Oak Park residents seek local landmark designation for former Foley-Rice building on Madison Street

A pair of Oak Park residents are in search of an area landmark designation for a former Madison Road auto dealership building, a structure that’s proposed to be demolished as half of a bigger redevelopment plan.

Commonly known as the previous Foley-Rice dealership, the building at 644 Madison St. originally opened within the Nineteen Twenties as a Packard auto dealership, and has been vacant since 2007.

In October 2018, the village board named Jupiter Realty Company as the popular developer of the lot and a number of other other parcels alongside Madison Road. The proposal includes a new 41,500-sq.-foot Pete’s Recent Market grocery retailer and parking zone to be situated alongside the north aspect of Madison Road between Oak Park and Wesley avenues.

The proposal additionally consists of smaller retail areas at the northeast corner of Madison Road and Oak Park Avenue, and an eight-story senior dwelling facility to be constructed throughout the roadway at 711 Madison St.

Resident and local architect Frank Heitzman, along with Frank Lipo, director of the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest, introduced the landmark request to the village’s historic preservation commission. The fee voted unanimously, 7-0, to proceed with a preliminary willpower of eligibility for landmark status for the building.

“It’s a big instance of the architectural heritage of Oak Park,” HPC Chair Christopher Payne stated. “It appears fairly straightforward to state E.E. Roberts had a big impression on the architectural significance of the village. It’s arduous to disclaim the architectural significance of the building. Due to that, I might help the preliminary willpower.”

When reached, Jupiter Government Vice President Jerry Ong chose to not remark.

With the approval, the historic preservation commission is to hold a public listening to, doubtless Feb. 14, to further talk about the matter.

Heitzman and Lipo insist the request has been within the works for years.

“This is truly 10 years within the making and never an eleventh-hour or obstructionist effort to [block] progress locally,” Lipo stated. “In 2007, once I was nonetheless a member of the HPC, an software looking for native landmark designation was ready by employees. On the owner’s request, it was tabled.”

The 2 spoke to the historic preservation fee on Jan. 10, saying the building “far exceeds” the minimal requirements set forth by the village’s ordinance to designate landmark properties. They stated the hope is the constructing could possibly be saved and probably…

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