Relocation to save historic Barrington home hits snags, but hope remains

The date to relocate the historic house at 118 Wool St. in Barrington to Barrington Hills has once again been pushed back, and it appears the structure will now have to endure a two-stage move to save it from demolition.

Barrington Hills documentary filmmaker Jeff Baustert plans to move the 1870s house to his family's property and use as a guesthouse. But he's had problems securing the correct permits from various entities, said Greg Summers, Barrington's director of development services.

Those companies include Union Pacific Railroad, Canadian National Railway, Illinois Department of Transportation, ComEd, Comcast Corp., AT&T Inc. and Nicor Gas.

After a June moving date fell through, the hope was to move the home July 9. But ComEd notified Baustert that, due to heat levels in July and August, it cannot temporarily reroute power to remove from service the lines that would get in the home's way while it is in transit, Summers said.

The next available moving date is Sept. 17.

Restaurateur Mark Hoffmann closed a deal in May for the former Wool Street Grill and Sports Bar and the historic house and land next door. He plans to convert the bar and grill into a Moretti's Ristorante and Pizzeria, and use the home's site for parking.

He agreed to donate the building to Baustert, if he could move it off the land.

However, he had hoped to open the restaurant this year and said the September date does not work for him.

"Unfortunately, I can't push my (construction) back that far," Hoffmann said. "I've given Jeff another few weeks to try to come up with an alternative situation. I want to see this thing come to fruition since this is such a neat opportunity to do something for the community, and I'm trying to work with Jeff to make this happen."

Baustert has worked out a deal with the First Church of Christ, Scientist at 421 E. Main St. to temporarily relocate the house to the church's parking lot until it is possible to move the home to his family's property.

He gave the church a guarantee he would move the house by Sept. 25, or it would be demolished so it is not sitting in the parking lot long term, Hoffmann said.

"He's confident it will work with them and the house will be moved before then," Hoffmann said.

While a moving date to the church parking lot has not been finalized, Summers said Baustert is targeting July 23.

The move to Barrington Hills, a 7½-hour, 3-mile trip, would begin about 5 a.m. on a Sunday, the lowest traffic day of the week.

Barrington officials say they are pleased to see the plans moving along, despite some setbacks.

"We've been working with them the entire time through the permit process," Summers said.

"It was certainly a relief when he finally secured all the necessary permits, and now we just need to target a date that works for all of those entities."

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