May2020NewsletterFINAL0523FrontPage copy

Quick News:

Thursday, April 15th, 2021

Sign The Petition

Apex Stairway Construction - Parking Garage 2
Apex Construction -Parking Garage !

Ask the Village Board to rethink Apex Development

The prior Village Board approved a 35% height variance and countless other variances to approve the Apex Development. They approved several million dollars in TIF money and still there will be fewer parking spots than were available in the Main Street lot. This was all despite significant opposition among residents.  Please help us make sure this doesn't happen again.

By signing this petition, you are asking the incoming village board to:

1) Not approve the update of the long-range comprehensive plan for the town; it calls for zoning changes that allow for more large developments like this. This plan needs to be rethought so as to address all the future needs of the town not just to enable big developments.

2) Not approve any additional zoning changes in the downtown (which have been approved by the plan commission already). These questions should be addressed after the comprehensive plan is updated.

3) Insist that the 3D model of Apex be produced so that residents can understand its size relative to the rest of downtown. Residents and board members have repeatedly asked for this since the initial public hearing. This should have been included in the 3D model of downtown which the village paid a consultant to conduct.

4) Re-engage with residents and the Apex developer to see if a more suitable compromise can be found.

Monday, December 14th, 2020


Did you know...

Santa Fe was slammed this weekend with more water from the Apex Construction Site.
As Santa Fe, the Village of Glen Ellyn and APEX continue to discuss the water proofing, repair, and protection of The Santa Fe Restaurant, the rains came Friday night and their basement is flooded. Again.
In fact as of 3:45 Sunday afternoon, water was still coming into Santa Fe's basement.
Why is it that APEX is calling the shots? On Friday, Dec 10th, construction sped up as they poured their footings right up against Santa Fe's building, denying them access to remedy their structural issues.
Where is our Village Board? Why is the Village not protecting a restaurant that has been serving Glen Ellyn for 40 years? Where is the loyalty to our downtown businesses?
Monday, Dec 14th is the last Village Board Meeting of the year. The Village Board needs to initiate a "stop work order" until Santa Fe's building is secured.

Write your Village Trustees NOW and ask them to halt construction until Santa Fe's issues are resolved.

1) Email Village Board all at once by completing the following form:

2) Submit a Public comment at tonight's Dec 14th Village Board Meeting:

No remedy for Santa Fe. How can this be? Foundation stability and water issues, etc. continue. We ask again: Where is our Village Board? Why are we not protecting one of our own?

November 11, 2020

Did You Know?

Update feom 9:45 P.M.  - Wednesday, November 11th, 2020: For all concerned with the water reported in Sante Fe due to the Apex project, we have an UPDATE TO REPORT.

As of Wednesday evening, Sante Fe ownership has met with Village Trustees and Village personnel. The issue is acknowledged and will be addressed with the developer of Apex.

Thanks for everyone’s concerns and calls for accountability.

Update: 8:30 PM - Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

Sante Fe owner has met with Village Trustees and Officials on Wednesday night. They are aware of the situation and will be reaching out to the Apex developer.

Update from the 11-10-20 Rain storm: As a result of last night's rain, Santa Fe is again experiencing water in their building. This is not normal for them and is due to the adjacent Apex construction. What is the Village going to do to support our long-standing business?

(See photos, below.)

SAVE MAIN’s Fight Against Apex 400 is continuing in the Illinois Appellate Court . The Village of Glen Ellyn has allowed the builder to proceed, ignoring the impact on our historic downtown. Especially impacted are the adjacent and long standing businesses.

Just 2 weeks ago Santa Fe learned that there would be 7 inches between their building and Apex. The Village planner was not even aware of this and had to ask the engineer. The owners of Santa Fe ask how they are going to wash their windows and clean up the debris between the buildings with a 7" clearance?

apexconstructionviewoflot #1
After the last rain, Santa Fe started getting dirty clay and sandy water in their building, something which had never happened before.

Santa Fe and Scooter Bay (adjacent to the Apex site to the south) hired a structural engineer to examine the site. One of the engineer's comments was: "Everything is being done on the cheap."

apexconstructionsantafewater # 2

Update from the 11-10-20 Rain Storm

More flooding at Santa Fe as a result of last night's rain (Below).


And still more


In the corner of the site near Scooter Bay and adjacent to St. Pet's lot, the engineer pointed out gaping holes in the fencing. The developer responded by placing sand bags.

apexconstructionsandbags #3

After a windy weekend, fencing ended up blowing down 10 feet into the site!

apexconstructioncliff #4

This has now been remedied; fortunately no one was hurt by their neglect.

apexconstructionalley #5
The last photo is of an alley that Santa Fe's property deed has had rights to for over 125 years. Santa Fe refused to give the developer access to the alley. The developer dug it up without their consent. Santa Fe has had to hire an attorney to protect their rights.

