Condominium Development Approved
for Historic Maple Avenue

A proposal to move Edwards House east
along Maple Avenue will be discussed
this Sunday,
December 21st, at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Center, Room 307. 
Mike Behm will discuss his plan to move Edwards House
from its
current location at 942 Maple Avenue to
621 Maple Avenue, the SE corner at
Elmwood Avenue.
The impact on parkway trees along Maple Avenue is
an issue of
particular concern for this proposed move.

W. H. Edwards House
Now Located at 942 Maple Avenue
 

Edwards House

On December 16th, the Downers Grove Village Council approved the petition for special use on 942-936 Maple, paving the way for a condominium development on the current site of the Edwards house.  Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance opposed the petition, along with many others.  Click here to read Ken Lerner's comments to the Village Council on behalf of PDHA opposing this Special Use Permit.

More than 700 current and former Downers Grove residents signed a petition opposing the development.  We presented comments and expert testimony from Joe Abel, planning consultant and former DuPage County Director of Planning, and Doug Gilbert, architect and former head of the Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission.

Landmarks Illinois, the main statewide organization promoting historic preservation, also stated its support for preservation of the Edwards house and offered assistance to the village in finding ways to adaptively re-use it.  Click here to read Landmarks Illinois President McDonald's complete letter.

Many residents spoke to the Council, and the Plan Commission before that, about the importance of maintaining the integrity of historic Maple Avenue. However, the Council voted to approve the petition 5-2, with Commissioners Barnett, Durkin, Hosť, Neustadt, and Rheintgen supporting it, and Commissioner Olsen and Mayor Tully opposed.


Click here to watch the video recording of the December 16th meeting. The condominium redevelopment is considered beginning at 18 minutes & 55 seconds into the meeting. Summary comments by the Council members leading up to the final vote begin at about 1 hour & 50 minutes into this meeting that lasted nearly 2 hours & 30 minutes.
 
  What Next?

Assuming the condominium project moves forward – not a certainty, but likely – the remaining option to save the Edwards house is to move it.  The village has received a serious and well-developed proposal from a private party who owns property on Maple a few blocks away and wants to move the house.  There are some grounds for optimism that it will happen.  Other ideas have been floated too, such as moving the house to the Village-owned property at Main and Maple, currently a parking lot, to act as a gateway to the downtown area and host business-related uses.

Another possible outcome from this process is that the Village looks at the amending the zoning ordinance and Comprehensive Plan to clarify the intended uses for downtown areas and transition zones.  Several Commissioners commented on this topic during the meeting. The historic preservation ordinance may be looked at also.

PDHA will continue to monitor developments and post updates on this page.  And as provided in our mission, we will continue to advocate and assist in efforts to preserve our cultural and architectural heritage.

-- Ken Lerner

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Heritage Alliance Mission

Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance is dedicated to preserving the natural and cultural heritage of Downers Grove. In the past, we have maintained sharp focus on the natural heritage within our community. Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance has been instrumental in the preservation and protection of Lyman Woods, and Belmont Prairie, which continue as on-going projects.

We are now also committed to the preservation of  cultural aspects of Downers Grove, including its rich architectural heritage. We work to accomplish our mission through education as well as community outreach.

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Can you find this house in Downers Grove and why is it important?
 
(Click the image for the answer)


 

BlodgettHouse_5-1-10
PDHA Logo


 
Edwards House Meeting
Sunday, December 21, 2014
2:00 PM, Room 307

Lincoln Center
935 Maple Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515


PDHA  Meeting
Thursday, January 29, 2015
7:00 PM, Room 307

Lincoln Center
935 Maple Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515


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Please consider a charitable donation
to support educational activities of
Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance.


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Click here to learn about beekeeping in Lyman Woods.

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The 1846 Blodgett House

An opportunity exists to restore the 1846 Blodgett House one of the Village's oldest houses reflecting our rich cultural heritage. PDHA supports such efforts to preserve valuable historic resources for future generations.
Click here to learn about the 1846 Blodgett House project.

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Click here to learn more about other local historic preservation activities in Downers Grove.

 
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Monthly Electronics Recycling Suspended In Downers Grove 
 
The Village of Downers Grove will no longer offer monthly electronics recycling because
DuPage County ended its contract for electronics recycling at local municipal locations.  The County's vendor, Creative Recycling, terminated its contract in July.

More information about current recycling services can be found on the Village's garbage and recycling page.



Last updated 12/18/2014