A lamppost for William Street

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By Thomas Vogel

Staff Reporter

River Forest residents on the 700 block of William Street are pushing for further acknowledgment of the strip's architectural significance.

In June 2016, the River Forest Village Board approved a resolution and honorary street signs for the block's centennial anniversary as a planned Prairie-style development. Most of the homes on the block were built around 1915, though the architect is in dispute. Some argue it was Frank Lloyd Wright; others say it was Harry Robinson.

Now residents want to fundraise for a $10,000 lamppost built with salvaged brick from a home on the block to "further recognize the significance of this block," according to a memo from management analyst Jonathan Pape to Village Administrator Eric Palm.

 At its July 10 meeting, the village board directed Palm to craft a licensing agreement and figure out how to manage issues of liability and ongoing maintenance for the proposed special lamp post.

Issues of residential turnover in the future were also mentioned. Village Trustee Thomas Cargie expressed concern with establishing precedent.

"So now the next block that comes in and wants their own lamppost … are there other blocks in River Forest that have this uniqueness that warrant this?" Cargie asked. "Or is this truly a unique block?"

Mark Witt, a resident of the 700 block William Street, said most residents on the block are supportive and have pledged funds.

"Our hope is that in designing something that is a little bit unique to our block, where there is an existing lamppost," Witt said. "again it will create a little bit of distinction for our street."


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