Please make your voices heard. #SAVEMAIN

This is egregious. Santa Fe is a local business that has been here for 30 years serving the community. Here comes an outside developer with no ties and no loyalty to Glen Ellyn, and the Village has allowed this to happen.

If you can help to support our ongoing legal efforts, please do so at:

September 20, 2020

Save Main remains committed to ensuring that the health and well-being of the Village

Save Main remains committed to ensuring that the health and well-being of Village residents, business owners, staff, and their customers are safeguarded based on known contamination of the soil under the Main Street Parking Lot.

We await assurance that the developer is complying with all governmental and industry standards.

With the construction in progress on Apex 400, we want to better understand how environmental issues are being addressed by the developer and the Village, including the procedures being followed to remove, test, and dispose of soil for this project.

The health and welfare of the Village are of critical importance. We believe the residents have a right to assurances that the negative effects of contamination have been fully and properly mitigated.


September 03, 2020

Special Village Board Meeting

Thursday - 5:30 P.M.

The agenda Item of concern:

Discussion on Impact of Temporarily Closing the Main Street Parking Lot

Audio Note: No audio until  2 minutes and 37 seconds in

August 29, 2020

We have gone through the pain of transcribing the last 4-5 minutes of the emergency 8/24 Village Board meeting called due to impending sale of the Main Street Parking lot to the Apex developer for $10, though he has not solidified 35% of his funding, or 14 million dollars. Follow along with the video and words below. WE NEED TRANSPARENCY

2:57:30 Greg Matthews, Attorney I was just going to say, and I’m not sure what is missing in the translation here, but Purchase or sale of property should be on this uh/in this motion also, as an exemption to uh, open meetings act.
2:57:36 Trustee Senak I’d simply like some debate and discussion on this.
2:57:40 Greg Matthews, Attorney Well, let’s once the motion gets out, then…
2:57:46 Trustee Senak Yah, somebody’s gotta second it right?
2:57:48 Trustee Enright Yes second.
2:57:51 President McGinley – alright so we have Trustee Thompson, did the motion, and that is for, um, uh discussion concerning uh threaten, pending and threatened litigation as well as the setting the price for sale of lease of private property, and Trustee Enright was the second.

2:58:10 President McGinley – alright…there’s debate… (2.0 second pause) No?
2:58:13 President McGinley – alright there’s roll call. No? Go ahead…
2:58:20 Trustee Senak – No, I think I get some debate. I don’t think there is a way in the world this qualifies for executive session. As to 11C… Section 2C11, I note that it says, litigation, um, affecting or on behalf of the particular public body which has been filed and is pending…I understand that if the lawsuit is pending, then it is not resolved. If the lawsuit is not resolved, then the force majeure event is still in effect. If the lawsuit is not pending, then there is no basis to go into executive session on this.
2:58:57 Trustee Senak continued – As to the setting of the price to the public land, the price of the sale of the Main Street parking lot is a matter of public record, it’s in the purchase and sale agreement, so there is no mystery there. And we’ve heard any number of residents this evening, all of which have commented on the lack of transparency of the board for having this discussion in executive session. So, I suggest, if we are going to discuss this, since we cannot qualify for executive session, and our residents want to hear what we have to say, that we do it in an open session. Moreover, the idea that we would not reconvene to public, or to open session, for purposes of taking a vote of the ordinance that I proposed at the emergency motion, or at the emergency meeting…I certainly object to. I think that motion, I intend to present, and I intend to see if anybody will second it, and if so then we will take a vote on it, according to the rules as I understand them.

2:59:57 President McGinley well…um, you know this executive session was at your request as well as several other ahh trustees, it certainly wasn’t My request. Um…

3:00:05 Trustee Senak I’ll tell you this much, it wasn’t my request based on pending litigation, and um I, you know, so, the motion that we would have the executive session for purposes of the discussion was only contingent that we would return to open session for purposes of taking the vote.

3:00:22 President McGinley Well there was no backup for your putting your ah…your own written ordinance ah onto an agenda. So, there is no agenda item to be considered. So if you’re saying, I mean there’s other trustees here, but if you’re saying there is no executive session, that’s fine, then we can just adjourn.

