Hinsdale shuns vote on teardown request in historic district

Owners want to make way for a modern design

Demolition Request in Hinsdale Historic District Hits Wall

Hinsdale Historic Preservation Commission John Bohnen and J. Jordan Homes’ Julie Laux along with 425 East 8th Street in Hinsdale (Getty, Hinsdale Historic Preservation Commission, Google Maps)

The potential teardown of a historic Hinsdale home has set the stage for a battle between its owners and preservationists. 

Hinsdale’s Historic Preservation Commission declined to vote last week on a request to demolish the 1930s colonial revival house at 425 East 8th Street, Crain’s reported

The house, located in the Robbins Park Historic District, is one of several in Hinsdale that local residents and officials have fought to preserve amid a proliferation of teardowns over the past 30 years. Village officials last year created a historic overlay district, offering incentives to owners of “historically significant” homes to improve them, rather than demolish and rebuild.

The owners of 425 East 8th Street, Jeff and Nicole Cantalupo, paid a little over $2.5 million for the house in September 2022. They want to raze the 8,650-square-foot house and replace it with a 9,060-square-foot home with modern architecture. 

“It was very obvious to me, and everybody on the commission who looked at it, that this house designed in a modern fashion cannot be built in the historic district,” said John Bohnen, who chairs the village’s Historic Preservation Commission. 

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The village’s code mandates a commission decision before permits can be issued for projects within the historic district, but it doesn’t state explicitly that permits are contingent on the vote. 

Julie Laux of J. Jordan Homes, the firm behind the proposed construction, accused Bohnen of not following meeting rules and limiting the perspectives heard during the proceedings. 

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“He has no right to do that,” Laux told the outlet. “We went to the village attorney with this, and we’re waiting to hear what they’ll do.”

Laux doesn’t expect the non-vote to kill the project, but she advocated the commission to make a decision one way or another.

—Quinn Donoghue