Belvidere Man Fights to Save House

By: Rebecca Burlette
By: Rebecca Burlette

It's National Preservation Week. A time to spotlight historical homes and buildings that are being saved. But during this same week one old house is about to be torn down. A Belvidere man is fighting to save it.

Mark Smith remodels old homes for a living, and when he saw the house on the corner of Madison and Kishwaukee in downtown Belvidere, he knew he could fix it up. The house, which is about 130 years old, is still in good condition. But there's just one problem. The building is going to be demolished.

The land the house sits on was recently purchased by the Ida Public Library next door. The library wants to tear the house down to expand their small parking lot. Mark is hoping to purchase the house and move it, but first he has to find land to put it on. He says the library’s pushing to get the building knocked down quickly, and he’s running out of time.

Over the past year Ida Public Library has seen almost a 50 percent increase in visitors. And with the busy summer months approaching, they're in desperate need for parking. But if Mark could find a place to move the house, the library would also benefit.
Not having to demolish the house and selling it to Mark would save them thousands of dollars.

But the days are winding down. The library will be signing a contract with a demolition company later on this month.


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