Greene Farm Barn Design Challenge

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“We want paintball, ropes course, escape room, and another small thing – rock climbing,” said Kyle Plank as he presented for Team Spartan Architecture at the Greene Farm Barn Design Challenge.

“Well paintball I wasn’t expecting,” responded Mary Lou Wehrli, a commissioner for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, and a judge for the challenge.

Although a bit surprising, these unique ideas for repurposing the Greene Farm Barn got the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County excited to hear more.

About the Greene Farm Barn

“Seeing this project go from the mind and vision of Bill Greene back in the 1970s when he allowed the project to be acquired by the forest preserve district, and his ideas for the future,” said Wehrli. “He was a very educated man and successful businessman and he understood that times change. So from 1971 to 2019 things have changed. And I think he would be thrilled with this exercise.”

The farmstead has sat vacant since 1971.

The Design Challenge

Now area high schools are adding to the forest preserve’s conversation about the barn’s purpose.

Architecture classes taught at both Naperville Central and Naperville North focused a semester-long project on just that.

“It’s very hands on. It’s from the beginning of the idea process, from transferring it, to floor plans and actually designing the buildings, then making the 3D models and actually presenting it. It’s all a huge process to do and we only had three months to do it,” explained Micah Ramsey, from Team North Architects.

Many ideas for possible uses for the 19th– century barn preserve its history, such as a museum. Others are bringing it into the 21st century, like turning it into a bistro.

After each team presented, the ten community judges picked ATP Architecture as the overall concept winner, for their garden based proposal. They’ll be recognized at the May 7 city council meeting.

Future of the Farmstead

The Greene Farm Barn’s new ad hoc committee is expected to make a recommendation on the use for the property by next fall.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.