The Historical Society of Forest Park (HSFP) will include a flyer in 10,000 vehicle sticker renewal letters allowing village residents to donate toward the purchase and remodeling of a permanent home for the organization. The Forest Park Village Council voted to allow the request Monday.
Formerly, the Park District of Forest Park included a donation request with vehicle sticker letters to fund the Fourth of July fireworks. The request generated $4,000-$6,000 for the park district in the past, said Historical Society Treasurer Sally Cody.
The village will send renewal notices in early February. The deadline for renewing stickers is April 1. “Every little bit helps,” Cody said. “It would be wonderful if we had 16,000 people giving us $20 each.”
The society currently has about $17,000 in the bank, Cody said. They are building a capital fund to acquire a home, “so that when something perfect comes along we’re in a position to make that purchase.”
Currently, the society has three possibilities: The village has offered the burned-out building at 512 Desplaines Ave. damaged by arson in July 2010. Repairs on the two-flat have been estimated between $300,000 and $500,000.
The society’s second option is the old post office building. HSFP asked U.S. Rep. Danny Davis for help acquiring the facility at 417 Desplaines last month. The U.S. Postal Service took the building off the market in December, but had been asking for $590,000.
Last week, the historical society toured a third option: St. Peter Lutheran Church at 500 Hannah St., which is now on the market for $350,000.
“It’s a great building, already handicap-accessible, and with a little painting and tile, we could move right in. It would be sweet,” Cody said. “The decision has to be made and then we have to plan for it.” Until then, the society occupies space upstairs at 7415 Madison Street, donated by property-owner Art Sundry.
– Jean Lotus