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Historic appeal embraced in local community

Madhu Mayer | 5/15/2019, 4:04 p.m.
For a community that boasts new subdivisions that appeal to differing incomes and lifestyles, many in the Village of Plainfield ...

For a community that boasts new subdivisions that appeal to differing incomes and lifestyles, many in the Village of Plainfield would prefer to be known for their historic properties.

This was the message delivered during Monday’s committee of the whole workshop as the Plainfield Historic Preservation Commission updated the Village Board on its recent work that goes just beyond looking at properties based on its heritage in the community.

The Plainfield Historic Preservation Commission last month nominated a house at 14930 S. Illinois St. for landmark status. The commissions recommendation were forwarded to the Plainfield Village Board for final approval at its March 6 meeting, which the trustees did.

The historic commission only makes recommendations to the elected village board as members serve in an advisory capacity.

Most homes are nominated for landmark designation based on several factors, including its character, interest or value contributing to the communities heritage; architectural significance; having an owner who contributed to the development of the village; and is suitable for preservation and restoration.

Chairman Michael Bortel of the Historic Preservation Commission said not only are individual significant properties highlighted, but a national designation for downtown was bestowed in 2013. Bortel commended people, like Lydia Pond of 23837 W. Ottawa St. in downtown Plainfield, who recently received the 2019 Rehab of the Year Award. He said homeowners like Pond are choosing to rehab their properties instead of tearing it down. Madison Sweeney of downtown Plainfield said there is something to be said for restoring properties.

I love living by homes that have character, she said. Anybody can buy a cookie-cutter home. It takes dedication and perseverance to restore an older home to its glory.