Above / The merry month of May with days of warmer temperatures finally has brought the Naperville Riverwalk into blooming springtime beauty as it leads to downtown Naperville.

The Jaycees Gazebo near Fredenhagen Park was a gift to the Riverwalk 2000 campaign, built with funds raised from the four-day Last Fling back in the late 1990s. (PN Photo)


Le Pain Quotidien is open on Washington at Jefferson!

On Thurs., May 3, Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman Emily Ory,  Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Nicky Anderson and other NACC Ambassadors joined Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico and associates from Le Pain Quotidien as he cut the ribbon for the grand opening of the new bakery and restaurant now located at 204 S. Washington Street in downtown Naperville.

Mayor Steve Chirico prepares to cut the ribbon during the official opening of the new bakery at the southeast corner of Washington and Jefferson. (Photo by Anthony La Penna,)

The sixth Chicago-area location for the international restaurant group, Le Pain Quotidien, which means “the daily bread,” serves a simple, wholesome menu for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.  (Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Ward)


The Rick Motta Barbershop reopens with new name

When Mike Krol, right, visited Rick Motta for a haircut, he learned that The Rick Motta Barbershop, an independently-owned enterprise in downtown Naperville, was about to reopen under a new name.

Mike Krol came all the way from Arizona for a vacation and a haircut. For years, when he lived in Naperville, Krol recalls sitting in a barber chair, getting to know Rick Motta, listening to his wonderful stories about musical theater and performing on stage, all while receiving a good haircut.

On his most recent visit, when he stopped by late in the day for a trim, Motta, now age 87, was closing up the shop that featured his name on the front window. That’s when Krol discovered that the barbershop that bears Motta’s name not only was closing for the day, but was closing for another owner to take over in the spot at 25 S. Washington Street.

Maureen Krol is proud to report that her husband received Motta’s last haircut before all the letters could be removed from the front window and a new owner’s name, MH Barber Lounge, would be imprinted on the business that has been at different locations in downtown Naperville off and on since 1960.

Mike Krol added that Motta still will be available for haircuts, only now as an employee with a rich history of stories to share about the city and career he loves.

Did you know Rick Motta came up with idea for ‘Last Fling’

As a young business owner and member of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce in the 1960s, Rick Motta had the idea of an end-of-summer picnic that he shared with fellow chamber members. He called it “Last Fling.”

Consider that none of the youngsters who will enjoy the 2018 Jaycees Last Fling from Aug. 31 through Sept. 3, 2018, was born when the idea for the first family festival was conceived by Motta and launched near Centennial Beach back in 1966.

Back in 2015, Rick Motta brought few notes to share with Paul DeKruiff, Tom Miers and John Schmitt during a luncheon to celebrate the 50th year of the Last Fling. (PN File Photo)

Or did you know that to help the Naperville Jaycees celebrate the first 50 Last Flings in 2015, the fun-loving creator of the event served as Grand Marshal of the parade when it stepped off as it does every year at 10AM on Labor Day? 

When considering the numerous contributions (Holiday food baskets, Jaycees Marina, Jaycees Playground, Jaycees Gazebo and Jaycees Plaza along the Riverwalk) to the community made possible by the Naperville Jaycees since the beginning of the service club’s major fundraiser, folks might want to remember how the Last Fling got started. Thanks, Rick Motta!


Old Nichols with tulips of springtime on the path to Central Park

According to renderings in the proposal, this northwest corner of Old Nichols will continue to stand as the gateway to Central Park and downtown Naperville along Washington at Van Buren. The developer plans to build an L-shaped $21 million 4-story building around it with commercial use on the first floor topped by three levels of residential condos. (PN Photo)

Last Wednesday, PN received news that on Tuesday afternoon, May 1, 2018, Great Central Properties III, LLC, had submitted a design for the proposed development at 110 S. Washington Street to be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) on Thurs., May 24, 2018.

