Architects envision old Naperville library as restaurant, welcome center – Chicago Daily Herald

Whereas the house owners of the old Nichols Library in Naperville ponder its future, two architects chimed in with drawings of what it might develop into.

Naperville architects Tom Ryan and Anthony Yeboah say they've created concepts for a way the 119-year-old constructing on Washington Avenue subsequent to Central Park will be saved and reused, whereas nonetheless permitting new growth.

Ryan's thought requires renovating town's first library, which was designated in September as a neighborhood landmark, right into a restaurant and market much like Eataly in Chicago, then developing a loft-type, combined-use constructing in an "L" form behind it.

Yeboah introduced two variations of his thought. Each embrace turning the library right into a welcome center, upgrading Central Park, then including a 4-story workplace and financial institution, a six-story condo constructing and underground parking.

"The concept is to refurbish that constructing in its old type, hold it very nice and vintage," Yeboah mentioned in regards to the library, a Richardsonian Romanesque constructing accomplished in 1898.

Naperville architect Anthony Yeboah's first idea for the old Nichols Library site is to turn the building into a visitors' center, renovate Central Park and add a four-story office and bank building, a 6-story apartment building, underground parking and a skybridge to cross Washington Street.
Naperville architect Anthony Yeboah's first thought for the old Nichols Library website is to show the constructing right into a guests' center, renovate Central Park and add a 4-story workplace and financial institution constructing, a 6-story condo constructing, underground parking and a skybridge to cross Washington Avenue. - Courtesy of Anthony Yeboah

His first plan requires a skybridge to assist folks cross Washington Avenue, and his second locations the brand new buildings farther from Washington Avenue by including a courtyard.

Each architects, who introduced drawings to the preservation group Save Old Nichols, mentioned it is necessary to maintain the old library's construction intact to retain that means.

"Downtowns will change," Yeboah mentioned. "Nevertheless it would not want to vary utterly to an extent the place we will not acknowledge our historical past."

Constructing house owners Dwight Avram and Jeff Brown say they're exploring a number of choices for the way forward for the old library, as its present consumer, Reality Lutheran Church, plans to maneuver out early subsequent 12 months.

One risk is shifting the library to the Naper Settlement, the place it might stand as a testomony to its benefactor, early Naperville businessman, trainer and writer James Lawrence Nichols.

"We're all hoping only for a dialogue about choices," Ryan mentioned.

Naperville architect Tom Ryan designed this concept of a potential reuse for the old Nichols Library building, which would include renovating it into a restaurant and specialty market, then building a tiered mixed-use center in an
Naperville architect Tom Ryan designed this idea of a possible reuse for the old Nichols Library constructing, which would come with renovating it right into a restaurant and specialty market, then constructing a tiered combined-use center in an "L" form behind it to protect mild coming into Central Park. - Courtesy of Tom Ryan

The choice Ryan designed creates a clear, trendy constructing behind the yellow stone library that will not take away from its magnificence. His sketches are about "mild and preserving inexperienced house on a website that has a constructing on it meaning so much to the folks," he mentioned.

Each architects' concepts are supposed to generate dialogue. However the selection of what to do with the positioning in the end lies with house owners Avram and Brown. Brown mentioned they hope to decide on a path by the top of this 12 months.

Any exterior adjustments would should be reviewed by town's historic preservation fee and granted a certificates of appropriateness.

"My recommendation for the developer is to essentially have interaction the general public," Yeboah mentioned. "I feel they will do one thing stunning in the event that they open up and convey folks to the constructing."

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Architects envision old Naperville library as restaurant, welcome center - Chicago Daily Herald