On June 11th, 2004, I arrived in our hometown of Lisle, Illinois.
driving downtown on Main street, I discovered that one
of the most historic and loved buildings in Lisle had been
to the ground just two days prior. The Village of Lisle
had decided to demolish the old Main Street School building.
Lisle Main Street School. A Beautiful "Classic!"
Converted to Lisle
According to the construction workers at the
site, no one was there to video tape the demolition.
No "send off" party, no auctioning of artifacts,
not even a last chance for town citizens and former students (which
are many) to do a final "walk through" for history's
sake. Lisle plans to replace the now flat lot with condominiums.
Demolition site. (Looking east from
Main Street side walk.)
Picture taken from S/E corner of Main & Burlington
looking north into town. Notice the school or
"Village Hall" is gone.
This historic house sat directly north of
the school. It has been moved and sits today preserved
behind old Lisle.
If you didn't
attended Main Street School, than none of this probably means
much to you.. But for those many of us that did, the memories
are incredible. Main Street School was to be Lisle's first
big project as a town. I talked to an old man (Mr. Van Bueren
in Lisle and visits the Book Nook on occasion) who
helped load the bricks off the train in the 1920s.
Some of the only original Main Street School
bricks salvaged from the site. One Can be seen at The Book
Nook in Lisle.
went to school there probably still remembers the old gym downstairs.
Or those old bathrooms with the windows that open right to
the parking lot outside. You could always find some numskull
in there smoking. It was perfect because you could flip the
cigarette right out that window at any time.
the smell of lunch
through the entire school around lunch time? Mrs. Borg was
THE ORIGINAL "Soup Nazi." I can still hear her
scolding someone to this day! I STILL think of her whenever
I see one of those big wooden spoons! She'd nail ya right
across the knuckles!
die hards will remember an old wooden door. It was in the hallway
on that ramp that led out of the back of the lunch room and
back stair case. If you ever sneaked in there like we did,
you would have found an old dirt floored room that was used
as storage. It was old, dark and scary as hell. Many called
it the dungeon. I believed it!
remember the old boiler room? It's where they used to heat
the water for the radiators that heated the school. They used
to burn the trash from the lunch room in this huge metal incinerator
down there. The smoke would just go right up the stack and
out to the center of town. Let's see ya try that nowadays!
Anyway, other "exciting" plans for downtown Lisle include
completely remodeling the fronts of all the classic old buildings
on Main Street. Yes,
the town feels it is time to have all the buildings
looking exactly the same. Each one should look like the next.
A Lisle parade passes "Fancy Foods" which
used to be "Economy Foods" on Main Street.
example of a typical facade featuring
the design theme for the downtown Lisle area.
Lisle's "revitalization" project reads: "Embracing
Lisle’s image as the “Arboretum Village,” revitalization
efforts will feature an “arbor/prairie” design
theme. These improvements
are recommended for all Downtown Lisle blocks."
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