Glen Ellyn citizen preservationists are against a preliminary idea to replace the 106-year-old horse trough in the center of downtown Glen Ellyn with something new as a result of ongoing planning for downtown improvements.
A recent draft study of downtown Glen Ellyn included ideas to change the existing streetscape with new trees, lighting, permeable pavers and an obelisk-shaped structure in place of the horse trough in the center of Main Street at Crescent Boulevard.
Originally erected in 1907, the horse trough was designated a village landmark in 2012. Made of cast iron, the trough was donated to the village by William C. Newton to provide water for horses and dogs on the town’s main street, according to a news release from the Citizens for Glen Ellyn Preservation.
The Downtown Streetscape and Parking Study, funded through a $50,000 grant from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, stems from Glen Ellyn’s 2009 Downtown Strategic Plan. A steering committee consisting of more than a dozen key stakeholders was formed to work with the consulting team of Houseal Lavigne Associates, Gary R. Weber Associates, and Walker Parking and Engineering Resource Associates in completing the study.
The first draft of the plan was revealed during an open house on March 20.
Although members of Citizens for Glen Ellyn Preservation agree that there is much to like in the current streetscape plans, the organization is concerned about the notion of removing one of the village’s most important symbols, according to the release.
“The horse trough is an important icon in the village and one of its most beloved historic landmarks,” Citizens for Glen Ellyn Preservation member Kelli Christiansen said in a statement. “Although the downtown streetscape plan is still in the planning and discussion phase, we want to make residents aware that its location—indeed, its very future—may well be in jeopardy. Preserving this iconic landmark is important to our members, concerned citizens, and to the village itself.”
A revised downtown plan, based on input from the March 20 open house, will be presented at a public meeting April 10, according to the release. The complete plan is available online here.
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