We believe the original library building can be saved and, with appropriate renovation, can continue to play an important part in Naperville’s economic vitality and architectural heritage. Along with architecturally sensitive additions this will allow for a number of options for use. This would also honor the covenant placed on the property to preserve the facade and vestibule, but still allowing a more intensive use for the property as a whole.
The current development proposal would raze the building and glue parts of the front facade onto a new structure, as an attempt to comply with the covenant. An unsatisfactory result.
Looking at Old Nichols, the old reading room would be a natural for a restaurant, and we could see a glassed in eating area replacing the later addition facing Central park. It could be our own “Tavern on the Green.” It would be amazing. The building is large enough to accommodate any number of uses, retail, offices, residential. All within either the original library structure or in the additions to it.
Adaptive reuse of historically significant structures is a well-established and successful practice in Naperville. La Sorella di Francesca, Meson Sabika, Jefferson Hill, the old Post Office, and Lou Malnati's are examples of successful adaptive reuse. The Library is a Naperville jewel. It needs to be saved, and with an appropriate renovation it can be profitably done.