Aurora, IL - Hobbs Building Update

Historic preservation is happening in downtown Aurora, IL!!!

Due tohobbs building significant structural deficiencies, multiple unresolved citations and serious public safety concerns, the City of Aurora accepted the donation of the historic Hobbs building, 2 N. River Street, on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 21, 2016 and immediately began emergency repairs.

Did you know that the Hobbs Building is #7 on the list of 11 Most Endangered Historic Sites in Illinois in 2015?

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11 MOST ENDANGERED HISTORIC SITES IN ILLINOIS IN 2015

For more information, see Aurora News Release Below.

 
NEWS RELEASE
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
 
Contact:
Public Information Division
630.256.3360 | MyAurora@aurora-il.org 
CITY TAKES OWNERSHIP OF HOBBS BUILDING
AND BEGINS EMERGENCY REPAIRS
AURORA, IL - Due to significant structural deficiencies, multiple unresolved citations and serious public safety concerns, the City of Aurora accepted the donation of the historic Hobbs building, 2 N. River Street, on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 21, 2016 and immediately began emergency repairs.
 
The City of Aurora began the process by removing the "onion" dome, which had been deemed structurally unsound. It is the City's intention to see that the dome is replaced when the building is redeveloped.
 
"The Hobbs building is significant to our downtown, both historically and architecturally, and deserves to be preserved going forward," said Mayor Tom Weisner. "We exhausted every measure in our attempts to force the owner of the Hobbs building to properly maintain the building. Unfortunately, the law gives us little leverage over property owners who let their properties fall into serious disrepair. As the City assumes ownership of this historic building, our first priority is to stabilize the structure and eliminate any possible danger to the public. Then, we will work with Invest Aurora on identifying a viable redevelopment partner. Over the past few years, there has been more than $100 million in investment in downtown Aurora along River Street. I firmly believe the Hobbs building is in an ideal location to continue this growth and development."
 
Over the past four years alone, the City has cited the Hobbs building owner 8 times for violations ranging from vacant property registration and zoning violations to more critical internal and external building violations, including an unsecured elevator shaft, frame damage, holes in the roof, broken windows and the unstable and shifting dome. For many of these violations, the City of Aurora stepped in to handle the repair work for the sake of public safety.
 
Due to continued concerns, earlier this year, the City of Aurora filed legal action to require additional repairs. The owner recently agreed to donate the historic building to the City rather than assume any additional repair costs.
Prior to accepting the property, the City of Aurora engaged two structural engineering consultants, both of whom concluded that the existing conditions of the building are dangerous to the public and further temporary efforts to salvage the dome are futile.
 
The City immediately removed the leaning dome and will reframe the roof over the resulting opening and perform additional weatherproofing measures. Temporary lane closures on Eastbound Galena and Southbound River will be coordinated with progress of the work on the building, which is projected to last as long as 10 days.
  
In order to satisfy the historic FoxWalk Guidelines, the permit being issued for the dome demolition will require replacement of the dome in the future as part of redevelopment efforts of the property.
 
Built in 1892 as a furniture store and loft building, the Romanesque Revival building, located at the corner of Galena Blvd. and River St. in downtown Aurora, features an onion dome, intricate brick detailing in the semicircular arches over the third story windows, and decorative pressed metal on the piers. For decades, it was the centerpiece to downtown events, including Fourth of July Festivities. 

ABOUT THE CITY OF AURORA
Located 35 miles west of Chicago, Aurora is the second largest city in Illinois with a population of 200,456.  Aurora is known as the "City of Lights" because it was one of the first in the nation to illuminate its streets with electric lights.  Situated along the Fox River and the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway (Interstate 88), the city extends 46 square miles encompassing Kane, DuPage, Kendall and Will counties.  Aurora also is home to six public school districts and seven townships.  For the latest news, access to an archive of past news releases or to follow the city on Facebook or Twitter, visit the city's website at 

Monica Mancano

Monica Mancano

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