Believing in Local History History: Pump House Reconstruction Costs Included in the Plan

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 30, 2016 | Go to article overview

Believing in Local History History: Pump House Reconstruction Costs Included in the Plan


Byline: Lauren Rohr lrohr@dailyherald.com

A century-old pump house slated for demolition in downtown West Dundee might be reconstructed into a community space using salvaged materials.

The roughly 1,200-square-foot pump house is one of a handful of buildings expected to be knocked down as part of a redevelopment plan for the corner of First and Main streets. But village officials began considering how they could incorporate the pump house into West Dundee's downtown plan after hearing from community members interested in preserving it.

Among them was 12-year-old Ben Dombrowski, who researched the building and urged trustees for weeks not to tear it down.

"I have a passion for history, and a lot of the reason people like this town is because of its history that kind of gives it a charm," said Ben, a sixth-grader at Immanuel Lutheran School. "I think this (pump house) has a lot of potential."

Because of its poor condition, renovating the existing structure was deemed too costly for the village. But Trustee Dan Wilbrandt said there's a feasible option for preserving the 19th-century pump house.

In addition to demolishing the building at a cost of roughly $34,000, officials have agreed to allot $7,000 toward preserving its materials, such as bricks, windows and limestone windowsills, according to village documents. Those salvaged pieces could then be used to rebuild a similar -- and perhaps smaller

-- pump house-like structure at a nearby location closer to the Fox River.

Wilbrandt said he envisions the reconstructed pump house becoming a community attraction -- a spot for kayak, canoe and paddle boat rentals, or a centralized space during village events, including Dickens in Dundee or Heritage Fest. …

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