Schaumburg taking new approach to preserving historic architecture
Schaumburg's dissolving of its long-running Olde Schaumburg Centre Commission this month is only the first step in preparations for a fresh look at the architectural standards around the village's historic crossroads at Schaumburg and Roselle roads.
Mayor Tom Dailly said he believes some form of historic preservation should remain in that area, but that it might not necessarily retain the 19th century basis that's been emphasized for 40 years.
It also may take the form of concentrating on particular structures rather than defining an overall historic district like the current one established in 1978.
"The question becomes what standard do we really want there?" Dailly asked. "We have to have a balance in preserving history."
While suggesting that the recent project to restore the century-old former inn and pub that now houses Phat Phat Chinese Eatery near the southeast corner of the intersection may have been the last of its kind, Dailly expects buildings as distinctive as the Turret House the village acquired in a land swap with Lou Malnati's Pizzeria next door to still be around in another 50 years.
Dailly said the Olde Schaumburg Centre Commission's original role was to take on some of the duties of the plan commission and zoning board of appeals regarding the architecture of projects in and near the tax increment financing district that existed from 1989 to 2012 and it helped, in part, with the development of Town Square at the southwest corner of the intersection.
The commission helped set the architectural standards for the new buildings of Town Square and also oversaw the conversion of such older buildings as the former Lake-Cook Farm Supply that became the Chicago Athenaeum and then the Trickster Art Gallery of today.
But the commission has been meeting as little as once a year lately and had no role in the restaurant-to-restaurant conversion of the shuttered Easy Street Pub into Phat Phat, Dailly said.
"I just don't think it's necessary anymore," he added.
Now all of the Olde Schaumburg Centre Commission's responsibilities will fall back to the plan commission, which is expected to take several months this year to consider a different approach and standards to recommend for the village board's approval.
Community Development Director Julie Fitzgerald said her staff's review of future projects will take its cue from the outcome of these discussions.
She added that the Olde Schaumburg Centre Commission's oversight also included several other specific buildings outside the defined historic district, including the Tudor-style Atcher-Groen House on Groen Court where former mayor Bob Atcher lived and the Kern-Schmitt Mansion on Lexington Court.