“In keeping with our plan, the mixed-use development incorporates the Old Nichols Library while abiding by the 2.5 FAR threshold. We anticipate being on the May 24, 2018, HPC (Historic Preservation Commission for Certificate of Appropriateness) agenda,” wrote Lissa Druss on behalf of Jeff Brown, Investor; Dwight Avram, Developer; Christina Caton Kitchel, Caton Commercial Real Estate Group; Steve Caton, Caton Commercial Real Estate Group; and Mike Elliott, AIA, REFP, LEED AP/Senior Design Architect, Kluber Architects + Engineers. 

UPDATE, May 7, 2018 / Throughout the day, members of the Central Park Place management team held presentations in the Hal Wilde Conference Room at the Naperville Development Partnership where interested parties were invited to see renderings of the latest plans that are expected to go before the Historic Preservation Commission on May 24. Members of City Council, Naperville Development Partnership, Save Old Nichols Group and Historic Preservation Commission were among folks that attended.

Old Nichols to ‘Central Park Place’ / Project Summary for 110 S. Washington

The Central Park Place project is a four-story mixed use development with a basement level dedicated to parking
for the onsite residents. The ground floor will provide commercial / retail spaces with the upper levels consisting
of up to 21 residential condominium spaces with access to roof as an outdoor space for residents.

The proposed project has been designed to incorporate the original Nichols Library building in its existing location on the site. The new building structure has been set back from the original structure to preserve a sense of the scale of the existing structure as well as the stepping back of the new building façade to expand the view of the Library from the view of the front the building. The space to the south of the original structure will allow for the existing roof to maintain the hipped roof form and provide a reveal between the building forms. This reveal will also serve as an accessible entry to the interior of the Library and the guest entry to the upper level residential spaces. A building section drawing has been included on the following pages which illustrates the stepping back of the building structure to the east of the Library structure.

Restoration of the original structure is important. Plans include tuckpointing and repairs to the existing brick and
stone, repairs to the wood facia and soffits, repairs and replacement of the existing roof and replacement of the
existing windows with like-style window units. The main entry door will be replaced with a replica door unit that
meets current building codes and the interior vestibule will also be expanded to meet current codes with the
existing mosaic tile floor incorporated into the new vestibule space. The main entry steps will be reconstructed
and will lead to a proposed outdoor plaza which will provide for a potential outdoor seating space for the future
tenant of this area of the building.

While the goal is to make the Library structure an integrated element of the development, the use of the internal
space is undetermined at this time and will be part of Phase II development of 110 S. Washington.

The new building structure is designed to complement the original Library. The facades are varied in order to
break up the building into what appears as a multi-building streetscape. Proposed are several different colors of
brick and varied detailing on each of the building forms including stone banding, stepped cornices and bay
window forms. The base of the building will be cast stone with the upper floors being clad in thin-brick veneer.
The upper level windows are all residential in scale in keeping with the traditional style of the original Library
structure. This level of detailing is being done on all sides of the building.

—Great Central Properties III, LLC / Avram Builders

How the City’s process will work

According to the City website, “All COA applicants are required to submit complete applications at least 21 calendar days by noon prior to the scheduled commission meeting. A 21-day advance submission is necessary to provide sufficient review time for planning, building and Inspection staff; commissioners; and residents.”

At least 10 days prior to the May 24, 2018, meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), the petitioner will be required to post a public meeting sign on the Old Nichols property and send written notices to property owners located within 250 feet of Old Nichols. Watch for the sign as well as other info posted on the City’s website as HPC prepares to grant or deny the application for Certificates of Appropriateness

According to procedures of the City of Naperville, if the HPC grants the Certificate of Appropriateness (aka COA) request at their meeting, their action is final. If, however, the HPC denies the COA, the petitioner may appeal this denial to the Naperville City Council for a final decision.

Follow the Riverwalk and enjoy blankets of blue bells this weekend…

This week you could say the old wedding day rhyme rings true throughout downtown Naperville, “Something old. Something new. Something borrowed. Something blue.”

Cheers to traditions of springtime! Enjoy the great outdoors with blankets of blue bells along the Riverwalk as the winding path leads to shopping and dining in the heart of the city.