Naperville group organizes to stop historic house demolition

June 22, 2019 GMT

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Residents of a historic district in a western Chicago suburb want to stop a college from tearing down an old house they say is unique and significant.

North Central College in Naperville is planning to purchase the Kroehler Mansion, which was built in 1915 by the late business owner Peter E. Kroehler, according to The Naperville Sun .

The college asked the Naperville City Council to rezone the property for college/university use before the January 2020 sale closing date. Jim Godo, NCC’s assistant vice president for external affairs and special assistant to the president, said at a June 4 council meeting the mansion would be torn down because it doesn’t meet the school’s needs.


But the rezoning request has been stalled twice by residents who are concerned about the college’s plans for the property. The residents noted that changes to the property could have a negative impact on the neighborhood’s character, traffic and parking.

“The Kroehler Mansion is a unique and significant building that is closely tied to Naperville’s history, yet is facing possible demolition,” opponents wrote on Facebook. “Help us protect it as the Historic District’s designation intended.”

The house has been designated as being of “special significance” since 1977, according to an Architectural Resources in the Naperville Local Historic District Survey Area 2008 report.

The house is now owned by Little Friends, a social service agency that works with people with autism and development disabilities. The agency is selling it because it plans to open a new facility in Warrenville.

If the sale goes through, this will be the second time North Central College has owned the Kroehler property. The school purchased it in the 1940s and used the Kroehler home for student residences and as a college guest house.


Information from: Naperville Sun, http://napervillesun.chicagotribune.com/