GLEN ELLYN – The historic McKee House is now located within the village of Glen Ellyn's boundaries.
At their June 25 Village Board meeting, Glen Ellyn trustees unanimously approved an ordinance annexing the 82-year-old limestone building into the village, along with an adjacent building that will be used for salt storage. The McKee House is in the Churchill Woods Forest Preserve, and the village of Glen Ellyn is leasing the McKee House and the adjacent building from the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.
Glen Ellyn Planning and Development Director Staci Hulseberg told trustees the buildings require some modifications to make them useful, particularly the salt storage building.
"And if the McKee House is rehabbed in the future, we would need building permits for that," Hulseberg said. "So in order to avoid having to go through the village of Lombard to get building permits, it made sense for that property to be disconnected from Lombard and annexed to the village of Glen Ellyn."
A preservation group is working to stabilize the 1936 structure. The Forest Preserve District will still be responsible for maintenance of the two buildings, Hulseberg said.
With the Village Board annexing the land, the properties have been automatically zoned residential estate district. However, staff feels it would be more appropriate to zone the properties conservation recreation since they are located on forest preserve land, Hulseberg told trustees. A public hearing will now be held before the Glen Ellyn Plan Commission on rezoning the land.
McKee Preservation Group Inc. recently received a $2,000 grant from Landmarks Illinois to help put a new roof on the McKee House. Landmarks Illinois had included the McKee House on its 2017 list of the most endangered historic places in Illinois.
As part of the lease, the McKee Preservation Group must raise $400,000 by October 2019 to restore the historic structure, or it will be demolished.
It originally functioned as a forest preserve headquarters and Superintendent Robert McKee’s residence in the Churchill Woods Forest Preserve. The house has been vacant since 2002. Forest Preserve District staff members had recommended the building be razed because of the high cost to repair it.