NAPERVILLE, Ill. (CBS) — The Naperville City Council on Wednesday ruled that it will allow the demolition of a historic mansion that houses a renowned social service organization.
The Kroehler Mansion on Wright Street in Naperville was completed in 1909. But Little Friends – which serves adults and children with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities – says it is so expensive to run that the cost could threaten the charity’s financial future.READ MORE: Chicago Police Issue Alert Of Armed Robberies In Lincoln Park And Lake View
The charity has been in the mansion since 1975.
The 7,300 square-foot mansion has outdated wiring and water leaks, and keeping it running costs $400,000 a year. And that is $400,000 that Little Friends cannot spend on its programs, and young people others who need its help.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Heavy Rain, Possible Flood Watch
Little Friends President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Briggs told CBS 2’s Jim Williams he wants to sell the mansion and move. He told us developers would offer top dollar for the property – but only if they could tear down the mansion.
The Naperville Historic Preservation Commission does not want that to happen. But Briggs said a rehab job would cost more than $2 million.
“We are being asked to bear the burden of historic preservation and the question is – is that fair?” Briggs said earlier this week.MORE NEWS: Ed's Tech Notes: Walgreens New Drone Delivery, Amazon New Pay Option, Facebook Rumored Rebrand
Briggs said he has suggested the mansion be moved to another part of town, but no one has offered to do it.