As longtime chair of the River Forest Historic Preservation Commission, I have always encouraged members of the commission and the public to express their opinions, including dissent.

However, as chair, I believe I must correct a factual misstatement in Commissioner Al Popowits’ letter published by Wednesday Journal on May 23, concerning the demolition of the significant home at 747 William St. in River Forest.

Commissioner Popowits stated in his letter that the commission reluctantly “signed off on the demolition.” In fact, the commission denied the applicants’ request for approval of the proposed demolition and imposed the maximum 6-month delay provided in the current ordinance. In recognition of the likely potential demolition, a majority of the commission voted to shorten the period of delay only if the applicants agreed to certain listed design conditions for the new structure. The applicants did not respond to those conditions and the maximum delay was not reduced.

This correction is important as Commissioner Popowits’ letter may give the wrong impression that the commission approved the applicants’ demolition.

The facts indicate otherwise.

David Franek

Chair, River Forest Historic Preservation Commission

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