Glendale Heights gets OK to demolish old guard house

  • A former guard house and barn at the East Branch Forest Preserve soon will be torn down by the village of Glendale Heights.

    A former guard house and barn at the East Branch Forest Preserve soon will be torn down by the village of Glendale Heights. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 6/21/2017 1:08 PM

DuPage County Forest Preserve commissioners have given Glendale Heights permission to demolish a former guard house and barn at the East Branch Forest Preserve.

Glendale Heights has been renting the structures on roughly three acres along Glen Ellyn Road for the past 17 years. As part of the lease, the village has been paying the forest preserve district, which owns the property, $1 a year.

 

At the time the lease was signed, Glendale Heights was planning to turn the one-story house into a senior center. The barn -- and a garage that once stood there -- were going to be used by the village for storage.

But the senior center never was developed at the forest preserve. The village instead spent $3 million to build its Center for Senior Citizens at 260 Civic Center Plaza. That facility opened in 2010.

The barn no longer is being used for storage, and the garage was destroyed in a fire, officials said.

After deciding it would be too costly to maintain the remaining structures, village officials approached the district with a plan to remove them. They needed permission from forest preserve commissioners to do the demolition.

This week, the board unanimously agreed the buildings should be razed.

"It will be an addition to the site to have these structures removed," Commissioner Mary Lou Wehrli said. "I'm grateful that staff has brought it to our attention."

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Forest preserve officials said razing the buildings will create additional open space at the preserve.

Under the terms of the lease, all costs associated with demolishing the buildings and restoring the property to "a natural area acceptable to the district" will be paid by the village.

It hasn't yet been determined how much the demolition project would cost or when it would begin, village officials said.

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