3:00:43 Trustee Senak Um, You know…I would consider this to be an… we can have an emergency meeting tomorrow and vote on my motion then. If…I can get someone to second that. If you’d prefer to do it that way, I have no problem with that. But, I think the board, (interruption by Trustee Fasules) um has an opportunity and is entitled to…
3:00:00 (interrupted by Trustee Fasules – I think we need to go to, I think we need to go to uh)

3:01: 03 Trustee Senak let me finish, for all of the reasons we’ve heard tonight from our residents. Ok the board has an obligation to determine whether the conditions that have been set in a redevelopment agreement have been met, and I’ll gladly explain why there’s not a chance that that has been done. So, the idea that we can proceed with closing tomorrow when the developer has not complied with his contractual obligations under the RDA, I will be glad to explain to anyone who’s willing to listen.

3:01:32 Trustee Senak continued - But he has not provided proof of financing, I will assure you of that, and a commitment from a bank for 65% of the total construction cost, leaving 14 million dollars unaccounted for, in my estimation does not provide, does not provided sufficient proof of finance.

3:01:47 interrupted by President McGinley – Trustee Senak you are are arguing over things that are supposed to be in executive session,
3:01:50 Trustee Fasules interrupts: Yes…cut the mic. Let’s go…

3:01:51 President McGinley …and so this really needs to stop because…
3:01:55 Trustee Senak – So if you want to adjourn, I’d assume you are going to make the record.
3:01:58 President McGinley Trustee Senak, these comments will be stricken from the record. You are arguing things that are supposed to be…
3:02:03 Trustee Senak – I don’t think you have the authority to strike those comments from the record, in all due respect Madame President.
3:02:07 President McGinley – You do not have the floor to speak at this point. You are out of order. So, I either have a motion, uh that has not been seconded, to adjourn to executive session…
3:02:15 Trustee Fasules I second it Madame president, so
3:02:21 President McGinley OK…so then can I have a roll call please.
3:02:23 Village Clerk Trustee Thompson…
Trustee Thompson Well… Yes.
3:02:31 Village Clerk Did Trustee Fasules second this?
Trustee Fasules Yes
3:02:38 Village Clerk Trustee Christiansen…
Trustee Christiansen Ay
3:02:40 Village Clerk Trustee Enright…
Trustee Enright Yes
3:02:42 Village Clerk Trustee Pride…
Trustee Pride Yes
3:02:44 Village Clerk and Trustee Senak…
Trustee Senak Nay
3:02:50 Trustee McGinley OK so we are adjourned into Executive session. I’m going to ask that all board members and those that need to adjourn to executive session leave this meeting.

Letter to the Village Board from a concerned Business Owner

Dear Village of Glen Ellyn Trustees, Village President and Village Manager,
I’m sure you are tired of hearing from me as a constituent and as a shop owner in regard to Apex. I have tirelessly stood on the side of concern for the future of our town, it's aesthetics, and the precedent this grossly oversized project will inflict on Glen Ellyn to what it seems are deaf ears of decision makers. None of you are shop owners on the two blocks of downtown Glen Ellyn (that I am aware of). I am and have been for 9 1/2 years. I am ALL for development in our village. Smart development...development that will compliment, not overpower or harm CURRENT BUSINESSES. I'm in full agreement with the McChesney project and have been happy to see the developer working with the village as well as the public on aesthetics and traffic flow concerns.
Yet here we are...days past yet another contentious emergency Village Board Meeting, called to discuss the topic of the Village closing on a vital public property in what is being viewed as "equivalent to a secretive Mayor Daley digging up Meigs Field in the middle of the night" type of operation.

1. How can the Village make a decision to sell public property to a developer, allowing him to begin demolition of a VITAL parking lot While THE PROPERTY IS CURRENTLY UNDER LITIGATION/APPEALS? Why not wait to transfer the sale of the land to the developer AFTER The case has moved through appeals.

2. The Main Street parking lot is public land. How can the village transfer ownership to a developer who can only PROVIDE PROOF OF 65% OF NECESSARY FINANCIAL FUNDING??

3. Is the Village not worried about where the financing for the missing FOURTEEN MILLION DOLLARS will come from? Does the village not
feel the need for transparency regarding this issue? Is this why the discussion was shut down and taken to Executive Session?

4. Restaurants and businesses on South side of Main Central Business District have reached out to you, with prominent business considering leaving due to the disregard for the affects on business. How did the Village think this would impact businesses?? During a Pandemic no less?? How does the Village think the restaurants/tent will be affected when dust from construction as well as Noise factors in?

5. The Pandemic closed businesses for ELEVEN WEEKS. We are still trying to catch up from this substantial loss. We all had to switch gears overnight. Businesses still paid high rent along with utilities, and all other expenses that go with small business ownership while bringing
in little to no income. We had to furlough employees, thus trying to maintain business on our own, which was beyond exhausting.

