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‘Save Old Nichols’ group will host open house on Aug. 14

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Can the old Nichols Library be saved? Should it? How?

“Old Nichols is a diamond in the rough,” State Rep. Grant Wehrli said, informing the Save Nichols Library Committee that as City Councilman, he had served as liaison on the Historic Preservation Commission. (PN Photo, Aug. 10, 2017)

These questions and more will be discussed at an informational meeting from 7 to 8:30PM Mon., Aug. 14, in the community room of the current Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

The event is being organized by Save Old Nichols Library, a citizens’ organization formed in the wake of a plan to replace the library with a much larger, four-floor structure that might incorporate portions of the original building’s facade.

At the meeting, experts will discuss the building’s historical and architectural significance, the potential for preservation tax credits, landmark status, and adaptive re-uses. The group has retained the the Association for Preservation Technology to perform a structural analysis of the library. A representative of the firm will discuss its findings.

A staff member from Landmarks Illinois, the state’s leading historic preservation advocacy organization, also is scheduled to attend.

“The original Nichols Library is one of Naperville’s most significant historic buildings, especially because of its highly visible location on Washington Street,” said Barbara Hower, a member of Save Old Nichols. “…We think there are more attractive ways the property could be redeveloped.”

Naperville Historic Preservation Commission / 7PM Tues., Aug. 22 

The developer’s plan for offices and condos calls for building out to the lot line on Washington Street, which cannot be done without a variance from the city’s zoning code. The matter was on the agenda for the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting at 7PM Wed., Aug. 2, with a request from the petitioner for the public hearing to be moved to Wed., Sept. 6.

The citizens’ group has nominated the old library to be a local landmark, which would make it more difficult—but not impossible—for a developer to demolish it. The Naperville Historic Preservation Commission is expected to discuss the nomination at its Tues., Aug. 22 meeting, which could lead to a recommendation to the Naperville City Council.

For more information with a link to the “Save Old Nichols Library Petition” with comments, visit the group’s website at www.saveoldnicholslibrary.org or email saveoldnichols@gmail.com.

RELATED POSTS ON THIS WEBSITE: Search “Old Nichols Library”

Page Edits / Aug. 10, 2017

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PN Ombudsman
PN Ombudsman
An ombudsman is Scandinavian in origin dating back to Viking times; and refers to a community representative; usually acting independently on behalf of an organization, body of elected officials, or civic group. Thanks Scandinavia for inventing ombudsman.
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