HOOPESTON, Ill. (WCIA) – One Hoopeston alderwoman says there’s a handful of neglected houses they want to address, but one of them will be a hard goodbye.
“Honeywell Mansion – to see that going down – it’s sad to see. It was really a beautiful home,” Alderwoman and Civic Improvement Chair Kellie Ferrell said.
The “mansion” at 520 E Honeywell St. is one of six homes that will be torn down next week. Officials say they’re getting rid of some “eyesores” around the city.
She says most of next week’s demolitions will be average homes, but the mansion has some Hoopeston history behind it.
She said it used to be a “jewel” of the city. It sat across from the Honeywell Grade School that closed its doors several years ago.
The mansion’s recent owners hoped to fix it up, but it caught fire in 2015 – and they lost their chance to bring it back to life. So, it was added to the ongoing list of houses the city is tearing down. They’re working with the Central Illinois Land Bank to make it happen – and they’ve invested $50,000 into this round of demolitions.
“The majority of them are just neglected houses that have either sat empty for many years or just had owners that didn’t have the ability or means to take care of them and everything and they just continued to dilapidate,” Ferrell said.
After the structures come down, she said they’ll ask neighbors if they have any preferences for how the land is used – like potentially expanding their yards.
She said it’s sad to see the houses in this condition, but taking them down will give them a blank slate to work with. And so far, they’ve got four houses lined up for the next round.