Friday, November 28, 2008

Grace Hall - What's Up?

A notable omission from the December 2 Woodstock City Council Agenda is the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) recommendation for Landmark status of the building known as Grace Hall.

Section D Minutes & Reports is where the Minutes of the HPC would be transmitted to the City Council. Plenty of time has passed for the Minutes to be prepared and submitted. What's the hold-up? Are there any Minutes?

On November 21st several people met at Woodstock Christian Life Services to tour the building. The meeting was attended by Terry Egan (WCLS), City Councilman RB Thompson, Christina Morris (National Trust for Historic Preservation–Midwest Office), Lisa DiChiera (Landmarks Illinois), Anthony Rubano (Illinois Historic Preservation Agency), Kathleen Spaltro and Allen Stebbins.

Where was the Petitioner for the Landmark status - the Lemanskis? Working, probably. Others had requested notice of the meeting, which was not forthcoming. Where was the press? Where were other concerned community members?

The meeting was described as "very positive and productive" and supposedly "resulted in some possibilities for saving Grace Hall."

I'll tell you one possibility. The Landmark status that was approved by the HPC and which the Northwest Herald reported as not to be considered by the Woodstock City Council until the second meeting in April.

That meeting will be shortly before the wrecking ball arrives on the "campus" of WCLS.

Those at the meeting are to reconvene via teleconference in about two weeks (first week in December? was a date set?). Other interested parties who wish to participate should contact Allen Stebbins and any other member of the HPC to learn the date, time and location of the public meeting to be held by teleconference.

And the public should demand that the recommendation of the HPC for Landmark status be considered at the second December meeting of the City Council (if there is one) or at the first January meeting of the City Council.

Unless the people of Woodstock want to see a pile of rubble at the end of May where Grace Hall used to stand, they'd better get organized, meaning with a first-class, out-of-McHenry County attorney with the smarts to stop the demolition and a key independent historic preservation expert who works solely for the Petitioner. Otherwise, buy your face masks early to protect yourselves against all the brick dust that will fly, when the walls come tumbling down.

1 comment:

Richard W Gorski, M.D. said...

You know that if it is not on paper and in triplicate and signed and notarized it never happened and never existed. I was a hallucination! The city likes to custom tailor its whats new? Truth, timelines, and input from the citizens does not seem to matter at times when an agenda has already been arrived at.