West Branch Baker House Foundation Repairs
The Baker House is located north of Route 64, just west of the intersection of Prince Crossing Road and St. Charles Road in the West Branch Forest Preserve within West Chicago's city limits.This structure may be the only Greek Revival architectural style building constructed with brick, that remains in DuPage County. It is estimated that the house was built in 1845.
In 1992 The District acquired the Baker House and entered into a license agreement with the Conservation Foundation to repair and restore the exterior of the house. The Conservation Foundation was responsible for all costs associated with this work. A historical marker attached to a boulder at the south east corner of the house, honors the memory of family, as well as restoration efforts. When the restoration work was completed in 1997, the license agreement was not extended, as the mission of the Foundation had evolved and changed.
In April of 2004, the Board of Commissioners passed a Resolution which authorized acceptance of funds from the Conservation Foundation’s Restoration Fund for the house. This money was to be utilized to assist with future maintenance costs related to the Baker House.
Maintenance inspections in 2005 and 2006 showed cracks forming on the north masonry wall of the exterior of the building indicating settlement due to poor drainage and water damage. The original foundation walls were constructed with natural limestone, some over 16” in width.
In 2007, Knight Engineers & Architects completed a structural analysis of the building, and in 2008, they prepared plans to stabilize the foundation and divert runoff away from the structure.
The scope of work for the project included several elements: repair and tuck pointing of the stone foundation walls, removal of debris and damp proofing the interior basement, improvements to the downspout drainage system, re-grading the existing ground to slope away from the structure and restoration seeding of all disturbed areas.
Funding for this project was provided through private donations and a Maintenance Endowment Fund, via funds donated by the Conservation Foundation when the District acquired the Baker House. A total of $50,000.00 was allocated to cover all analysis, design, permitting, and construction costs to complete the maintenance improvements.
Construction is now complete. Lifco Construction of East Dundee, Illinois was awarded a construction contract in September of 2008 for the Baker House Foundation Repairs project. Work began in October of 2008 and was fully completed in June of 2009.