With help from an excavator, crews from Environmental Cleansing Corporation worked quickly early Saturday morning to take down a longtime downtown Naperville eyesore.
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By 1 p.m. Saturday, the vacant building at 420 S. Washington St. was reduced to a pile of wood and metal.
Once all of the remnants are cleared, the lot will be a clean slate to make way for a brand new public park and entryway to the North Central College campus.
During the Dec. 18, 2012 Naperville City Council meeting, North Central College announced plans to purchase the vacant one-story commercial building and develop the property into a public park.
The more than 80-year-old building has seen a number of different businesses come and go through the decades such as a dance studio, bike shop and comic book store, most recently.
In recent years, city offcials decided to board up the builing for safety reasons after it was broken into numerous times. In 2009, city staff inspected the integrity of the building and found several code violations, but nothing presenting imminent danger.
For residents, the eyesore won't be missed. Many responded on Naperville Patch's Facebook page about the news of the demolition with excitement and anticipation.
Jay: This should have happened YEARS ago
Lou: wow, i can't believe it!
Maribeth: We moved to town in 1974. This demo is a LOOOOONG time coming!
Jennifer: Its about time....
The park will complement other recent improvements North Central College has made like the Riverwalk Gateway, which connects the college and Riverwalk to Naperville’s Fredenhagen Park. The gateway is located northeast of the Washington Street bridge over the DuPage River.
Also, a landscaped pedestrian path, known as the Sesquicentennial Walkway, runs through the heart of campus between Benton and Jefferson avenues.
The new park at 420 S. Washington St. will be located across the pedestrian Moser Bridge from the Riverwalk Gateway.