6. Many restaurants and shops STILL HAVE EMPLOYEES FURLOUGHED TO TRY AND RECOUP FROM MONTHS OF DEVASTATING LOSS. Look at Dunkin Donuts, look at Doug at Paul’s Shoes for examples. Oak and Steel still have several on furlough. We are in unprecedented times with a continued Pandemic, heading into flu season. Schools are remote learning with no real plan for reopening safely. Everyone is watching what they spend. People are staying home.

7. This is NOT the time to throw more uncertainty at the existing business in Glen Ellyn! Our downtown is not the size of Wheaton with ample side streets to take the load. We have TWO blocks of central business district. You are looking to close 50% of those for at a minimum 8 months.

8. Business has been lost from all of the various events that have not occurred: Taste of Glen Ellyn, Fourth of July celebrations, Jazzfest, as well as upcoming Ladies Night Out, Tree Lighting, etc. Sidewalk Sales was truncated. The Village gave us a mere 30 hours notice that they would in fact shut down the street to traffic. Unless you own a business that participates in this typical large 3 to 4 day event, you can’t imagine the planning and time that goes into it. We were not given enough time to pivot and with shops not having full employment, the sales lost are substantial. The Village is doing the best they can to work through a Pandemic, and I know the blame does not lie on the Village. I bring these realities to light so that you know what ALL of the businesses are dealing with. We have seen Olive & Vinnies close their largest location. The owner said he would ALWAYS be able to maintain the sales to warrant both. I know of several businesses on our end of Main Street that are struggling and likely won’t make it.

9. With the Civic Center parking lot being built, Main Street lot being closed, the substantial loss of St. Pet’s parking lot who graciously allowed the village to overflow park, the loss of street spots on Main Street and Hillside, as well as the upcoming major construction at McChesney site and the streetscape…we will struggle and many won’t survive. People are receiving parking tickets while trying to visit more than one store due to 15 minute parking zones. Do you actually think they will park along the path to run in for a coffee at Einstein’s or Blackberry? Not to mention the traffic patterns with closed streets and continued train issues.
Please reconsider yet another rash decision.
Please do not let this developer make all of the decisions. Please use judgment and allow the litigation to finish, and PLEASE provide transparency to the Villagers on how the funding is being provided for Apex. If he can’t complete under the Force Majeure and he hasn’t secured funding, see this as the red flag that is waving.
Julie Spiller
Gather & Collect

August 28, 2020


South Downtown Glen Ellyn

We encourage all business owners and residents to write letters, emails, make phone calls to the Village Board regarding the devastating effects of their plans to allow construction on Apex to move forward, closing the Main Street parking lot for many months, etc. See Mark Franz’s message in another post on this page, detailing what is going to happen next week.

Businesses, already reeling from the effects of the pandemic and street closures, may not survive. Think of the impact on EVERY business in town to have Main Street closed until at least next spring. Specifically, think of the impact on every business south of the tracks: Fire and Wine, Papier Girl, Busy Bee, Santa Fe, BlackBerry Market, Einstein’s, Alla Moda,, Fuscia, Courier Travel, Cabernet and Company, Noble House, etc etc etc. Who is the Village Board serving by these decisions? The needs of our downtown businesses or the needs of an outside developer?

Please contact Board members NOW!

Click on their names below to email them:

Trustee Thompson

Trustee Christiansen

Trustee Pryde

Trustee Senak

Trustee Enright

Trustee Fasules

August 26, 2020 Update

Save Main Glen Ellyn

Save Main Update:

Despite the fact that we filed our APPEAL in the Illinois Appellate Court, the Village Of Glen Ellyn is allowing the Developer of Apex 400 to proceed with construction

For all those asking about the status of construction on Apex 400.... Downtown business owners, including me, only today received any official communication about the project, despite that fact that we will be directly impacted by the construction. Village residents have been kept largely in the dark.

Here is what Village Manager Franz wrote to Village officials:

Good evening, wanted to follow up on last night’s meeting and provide an update on the Main St.
Parking lot. Attorney Mathews and I, met with the transaction attorneys this morning for over an
hour, to ensure we were prepared to close. That occurred this afternoon. We negotiated with GSP
to allow us to continue to utilize the parking lot for a few days to provide an opportunity to
communicate with the businesses and residents. We started that communication last week, and have
provided the following update on the Apex development:

- Construction on the Apex 400 Project including the Main Street Parking Lot will begin early
next month.

- Construction fencing will be in place on Tuesday, September 1, and the parking lot will be
closed until the spring, when the new customer parking garage on Main Street will open.

- Due to traffic flow constrictions on Main Street with the dining tent and the parking lot
closure, Main Street will be closed at Hillside to vehicular traffic through November 2, when
the tent is removed.

