St. Charles officials to break ground Wednesday on First Street Plaza expansion project

City officials on Wednesday are set to break ground on a project to expand the First Street Plaza in downtown St. Charles.

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. Last year, aldermen unanimously voted to purchase the former Manor Restaurant site at the southeast corner of Main and First streets for $1 million to expand the First Street Plaza. That purchase included a $400,000 donation from the city and a $600,000 donation from Exelon.

As part of the project's first phase, a structural wall along the existing Manor wall will be constructed.

"That would be used to fill the Manor hole that sits there today to create a safe and usable outdoor public space," St. Charles Public Works Director Pete Suhr had previously told aldermen. "The space which is currently fenced off and not usable to the community will be accessible."

A railing would be placed along the Fox River as part of the project. The work is scheduled to begin in October and be completed by the spring.

Future plans include a paved plaza in addition to a solar pergola structure that would help power the plaza and the structure. Public art would also be installed as part of the project and plans also call for closing a section of First Street to vehicles to create a pedestrian walkway.

The St. Charles Initiative, an independent advisory committee under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, is raising funds for the project.

More information about the project is available at the city's website at

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