Above / Find architectural and historic value in preserving the original footprint and exterior of the 1898 Nichols Library, pictured here with Veterans Valor, a Century Walk sculpture along Washington Street at Van Buren. Oh! The art of appreciating it all on a snowy/rainy April 9, 2018.
Upon further pondering of the view, it’s likely the five military men portrayed in Veterans Valor regularly visited Nichols Library when they lived in Naperville as youngsters. They all attended Naperville High School back when the town was small, residing within blocks of each other.
They went on to serve World War II in various branches of the armed forces, and each one returned home having earned high military honors. These five men were Army 1st Lt. Al Rubin, Platoon Commander; Army Staff Sgt. Leo Kuefler, Tank Commander; Army Air Corps Cpt. Vinnie Mazza, B-24 Pilot; Navy Lt. Bob Wehrli, Pt. Boat Commander; and Marine Corps 1st Lt. Don Darfler, Fighter Pilot.
Since 2006 when artist Shirley McWorter-Moss finished the sculpture, Veterans Valor has stood to represent the patriotism and sacrifices of many local men and women who have served this nation in the name of freedom.
And since 1898, Old Nichols has stood to represent the generosity of James L. Nichols and the community’s dedication to literacy, education, culture, philanthropy and entrepreneurship. In 1895, James L. Nichols died at the age of 44, leaving a $10,000 bequest for the city’s first library that was designed in 1897 by nationally-known architect M. E. Bell in Richardsonian Romanesque style.
Old Nichols Schedule of Demolition
Submitted April 4, 2018, by William J. Novack, City of Naperville Director of Transportation, Engineering and Development (TED)
Our Field Projects Manager met with the development team on site today and has provided the following weekly schedule as of today. Please note that these schedules are always subject to change, but as of today below is what they propose for the coming weeks:
Week of April 4: Install fence and gates around the site. (Task completed by April 6.)
Week of April 9: Remove topsoil from site, install temporary construction drive along south property line and install temp electric service. (Work now in progress on a snowy/rainy day. Sidewalk is closed between Van Buren and Jefferson.)
Week of April 16: Environmental work and abatement of the 1960’s addition.
Week of April 23: Environmental work and abatement of the rest of the building.
Week of April 30: Disconnect utilities (water, sewer and electric), commence with demolition of the 1960’s addition, placement of sheet pilings as demo progresses and infill of the lower level and first floor openings by masonry contractor.
Week of May 7: Demolition of the 1960’s addition will continue; commencement of the demo of the 1930’s portion may start this week depending on progress.
Week of May 14 until sometime in May: Demolition will continue until completed.