- All parking on Hillside east of Main Street will become customer parking, allowing for
several curbside pickup parking spaces.

- Downtown customers are encouraged to Park by the Path for convenient centrally located
free parking.

- All downtown employee permit holders that are being displaced due to construction are
being directed to park in the Prairie Path and Park Parking lot. Parking permit refunds may
be available, please contact the Village Finance Department at 630-469-5000. See attached

- Construction is expected to occur Monday through Friday, 7:00 am – 4:00 pm and some
Saturdays with similar hours.

- The Village will be updating all parking communication on the village website and will be
adding additional signage throughout the downtown.

Village staff is also exploring other opportunities to assist with customer parking and business
visibility as well as partner with other businesses to share their private lots. The lack of commuters
parking in the train lots provides us an opportunity to advance the CC Parking Garage project,
which we had control over the timing and scheduled. We do not have the same control over the
Apex 400 project. If you hear any questions or concerns, please forward them to my attention and
we will do our best to resolve them.

Finally, I fully realize this is a controversial project, I hope the construction goes smoothly and that
it is completed on time. We hope the same for the CC Parking Garage, and then come next spring,
we will have over 400 newly improved parking spaces for the community to share and utilize. As we
proceed to the next stage of this project, I hope we can move forward together. These large, more
complicated projects are challenging and we would prefer that everyone was in agreement, but that
is not how the world works. I simple hope that we can agree that now that a decision was made, we
can all live with it and make the best of this project. I say these comments as a way to come
together as a team, that is all…..

Thanks for your hard work and dedication as elected officials, I know how much you all care for the
community. Thank you for those efforts!


Mark Franz

August 26, 2020 Update

Former Village President Mike Formento's message to the Village about the Millennium Clock and Donor Wall on Main Street:


To all-

This is an urgent request since construction in this location may be imminent.

At the turn of the century, the village constructed and dedicated the Historic Millennium Floral Clock. This restful parklette area was created at the Main Street Parking lot with a clock and attractive floral area with comfortable seating. And although the clock had difficulty operating due to design problems the location was very actively used by residents, event locations, and gatherings. This new historical location is still bright in many residents memory

At the same time the donor wall was incorporated into the area with flags flying high over the floral clock. Over $70,000 was donated by local business and citizens. Many of the donors and their families are still in Glen Ellyn. Since hundreds of thousands of tax dollars were used to build the clock area it is important that we inform the community of its disposition.

As one of the donors for the clock and historic donor wall can you advise the status of its new location since there has been little if any discussion/decision as to where it will be going.

I believe a statement, as to its future, is important to the community since it was design and construction to commemorate the millennium turn of the century as stated on it.

Additionally, what will also happen to all of the bricks with donor names that create the sidewalk area around this attractive area? Will the new location incorporate all of these also?

I would appreciate a prompt response.
Your attention is requested.

Mike Formento

Press Release - July 30, 2020

Save Main Glen Ellyn

SAVE MAIN’s Fight Against Apex 400

Will Continue in the Illinois Appellate Court


On July 30, 2020, Judge Bonnie Wheaton granted the Village’s motion for summary judgment. She found that there was no chance that anyone would prove a key factor in the case which was that there was no rational basis for the approvals of the planned unit development. The long-term implications of this key site for the future of our village are far too great for Save Main to walk away. In light of substantial evidence presented in opposition to the ruling, the Court was informed that the decision will be appealed.

Save Main feels that grounds for an appeal of this ruling are strong based upon the thousands of pages in planning documents, reports and ordinances since 2001 that consistently and repeatedly speak to protecting the scale and established image of Main Street's core retail area. The 2009 Downtown Strategic Plan specifically noted that the South Main Parking Lot should host 30 units in a building with a two-story appearance and building heights of two stories on Main Street (three if the upper floor is set back). Apex 400’s scale is the antithesis of what the village ordinances, plans and reports had in mind for this site. Note that there is already one appeal pending.

Citizens for Glen Ellyn Preservation will make the transcript of the July 28, 2020 hearing available once they have it. In reviewing it, Citizens hopes that residents will continue to remain vigilant and attentive to the actions and planning efforts of the Village President, Village Manager, Village Community Development staff, and the Board of Trustees.

Thank you for your support in a battle that, on July 30, 2020, became an extended one that now involves a full review of all of the evidence, findings, and the court's rulings. Citizens and the other plaintiffs remain undaunted in obtaining a full and proper review of Apex 400.

If you would like to DONATE to the cause.

