Plans to Tear Down Historic Building for Parking Lot

Update: It turns out the pump house at the southwest end of the Larson Becker properties was likely misclassified and has some historic significance, even more so than 124 N. River. Nevertheless, the Historic Preservation Commission voted to tear down all the buildings. Former alderman Kyle Hohmann was the only vote in favor of preserving the pump house.

On tonight’s Batavia Historic Preservation Commission meeting agenda (5:30pm — http://www.cityofbatavia.net/AgendaCente…) is the demolition of 124 N River St. (the green house on River St., the block north of the parking deck). House info: http://search.bataviatownship.com/parcel… ; tax info: http://kaneapplications.countyofkane.org…

The house was built in 1865 and is considered a “contributing historic building”. Its property tax, payable 2016, was $4142.68 and rising, before the City bought it. No evidence was given for its demolition, no estimates for repair obtained, and all reasons cited were based on feelings and “experience”. Their only verifiable justification is that tearing it down will allow them to build a parking lot to subsidize the massive Shodeen apartment complex during construction (and beyond if the Shodeen project parking proves to be inadequate).

There is no contact information for the Historic Preservation Commission. The meeting is tonight, Monday, Feb. 13, at 5:30pm.

According to the agenda document, of the other contributing historic building on the block, 106 N. River (the gray, weathered building with the really neat old sign on its north face): “That structure will remain for now. The City would like to explore possibility of relocating this structure and a COA application will be submitted at a future date.” .

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