conversations reveal that there are incredible possibilities for this building. To demolish the building will not only harm to the environment but also destroy an amazing piece of our county and nation's history.

Its construction offered hope and encouragement to people during the Great Depression and should be preserved as a reminder of our resilience as a nation. To overlook the value of McKee House located in a historic corridor along St. Charles Road is a contradiction to what the mission of our forest preserve is: to preserve not only green space but also its historic buildings out of respect for heritage and the environment.

Roberta Wheatley

Glen Ellyn

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