What’s old is new again: Façade improvements set for downtown Plainfield


By Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff

Two buildings situated within Plainfield Historic downtown district will get an exterior facelift, thanks to facade rehabilitation grants approved by the village board this week.

Last month, the Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously to approve a certificate of appropriateness for façade work at the building at 24044 West Lockport St.

The applicant is requesting approval for a rehabilitation grant in the amount of $36,093.

The Historic Preservation Commission considered the plans for the new façade, noting that it will provide improvements that will make a significant change to the appearance of the building, in line with its historic place downtown.

The cost of the exterior work to complete the facade change at the building is $59,560, with the applicant requesting reimbursement of 50 percent of the eligible improvement costs.

The owner, Plainfield Castle, LLC, has proposed new construction to restore the exterior front façade and return it to its late 1800s appearance.

The existing structure was built in the mid-1890s, and was renovated in the late 1950s with part of the façade covered with a limestone veneer.

“It will be a much, much anticipated improvement,” said Director of Planning Jonathan Proulx. “There are just a handful or fewer façades remaining [downtown] that have not benefitted from the [grant] program.”

The proposed work will remove that limestone veneer, and restore the storefront. Planned restoration work includes repointing of the existing masonry coping, tuckpointing and repair of existing masonry, and installation of a new steel column with decorative detailing.

The village board also approved a rehabilitation grant for $85,000 for the building at 24030 West Lockport St. The cost of exterior work to improve that site is estimated at $170,000.

The applicant, Barvian Properties, LLC, is the new owner of the storefront, and is in the process of building a new ice cream parlor at the site, and went through the Historic Preservation Commission in February.

The petitioner is proposing to restore the exterior front and rear elevations, and to remodel the interior to accommodate the new ice cream shop and professional office space.

The exterior restoration will be completed in two phases, with the first phase focused on the first-floor elevation storefront, and the second phase to include restoration of the second-floor windows.

The existing structure was built in the mid-1870s, and is one of three buildings on the north side of the block that survived the downtown Plainfield fire of 1890. It was remodeled in the mid-1900s to feature blue and green tile covering the front facade.

Façade improvement grants are funded via tax increment financing (TIF) funds, from the TIF district located in the historic downtown area.

Property owners or business tenants who plan to make at least $1,000 in qualifying improvements are eligible to receive a matching grant.

Information on the grant program, including scope of work and other requirements, can be found on the village website, plainfield-il.org.



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