Date set to demolish downtown eyesore on Washington
Sun staff January 11, 2013 5:02PM
Years of vacancy show on the building at 420 s. Washington on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. The city and North Central College have agreed on a plan to tear down the building and put a park in its place. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 14, 2013 6:44AM
An unsightly downtown Naperville commercial building that has drawn scorn for years at last has a date with the wrecking ball. It’s next Saturday, Jan. 19.
Crews are expected to begin at 7 a.m. and spend most of the day taking down the one-story structure just southeast of Washington Street and the West Branch of the DuPage River. The City Council awarded a $45,836 contract Dec. 18 to have the building at 420 S. Washington St. razed. Through a partnership between North Central College and the city, the site will be restored for use as open space.
The demolition has been a long time coming. Built in 1930, the 4,940-square-foot building went through a series of commercial tenants that included car dealerships, a laundromat, dry cleaner, doughnut shop, restaurant, barber shop/salon and tax preparers, before Aurora businessman Leo Ahasic sold the building in 2005. It has remained vacant since then, drawing complaints about its unkempt appearance.
The new park, being installed by North Central, will complement two other recent upgrades on the campus: the Riverwalk Gateway, which links the college and Riverwalk to Naperville’s Fredenhagen Park, and Sesquicentennial Walkway, a landscaped pedestrian path that winds through the campus center between Benton and Jefferson avenues.