The results are in from the $43,000 architectural study funded by the DuPage County Forest Preserve District to determine if the historic 78-year-old McKee House in the Glen Ellyn/Lombard Churchill Woods is salvageable—and they’re mixed, the Daily Herald reports.
"Overall the bones of the house are in good condition," the paper quoted Mara Braspenninx, the project architect with Chicago’s AltusWorks, telling a community meeting at the Lake Ellyn Boathouse on Wednesday. "That doesn't mean it's move-in ready. There is going to need to be some work to make it habitable."
According to the paper, the study said that while several rooms are moldy, basic utilities are busted and the foyer is the worst mess of all, the structure of the two-story limestone home is in good shape.
Several potential new uses have been proposed for the building, formerly the Forest Preserve District’s headquarters, the paper said: a historical museum, a social-gathering site, an educational center with Elmhurst College or the Morton Arboretum and/or a spot on the National Register of Historical Places.
The Churchill Woods buildings have been subject to a vocal preservation campaign since the District first announced its intentions to tear them down back in 2006, a campaign led by theCitizens for Glen Ellyn Preservation and McKee’s granddaughter, Barbara Plumer. Glen Ellyn Patch reported on the issue in March 2013.
The McKee House was built in the 1930s and served as a residence for Forest Preserve District superintendents, according to the Forest Preserve District. Until 1996 the property was used as a home and was then transitioned into a guardhouse.
In Feb. 2013, the District’s Board of Commissioners allocated funds for an architectural study of the McKee House — currently underway — to determine the best course of action for the building. Information about the building can be found on the McKee House at Churchill Woods page on the District’s website, under “Forest Preserve News” and “Plans and Projects.”