Western Springs Historical Museum to close
Updated: October 14, 2012 1:02PM
Get one last look at the history of Western Springs by Sept. 17 when the water tower housing the town’s museum closes for a six-week project to replace the stairs.
Matt Supert, director of Municipal Services, said work is expected to begin the week of Sept. 17 to pour concrete matching the stone in part of the 1899 brick structure, according to a design developed with residents’ input.
The original stairs were made of limestone, which is too costly to replace, Supert said. The village has budgeted $100,000 for the project.
“The new stairs curve out at the bottom for more of a grand entrance to make it nicer and more inviting,” he said.
A citizens group formed during the village’s 125th anniversary celebration and raised at least $40,000 for enhancements around the tower and surrounding park. One component is a commemorative medallion to be embedded in a sidewalk in front of the tower.
“The year 2014 will be the tower’s 125th anniversary,” Supert said. “Our goal is to kick this off and get the improvements in over two years so it’s all done on the tower’s 125th.”
Landscaping improvements will be added in the spring.
Volunteers for the historical society plan to take pictures off the walls and preserve artifacts during the construction, said Allyson Zak, the group’s president.
Supert said the museum likely can reopen in November, definitely in time for the town’s Christmas walk in early December. ~
The water tower, which was completed in 1892 by architect Benezet Williams, is on the National Registry of Historic Places. It later was used as the village’s police station, a courtroom and the village hall. ~.