Lombard OKs DuPage Theatre Demolition
Dozens of theater supporters filled the board chambers, including Kevin Fitzpatrick, who called the vote “a gut-punch” to preservationists. Fitzpatrick continued, “We remain committed to this. We’re going to reevaluate our options. There’s always a legal option. There’s always the chance the board can reconsider.”
Another supporter, Penelope Arnold, said, “They just don’t get it. The theater is what makes us different, what makes Lombard unique. It’s a shame. It’s a great loss to our community.”
The $32 million plan to build 86 luxury condos and loft apartments in and around the theater building as well as retail and restaurant space hinged on lawmakers approving an extension of a tax increment finance district and the trustees taking favorable votes on local issues.
Trustee Steven Sebby, who has led the drive to raze the DuPage, insists that preservationists had been given more than enough chances to succeed. “It is not something of haste. It is necessary for the village to move forward…to act in the best interest of all the citizens of the village of Lombard.”
One small ray of hope for preservationists is that the board’s vote comes with a caveat that the Illinois Historic Preservation Society be allowed to review the information that will insure the theater’s razing with not violate any state or federal preservations laws.