'It's a sad day': 119-year-old Hoffman Estates farmhouse demolished

  • Broken timber and scrap metal is all that is left of the historic Bergman farmhouse in Hoffman Estates after demolition crews started taking it apart Monday morning. The house once was part of a 200-acre dairy farm, and then later a hay-growing operation that supplied food to places like Arlington International Racecourse.

      Broken timber and scrap metal is all that is left of the historic Bergman farmhouse in Hoffman Estates after demolition crews started taking it apart Monday morning. The house once was part of a 200-acre dairy farm, and then later a hay-growing operation that supplied food to places like Arlington International Racecourse. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • The Bergman family farmhouse that stood along Algonquin Road in Hoffman Estates for 119 years as it appeared in 2016 when construction of the new Bergman Pointe subdivision began on the former farm fields behind it. The farmhouse was demolished Monday.

    The Bergman family farmhouse that stood along Algonquin Road in Hoffman Estates for 119 years as it appeared in 2016 when construction of the new Bergman Pointe subdivision began on the former farm fields behind it. The farmhouse was demolished Monday. Daily Herald file photo, 2016

  • The historic Bergman farmhouse in Hoffman Estates was reduced to a pile of sticks Monday after demolition crews put the final nail in the coffin of efforts to save the 119-year-old structure. "It's a sad day," Mayor Bill McLeod said.

      The historic Bergman farmhouse in Hoffman Estates was reduced to a pile of sticks Monday after demolition crews put the final nail in the coffin of efforts to save the 119-year-old structure. "It's a sad day," Mayor Bill McLeod said. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Broken timber and scrap metal is all that is left of the historic Bergman farmhouse in Hoffman Estates after demolition crews started taking it apart Monday morning. The house once was part of a 200-acre dairy farm, and then later a hay-growing operation that supplied food to places like Arlington International Racecourse.

      Broken timber and scrap metal is all that is left of the historic Bergman farmhouse in Hoffman Estates after demolition crews started taking it apart Monday morning. The house once was part of a 200-acre dairy farm, and then later a hay-growing operation that supplied food to places like Arlington International Racecourse. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Despite about four years of efforts to save it, the Bergman farmhouse in Hoffman Estates couldn't escape the wrecking ball Monday. The house at Algonquin and Ela roads once was the centerpiece of a 200-acre dairy farm.

      Despite about four years of efforts to save it, the Bergman farmhouse in Hoffman Estates couldn't escape the wrecking ball Monday. The house at Algonquin and Ela roads once was the centerpiece of a 200-acre dairy farm. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/29/2019 7:49 PM

The life of the Bergman family farmhouse in Hoffman Estates ended at 119 years Monday.

Demolition of the historic farmhouse began at 7 a.m., and it took little time before the aging and dilapidated structure at Algonquin and Ela roads was reduced to a pile of sticks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"It's a sad day," Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod said. "We had hoped the building could be saved and we certainly expended a lot of effort to do that."

Village leaders spent the past few years searching for a potential restorer to save and repurpose the old farmhouse, but their efforts ultimately were unsuccessful.

The site now is planned as open space and possibly will be turned over to the Hoffman Estates Park District.

Village board members only last month gave up on their hopes to restore the house after the one developer who had demonstrated sufficient financial resources for the project failed to follow through on requirements.

Saving the house was first proposed in 2015 as developer M/I Homes began building the 81-home Bergman Pointe subdivision surrounding it.

Village officials were unwilling to accept any financial stake in preserving the house, but believed it had sufficient historic value to postpone its demolition for years.

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A study by Benjamin Historic Certifications of Highland Park concluded that the Bergman house would be a strong contender for listing on the National Historic Register because it was owned by four generations of the same family without any significant changes.

The study determined that the house had been built about 1900 by Daniel Bergman Sr. His grandson Harold, who continued to grow hay on the property until his retirement in 2015, was born in the house in 1916.

Though the original hope was to preserve the house as a public amenity, the only two proposals to materialize called for its restoration as a private residence.

Of the two, only that of CASE Properties LLC demonstrated the necessary financial resources. But the partnership and its representatives never took advantage of any of several requested extensions to start the project.

M/I Homes is nearing completion of the new subdivision and told the village it wanted the fate of the farmhouse property to be determined before then.

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