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Those Lincolnshire log homes are now history
By Mick Zawislak | Daily Herald Staff

Two vacant and deteriorating log homes owned by the Illinois Department of Transportation fronting Route 22, have long been a concern for Lincolnshire village leaders. They were torn down Friday.


Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

The Illinois Department of Transportation, which owned two log homes on land south of Route 22 in Lincolnshire, decided to demolish the buildings Friday after trying unsuccessfully to sell them.


Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

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Published: 2/9/2008 12:09 AM

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What had become familiar but irritating landmarks along Route 22 in Lincolnshire were removed from the landscape Friday.

Demolition crews still have a few weeks of work, but two log cabins, built years ago by local siblings as a getaway along the Des Plaines River, are no longer on the village complaint list.

"I'll be going into my eighth year on the board in April and it's been a hot topic since the widening of (Route) 22," Trustee Elizabeth Brandt said. "I'm very happy to have them coming down. It was a safety issue as well as an unsightly thing to look at."

Built more than a decade ago by the sons of late business owner Ernie Vole, the log homes on the south side of the street had great views of woods and water and a golf course across the street.

The Illinois Department of Transportation bought 2.6 acres, including the homes and some outbuildings, for $900,000 to widen Route 22, a project completed more than three years ago.

Vacant and deteriorating, the cabins were attractive to youths for parties and other questionable activities. The village considered converting the homes for recreational use but the cost was prohibitive, so the buildings remained boarded-up and called eyesores by village officials.

Trying to maximize its holdings, IDOT early last year put them up for auction. But would-be owners apparently were scared by the cost of dismantling the structures and difficulty of removing them. As a result, there were no takers.

"They were interesting sort of unique structures but the problem was getting access," IDOT spokesman Mike Claffey said. "But it would have been a big challenge and cost a lot of money. We thought it was worth a try."

So, on Friday, a crew from Grace Development CP of Wood Dale, took down the cabins. In coming days and weeks, the logs will be broken down into chips and the foundations broken up and removed. The contract was for $229,000 but also included structures in Mundelein and Glen Ellyn.

"I'm really not sure IDOT made a good decision purchasing it (land and buildings) but it is what it is," Brandt said.

The site will be graded and pretty much left as a natural area. Brandt said the village will work with the agency to limit access to the river.

"We're pretty excited about it," said Frank Tripicchio, the village's public works director. "A lot of people know what those are and where they were."