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Government

Wheaton City Council gives green light to couple moving 1897 mansion

A Wheaton couple will now move the historic House of Seven Gables after receiving a special-use permit from the Wheaton City Council.
A Wheaton couple will now move the historic House of Seven Gables after receiving a special-use permit from the Wheaton City Council.

WHEATON – A Wheaton couple has been given the green light to move a historic 1897 mansion that would have been razed to make way for a housing subdivision.

Wheaton City Council members on Aug. 7 unanimously approved giving Bob and Katy Goldsborough a special-use permit to allow the mansion to be moved from its current location to lots seven and eight of the Loretto Club subdivision for use as a single-family house.

The House of Seven Gables was designed by noted Chicago architect Jarvis Hunt, who also designed the neighboring Chicago Golf Club clubhouse.

Wheaton Historic Commission Chairwoman Nancy Flannery reiterated her support for the project.

"Saving this house is a really good thing," said Flannery, in addressing council members.

She noted the owners of another house designed by Hunt in the 1S700 block of Hawthorne Lane near Wheaton plan to raze the building.

"It just points out how important it is that we save the ones we can," Flannery said.

The couple originally was working to move the House of Seven Gables about 900 feet from its current location. Following concerns raised by at least one neighbor, the couple now plans to move the mansion onto lots seven and eight.

The closest home, located in the Marywood subdivision, is about 150 feet west of the proposed location.

"We believe the location we have chosen on lots seven and eight will help isolate the House of Seven Gables from neighboring property owners," Bob Goldsborough previously told City Council members.

Work already has begun on demolishing the buildings that surround the mansion, which recently was used as a convent as part of the Loretto Center, a sponsored ministry of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a worldwide religious community of Catholic women. The Loretto Center operated a conference/retreat center.

Landmarks Illinois, a statewide nonprofit group advocating for historic and architecturally significant buildings and places, had called for the preservation of the House of Seven Gables.

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