DONATE online:


Did You Know....


that the next court date in our fight against Apex 400 is July 28th? We are constantly reminded that litigation is a slow process. And it is expensive. But we are blown away by the generosity of our steadfast supporters, including a large number of NEW donors who have recently contributed to Save Main's legal fund. Every donation is needed, every donation counts, and every donation is appreciated. We are heartened by the growing support for smart, responsible development that is appropriate for our Village. Thank you!

We rely on your continued encouragement as we fight to save our historic downtown.

If you'd like to DONATE

DONATE By Check:

Checks can be made payable to:

Citizens for Glen Ellyn Preservation

Mailing Address:

Citizens for Glen Ellyn Preservation

P. O. Box 444

Glen Ellyn, IL 60148-0444.

Save Main Newsletter - May 2020 - "Read all about it"

May2020NewsletterFINAL0523FrontPage copy

Here is a copy of our newsletter, mailed this week.

To DOWNLOAD the Newsletter, click on the link below:

"Save Main" May 2020 Newsletter


We would appreciate whatever support you can give:

To DONATE to the Cause, click on the link below:



"THIS PLACE MATTERS" - The Duane Street Junior High School (Civic Center) - Preservation Month

In honor of Preservation Month, Citizens for Glen Ellyn Preservation is hosting a series of posts highlighting some of the places in Glen Ellyn worthy of special recognition. Our series is called "THIS PLACE MATTERS". Here is the third post in the series.

Rendering of The Duane St Junior High - This Place Matters

Did you know….

that the Civic Center, the most prominent building in our downtown, was not always the home of our village government? Earlier incarnations on these grounds were enriched by generations of students, the site of four earlier school buildings.

The first school house at this location on Duane Street was a small framed building constructed on the property in 1853, when Glen Ellyn was known as Danby. It was called the Danby Duane Street School.

The Danby School House was the second school structure built on the property in 1862, later renamed The Duane Street School. It was a two-story wood building with a belfry on the front. A vestibule held the staircase that ascended to the second floor. The school house had no running water, so the students would have to go fetch water in 2-gallon buckets from the wells of neighboring properties. The trips to fetch the water were made twice during the day: once in the morning, and once in the afternoon. The closest well was on the property of J.S. Dodge, where the Soukup’s (Nobel House and Sushi Ukai) building stands today. The boys preferred to go to the well of Horace Brooks, who lived near Hillside on the west side of Main Street, thus allowing more time away from school. This second building remained on the property for 30 years before it was moved to the north side of Crescent Boulevard, between Forest Avenue and Park Boulevard. Once on Crescent, the building housed the Gas Company office, The Woman’s Exchange, and The Johansen Real Estate Company. It was demolished in the 1960s to make way for Cee Bee’s Finer Foods. A 5-story apartment building occupies that space today.

Our village changed its name from Danby to Prospect Park in 1874. In 1885 Prospect Park changed its name one final time to Glen Ellyn, as we are known today.

The new Duane Street School was the third school to be constructed on the property in 1892. It was a three-story building made of red brick, with a tower on the front. In 1894, the first high school, the predecessor to Glenbard West, occupied the building, but moved out a year later due to lack of funding, only having one class graduate. Primary grades continued to be housed in the building. In 1919, 7th and 8th graders were the only students taught there.

On March 24, 1928, the Village Board voted to build a junior high school on the Duane Street property. The Glen Ellyn Junior High School, completed in 1929, was the fourth school to be built at this location. This Classical Revival 3-story brick building contained 12 classrooms, and featured a pillared portico and clock tower on the front facade. Beginning in 1956, with the completion of the new Glen Ellyn Junior High School (now Hadley Junior High) on Hawthorne Boulevard on the west side of Glen Ellyn, the building served 5th and 6th graders, and through 1960 was once again known as Duane Street School. From 1960 to 1972 it was used as District 41 administrative offices. At that point, with Village government and the police department having outgrown their offices on Pennsylvania, the building was sold to the Village, and it became known as the Civic Center.

The building was designed by architect Ephram Norman Brydges (1883-1956), and modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Brydges began his career in Steinway Hall--in the same office building as Frank Lloyd Wright--located on Van Buren Street and Michigan Avenue in Chicago. A successful architect, he was hired for his designs all over the Chicago suburbs. In addition to designing schools, he also designed hotels (e.g., The Hotel Ritz in Chicago); churches (e.g., Grace Episcopal Church in Oak Park); and private residences (e.g., the Arthur W. Cutten country estate in Downers Grove). Other notable designs were The Grand Theatre in Wheaton. Ephram Norman Brydges lived in Elmhurst. He died in 1956 and is buried in Elm Lawn Cemetery. When the Village acquired the building in 1972, Glen Ellyn resident and architect (and former student at the Junior High) Jerry Perkins was hired to modify the building for its new use, including interior changes and the addition of an elevator. One of the building’s original architectural highlights was the front staircase that lead up to the 2nd floor main entrance (see photo). That feature was removed as requested by the police department, who required a different form of entry. Today the Village offices remain, but the Glen Ellyn Police Department has relocated to its new facility on south Park Boulevard. Innovation DuPage, associated with the College Of DuPage, has moved into their vacated space after a remodel of their own in 2019. The building has returned to its educational roots.

