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Teardown of 123-Year-Old Hinsdale Home Avoided With Board Vote

Two zoning code variances that were needed in order to update the house at 206 N. Washington St. were approved by the board of trustees Tuesday night.

206 N. Washington St., Hinsdale. (Photo by Joe O'Donnell)
206 N. Washington St., Hinsdale. (Photo by Joe O'Donnell)

The Village of Hinsdale Board of Trustees unanimously approved Tuesday night two zoning code variances that clear the way for the renovation of a 123-year-old home on Washington Street that might have otherwise been torn down.

Relief from village requirements related to floor-area ratio (FAR) and building coverage was needed in order for the new owners of the house at 206 N. Washington St., a Queen-Anne-style house built by a Civil War veteran in 1890, to update the home.

Village President Tom Cauley said keeping the “historically significant” home was cause enough to bend the village’s rules.

“We do have rules, but sometimes you have to look beyond the rules to make sure that you preserve what’s special in our community,” Cauley said.

Bob and Anna Livingston own the home. Bob Livingston was in attendance Tuesday night.

“It has been a lot of work but we’re very happy with the final product and we’re eager to get started with the project,” Livingston said.

The renovations would add new construction primarily to the north and west sides of the house while keeping many of the Queen-Anne-style features on the south and east sides. An attached garage will be added.

The board of trustees approval came after the village’s zoning board of appeals unanimously recommended the variances.

Read more about the renovations that were first introduced to trustees in September.

The home was first discussed by trustees last February when its sale to the Livingstons was being facilitated through Clarendon Hills-based Teardowns.com, a website that connects sellers of property with redevelopment potential with interested buyers. That transaction triggered concern that the home would be demolished.

READ: Teardowns.com Owner Defends Sale of 122-year-old Hinsdale House

Trustees were happy with the Livingstons’ decision to update.

“It would’ve been much easier to just ask for a demo permit and tear it down and start over,” trustee Bill Haarlow said. “There’s been a lot of effort on everyone’s part and that’s much appreciated.”

Trustee Bob Saigh said to Livingston, “It’s really quite a tribute. Thank you very much.”

The home has no type of historical designation, so the village had no authority over what course of action the owner ultimately chooses.

There are plenty of ways to keep up on Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills news:

brian hickey January 08, 2014 at 12:51 PM
Once again, hats off to the Livingston's for putting up their hard earned money to renovate....we all look forward to seeing the results. Hopefully, "everyone" will love it...if not, we'll probably hear some more on this one :) Thanks, Brian Hickey teardowns.com
Teri D. Springer January 09, 2014 at 04:17 PM
Three cheers to the Livingstons! I hope they take as much pleasure and pride in renovating this lovely home as I did renovating my 120+year old Greek Revival farm house.....
Hal January 14, 2014 at 11:44 PM
Good job, HInsdale council!!

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