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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Naperville Heritage Society issues statement on redevelopment of Old Nichols Library


Above / A four-story, mixed-use development has been proposed for the old Nichols Library located since 1898 at 110 S. Washington Street in Naperville. The structure currently serves Truth Lutheran Church and its young adult prayer meetings and youth groups. 

The Naperville Heritage Society (NHS) was contacted by the City of Naperville and the developers to attend two meetings regarding the plans to redevelop Naperville’s Old Nichols Library. The developers presented the Naperville Heritage Society (NHS) with two redevelopment options. NHS commented on the two designs shown, and provided information on the history, story and architectural significance of the building.

NHS requested that they make all efforts to comply with the 1996 covenant, which includes protecting and preserving the façade as is, the entryway and the marker as provided in the covenant.

Redevelopment option for Nichols Place that includes part of the façade .
Redevelopment option for Nichols Place that includes another version of the façade of Old Nichols Library.

The NHS Executive Committee would like to release the following statement on behalf of the institution:

The Naperville Heritage Society (a private 501C3) is committed to providing information about the community’s history. In keeping with our mission, the Society would like to see, at the very least, the Old Nichols Library’s Washington Street façade and entrance foyer covenant maintained and honored. The covenant placed on this property in 1996 by the City of Naperville spoke to its architectural and historical significance.

As such, the Society has met with the city and developers to provide information and input and will continue to do so toward the best outcome for the community.

Submitted by Emma Vodick for the Naperville Heritage Society.

PN Editor’s Note / According the Naperville Heritage Society-Naper Settlement website, Chair John Koranda heads the Executive Committee with Vice Chairs Al Zucco and Steve Grosskoph and  Treasurer/Secretary Len Monson. Immediate Past Chair is Sally Pentecost. For more information about the Naperville Heritage Society Board of Directors, visit www.napersettlement.org.

The graphic shows the 5-level building use with roof top level green space for condo residents.

An effort has been made by this editor to arrange an appointment for a one-on-one discussion with the developer, Dwight Avram, to address some unanswered questions about the origins and progress of this proposed redevelopment. Due to the developer’s travel schedule that meeting has yet to be arranged. 

Former Mayor Peg Price recently expressed her support to try to save Old Nichols Library from the wrecking ball. She said that one of her regrets during her service on City Council was that she overlooked placing Nichols Library on the registry of National Historic Landmarks to help promote and protect its significance in this community. 

Thank you for reading and paying attention to happenings in the community where your input matters most.

—Stephanie Penick, PN

Suggested links 

Save Nichols Library Campaign For info and a petition organized by Barbara Hower, click here. Many of the comments provide thought-provoking input from residents and former residents who seek other solutions and options to save the historic building.

UPDATE, June 10, 2017 / Featured on the front page of the Daily Herald  / Naperville reviewing push to turn historic library into local landmark 

RELATED POSTS / Thoughts to Ponder and the reality of restoration and maintenance costs

Downtown Naperville sculpture exhibit is bound to please (Featuring art by Marianne Lisson Kuhn)

Proposed Nichols Place with renderings 

History of Nichols Library & subsequent Campaign to Save Old Nichols (Click here)

The City of Naperville website includes a fascinating Summary of Findings for Downtown from 2010.

“The buildings in the downtown survey represent the major historic periods of commercial development in Naperville, from the earliest stone commercial block on built on Main Street in the 1840s by Joseph Naper, to the glass and neon Burger King restaurant built in the 1950s. The majority of the 54 buildings (including Old Nichols Library) in the survey—35 or approximately 65 percent—date from the 19th century. Of the 20th-century structures in the survey, 11 date from between 1900 and 1919, six were constructed between 1920 and 1939, and only two were built between 1940 and 1959.”

Click here to get to know this city’s architectural and rich history.

And click here for a link to the 2030 Plan for downtown Naperville.

Thanks for reading!


PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.