Historical Notes: This building is designated as a local landmark by the Village of Glen Ellyn’s Historic Preservation Commission. It is in the Glen Ellyn South Historic District, designated as a National Landmark by the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

“The Duane Street Junior High School Building—now known as our Civic Center—matters."


Research credit: Zak Wilson
Photo credits: The Glen Ellyn historical Society, The Story of an Old Town, by Ada  Douglas Harmon, and Zak Wilson

The Civic Center Vintage with front staicase
The Civic Center This Place Matters

"THIS PLACE MATTERS" - The Glen Art Theater - Preservation Month

In honor of Preservation Month, Citizens for Glen Ellyn Preservation is hosting a series of posts highlighting some of the places in Glen Ellyn worthy of special recognition. Our series is called "THIS PLACE MATTERS". Here is the second post in our series.


The Glen (now officially known as The Glen Art Theater) is Glen Ellyn’s second downtown movie theater. The first was a one-story theatre on the East side of Main Street at 481 (Re-New) and 483 (Fresh Nails & Spa), which presented silent films in the early 1900s.

The Glen was constructed at 540 Crescent Boulevard over the summer of 1926, on the former site of the Nadelhoffer Livery Stable, owned by John & Christian. The building’s architect, William B. Betts, of Betts & Holcomb, from Chicago, designed the “Old English” style building for its Glen Ellyn owners: Charles W. Hadley; Alfred C. Hoy; And Roy V. Spading. Betts & Holcomb also designed movie theaters in neighboring suburbs, including: The Des Plaines Theater (1925) in Des Plaines; The Catlow Theater (1927) in Barrington; and The Deerpath Theater (1928) in Lake Forest. Of those theaters, The Glen and The Catlow are the only theaters still operating today.

The Glen Theater opened its doors to the public on January 30th, 1927, with its first film screening and dedication. The film was “The Nervous Wreck”, with silent screen era stars Harrison Ford and Phyllis Haver in the leads. A square marquee and vertical sign adorned the front facade of the building. When The original auditorium was designed to replicate a baronial hall of feudal days. It held 1,002 seats, with room to add 450 more. It featured a full-size pipe organ in the orchestra pit below the stage.

As movie-goers arrived in the theater, they were treated to a 30-minute concert by the organist. Attendees paid 50 cents for a chance to win prizes in giveaways and raffles. To encourage attendance on Thursday nights, dishes were given out, and many wives returned each week to fill out their dish collections. Before the main event began, which often included a double-feature, the public was treated to travelogues, coming attractions, newsreels, and cartoons.

At one time there was a working bowling alley in the basement of the building. You entered the doors to the right of the entrance to the theater. After descending the stairs you were greeted by four lanes with manual pinsetters. The maple wood lanes and equipment are still there to this day, though they are not in operational condition.

Hollywood has come calling on The Glen’s doorstep over the years: the most notable result being the movie “Lucas”, released in 1986. The film stars Corey Haim, Kerri Green, Charlie Sheen, and Winona Ryder in her screen debut. It also marked the screen debut of Tom Hodges, who grew up in Glen Ellyn and attended Glenbard West. "Lucas" was filmed inside as well as outside of The Glen (as well as at other Glen Ellyn locations), which also hosted the movie’s premier.

The Glen Art Theatre Matters.

Research credit: Zak Wilson
Photo Credits: Zak Wilson, Kim Lloyd-Eichenauer, Barb Lemme
Historic exterior photo courtesy of Russ Ward

Did You Know....

Lawsuit Status Update - May 16, 2020


Status update: counts remain, plaintiff has standing, and the lawsuit continues against Apex and the Village. The next court date is June 8th.

"THIS PLACE MATTERS" - The Downtown Glen Ellyn Post Office - Preservation Month

In honor of Preservation Month, Citizens for Glen Ellyn Preservation is starting a new series of posts highlighting some of the places in Glen Ellyn worthy of special recognition. Our series is called "THIS PLACE MATTERS". Here is our first post.


