Wehrli advocates for preserving the historic Greene Barn and Oak Cottage

Greene Barn
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“What would a campus invigorating contemporary lives, enhancing and celebrating natural areas give us as we combine the message of the past of what is home and what is the for the future generations at a campus like Oak Cottage and the Greene Barn,” said Wehrli.

Naperville’s Mary Lou Wehrli wants the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County to keep the Greene Barn and Oak Cottage intact for years to come. Wehrli spoke at Naperville Preservation Inc.’s annual meeting and celebration on Jan. 12.

“There are all sorts of places where once there’s a plan that we can go out and have it contribute to our quality of life,” said Wehrli. “We are so prosperous in DuPage (County). Not just because of the dollars that pass through, but because we get involved.”

Despite undergoing a $1.2 million stabilization in 2012, the barn is closed for public use. The public owns both Greene Barn and Oak Cottage, but it’s currently under the jurisdiction of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

Proposed master plan

The DuPage Forest Preserve proposed master plan of the 1,388-acre area includes the recommended demolition of both the barn and cottage. In February 2023, the Board of Commissioners will receive the final version of this master plan and vote on the future of the structures.

Before the February deadline, Wehrli hopes a group like Naperville Preservation Inc. can take the reigns on a new future for the cottage and 14,000-square-foot barn.

“There was a lot of interest in how it could be used,” said Wehrli. “Naperville Preservation, this could be a project you would want to take the lead on.”

Wehrli’s petition on change.org titled “Oak Cottage & Greene Barn” currently has over 500 signatures to date.

Naperville News 17’s Will Payne reports.

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