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Naperville History Torn Down to Make Way for the Future

A piece of Naperville history was torn down recently to make way for the future of the Park District.

And with that the demolition of the Barn was underway.

The recreation center was built in 1965 by a group of Naperville students who worked with the city to create a place for local youth to hang out. The Park District acquired it in 1969 and after a 2009 evaluation it was determined that the historic facility would have to come down.

“There is a lot to do with the founding principles of the barn building excitement in the spirit of recreation and giving young children and young adults an opportunity to enjoy themselves and this goes back to 1965 and now since the barn is past its useful life it’s time to take that spirit and move it to the Fort Hill Activity Center,” said Director of Planning for the Naperville Park District, Eric Shutes.

But the area will be given new life when a central maintenance facility is built in its place.

“Today is a step in part of a larger plan that goes back several years of getting community input, also working with Park District staff to determine what the best use for the land will be and that is a maintenance facility. Operations to serve the Ron Ory Garden Plots, Sportsman’s Park, The Riverwalk as well as downtown parks,” Shutes said.

The Park District plans to reuse materials from the old barn in their new facility and even invited the public to collect a bit of the barn for themselves.

The Fort Hill Activity Center opens August 27.

Naperville News 17’s Natalie Vitale Reports.



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