The Downtown Glen Ellyn Post Office was constructed by the Treasury Department in 1934 as part of the W.P.A. program. Its Architect, Louis A. Simon (1867-1958), started working for the Office of Supervising Architect Of the U.S. Treasury in Washington D.C. in 1896, as the Chief Architect. In 1915 he was appointed head of the Engineering and Drafting Division, after quickly rising through the ranks. He held that position until 1933. In 1934, the same year the Downtown Post office in Glen Ellyn was built, he was appointed Supervising Architect of The U.S. Treasury. Simon designed and oversaw hundreds of projects during his tenure. Notable buildings include the IRS Building in Washington D.C., and many Courthouses and Post Offices around the United States. He held this position until his retirement in 1941. Simon was unwavering in his defense of what he considered a "conservative-progressive" approach to design in which he saw "art, beauty, symmetry, harmony and rhythm”.

The Glen Ellyn Downtown Post office Lobby features a mural titled “Settlers,” done under the “Treasury Section of The Fine Arts” New Deal Art Program. During that time when a Federal building was constructed, 1% of the building's cost was set aside for artwork. The Post Office held juried competitions to select only the best artwork. The mural was painted on canvas by artist Dan Rhodes from Iowa (1911-1989) in 1937. Another of his murals hangs in the cafeteria of the main U.S. Navy building in Washington D.C. The Village of Glen Ellyn has designated this mural, depicting seven pioneers building a log cabin, a Historic Landmark. Many works were commissioned during the depression; only a quarter of those remain, this being one of them.

The Downtown Glen Ellyn Post Office Matters.

Photo and research credit: Zak Wilson


In Other News:




Did you know...

that although we are postponing this event for now, we are continuing to plan, and will announce a new date as soon as possible. In the meantime, the homeowner of this Architectural Gem of Glen Ellyn is working hard to prepare his home and grounds to welcome you. He has quite a wonderful collection of early toys. Here's one of them.


Save Main Legal Fundraiser

Sunday, April 26, 3 to 6 PM-

-Postponed--New date TBA

Join us for a rare opportunity to tour one of the historic Architectural Gems of Glen Ellyn while you sip wine and help Save Main pay our legal expenses.

Please Help Fund The Fight:


Save Main Lawsuit Update:

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020


We know everyone is interested to know the status of our lawsuit in regard to the Apex 400 development. We want to stress that we continue to move our case forward. As in all court cases, we operate within the court’s timetable. We remain prepared to meet any challenges.

Notably, Santa Fe has joined in our efforts to prevent Apex 400. Judge Bonnie Wheaton has scheduled a status hearing on February 5th, at which she will decide if Santa Fe will be allowed to join in the suit as an additional plaintiff.

The results of the site investigation including ground penetrating radar, soil borings, and installation of ground monitoring wells done recently by the Village in the Main Street parking lot have not as yet been revealed. We have submitted a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request to see the results.

We pledge to keep you informed as developments occur. Keep in mind that legal expenses continue to accrue. If you would like to help us fund this ongoing fight, any amount of support will be greatly appreciated. Please go to:

In The News:

The Patch headline is inaccurate.   

The lawsuit is not over. There are at least two substantive counts remaining that will be heard in early November. We remain strongly committed to this effort.

Keep those Save Main Yard Signs up!

To request a yard sign:

To donate to the cause go to:



The Presentations from our "Save Main" Rally on Saturday April 6th, 2019

IN CASE you missed the "SAVE MAIN" RALLY this morning. We recorded it. - SATURDAY APRIL 6, 2019 - Watch the Presentations.For more Information go to: https://savemainge.orgTo DONATE to the cause:

Posted by Save Main on Saturday, April 6, 2019

Newsletter And Flier:

Download Our "Save Main" Flyer

Save Main Flyer — March 24th 2019

Click on the link to download your digital copy

Save Main Flyer March 24th 2019

Save Main Flyer March 24th 2019


Download Our "Save Main" Newsletter

Save Main newsletter—Volume 1, Issue 1 March 2019

Click on the link to download your digital copy

Save Main newsletter—Volume 1, Issue 1 March 2019

Ways You Can Help The Fight:

"Action Steps" - That you can do to help stop the Apex 400 Development.

* Attend Village Board, Planning Commission, and Village Board Workshop Meetings.
- We will post all meeting dates and times on our facebook page as well as well as at:
Packing the audience, and making your voice heard is very important.
* Call or Write the Village Staff, Village President, and Village Trustees.
- The more they hear from you, the more they will have to listen to the residents.
* Put a "Save Main" sign in your yard.
- Show your support with a "Save Main" Yard sign. Request one on our "Save Main" website:
* Donate to the cause.
- If you are able to Donate any amount to our gofundme page:
Every dollar raised helps in the cause.

Next Steps...

Help in the fight and donate to the cause.