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Main Street house slated for demolition

Glen Ellyn village officials agreed to pay $24,530 to tear down this house at 810 N. Main St.

Glen Ellyn village officials agreed to pay $24,530 to tear down this house at 810 N. Main St.

The Glen Ellyn Village Board has awarded a bid for $24,530 to demolish a village-owned house on the village’s north side that is next door to the Glen Ellyn Historical Society’s history center and is on land that the society once eyed for a history park.

Trustees unanimously voted to award a bid to Plainfield-based Midwest Site Services to tear down the  block-style house at 810 N. Main Street.

The move follows an April recommendation by a special village task force, which had concluded that the cost was too high to bring the vacant house, which was built in 1910, back to a minimal standard.

In 2006, Glen Ellyn paid $1.2 million to buy the house and an attached storefront, which together are known as the King property, for the Glen Ellyn Historical Society, with the agreement that the society would reimburse the village in annual installments. Last year, however, the society concluded that it could no longer make its contractual payments on the house nor fund its original vision for a history park that would encompass, among other things, its history center at 800 N. Main and the nearby Stacy’s Tavern museum at 557 Geneva Road.

That prompted Glen Ellyn officials to take full ownership and control of the house and to try to return as much of their investment in the property to taxpayers as possible.

In April, a special task force concluded that the storefront at 810 N. Main should remain in place but that the attached house behind it, which most recently had been used as a three-unit rental home, should be razed due to its current condition.

After some village residents questioned that assessment, Glen Ellyn hired Chicago-based historic preservation firm Farr Associates to evaluate the house. The firm concluded that rehabbing the house would require a new roof, new windows, repairing and cleaning walls, fixing utilities, adding an elevator and ridding the house of mold. That work would cost anywhere from $283,000 to $392,000, the firm estimated.

That report prompted trustees on June 27 to conclude that the house should be torn down. The attached commercial storefront will remain.

The demolition would be the latest development involving redevelopment projects in the area of Stacy’s Tavern. The village owns both 810 N. Main and the site of the now-razed Marathon gas station across the street at 825 N. Main, where the village is working on an environmental cleanup and ultimately hopes to see some commercial development on that property. In addition, the village recently demolished the house at 553 Geneva Road, which the historical society was able to purchase in 2006 after an anonymous donor provided a $300,000 contribution to buy it. That land has been incorporated into the history park as well.

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