(CBS) — As we observe Memorial Day, a legacy of the Civil War is getting new life in west suburban Maywood.
It’s the Maywood Home for Soldiers’ Widows and Orphans at 224 1st Avenue.
The beautiful red brick Georgian building was built in 1924; yes, that was 60 years after the Civil War ended, but there were still some Civil War widows around. It was in continuous use by veterans’ families, until 1973.
But then the building fell into disrepair and became an eyesore. Two years ago, Maywood approved $69,000 in renovations.
Tom Kus, Chairman of the Maywood Historic Preservation Commission, tells WBBM the home is “one of the few structures that still links Chicago to the Civil War.”
Preservationists are in the process of trying to get the building landmark status and have it listed on the National Register of Historic places, Kus says.
The building is historic, but Kus and other Maywood leaders hope its future use is as a restaurant or a club, anything that can bring revenue to the suburb that has had its struggles.
Kus says the home is a reminder of Maywood’s rich patriotic history.
“This is a very strong veteran community here,” he says.