You can tell David Walker is a project coordinator when he walks around the renovated Larrabee house on the Saint Mark’s Church campus near downtown Geneva.
âWe need to clean up this floor a bit,â Walker says as he walks up a hallway connecting the church to the historic house at 327 S. Fourth St.
He told the rector of St. Mark, Father Mark Tusken, to remind him to contact someone regarding another minor solution needed. He wonders aloud about the lack of a few plantings in the walkway at the entrance to the hallway but mostly continues to marvel at how the long Larrabee restoration project has worked.
Walker has a lot to do with the magnificent transformation of this 1854 building. Its story is not lost on Walker or anyone in St. Mark’s who realized there was an opportunity for the congregation to create a space to serve the Church. church and community in the future.
William Larrabee was mayor of Geneva in 1869, and his house has always attracted the attention of historians and locals, especially those heading to Le Petit Voyageur across the street.
St. Mark’s purchased this house, then called Blatner House, in 1960 for $ 70,000 to create a home for the rector of the parish.
It took most of 2019 to get the estimated $ 1.3 million renovation project through the city’s historic preservation commission and town planners. The extensive work eventually secured an occupancy permit in early August 2020. It was just in time to be plagued by COVID-19, so the church could not open its arms to the community and show the building renovated.
The church hopes to redeem the delay in the revelation by holding a groundbreaking and groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m. on Sunday, September 12. If the COVID-19 outbreaks do not create more lockdown scenarios over the next few months, it is hoped that service clubs and various organizations or businesses will take advantage of the meeting room inside the house.
âThere aren’t a lot of places to hold a meeting in downtown Geneva,â Walker said. âThe new library has meeting space, but there’s nothing less than a block from downtown.
Walker noted that the late Bob Untiedt, owner of Graham’s Chocolate, was building a larger meeting space on the second floor of his renovated Graham’s 318 Coffeehouse.
âIt was like we were in a contest to see who could be done first,â Walker joked. “We had a great relationship with Bob and Graham’s and we actually helped each other with our projects.”
Maison Larrabee now brings the community meeting room, space for teens, and library space linked to a site for Sunday school classes.
Tusken marvels at what Walker, Project Director General Arney Silvestri, and the work teams delivered to the Episcopal congregation.
âThis church started in the 1830s and the construction of the chapel took place in 1868, so 153 years ago,â Tusken said. “I don’t think there’s another business, school, or bank that’s been in the same place in town for 153 years.”
It’s a mindset that guided the Larrabee House project, Tusken noted. âWhen you make an addition like this, you can’t just think of the next 10 years or the next generation. You have to think of the next 100 years.â
For his part, Walker believes he will end up leaving behind something that turned out the way he wanted.
âI give Arney Silvestri a lot of credit on that, but when he said what his vision was for something, that was also what I saw,â Walker said. “We got a few general renderings of what that would look like, and I think it turned out as close as possible to what we wanted.”
They want riders, volunteers
Another disabled child will receive an adapted bike in a competition linked to the annual Everybody Rides event on Sunday August 15 at the Bike Rack in St. Charles.
This is the ninth year that Bike Rack owner Hal Honeyman and his family have organized the Project Mobility event as an all-inclusive bike ride for children and adults traveling various distances or participating virtually.
âWe have a few hundred runners entered this year, and we would like more runners,â said Tammie Simmons, sister of Honeyman and event organizer, with her daughter Katherine Reda. âThe all-virtual event went well last year and we wanted to add that option this year,â said Simmons.
“We are concerned about the new strain of COVID and need to be careful because there are so many unknowns so we have to go back to some things that we had before.”
Each year, Freedom Concepts gives a three-wheeled bike as a gift through a contest on Facebook.
When it comes to riding a suitable bike, The Bike Rack brings enough gear for those who can register but don’t own a bike they can ride.
Those interested in participating or volunteering can register on the Everyoneride.org website or contact Reda at (630) 464-2991.
Go to the final
As he prepares to retire from a job he was standing in most of the time, Dan Klinkhamer of St. Charles is grateful for a key element.
“I still have my original knees,” Klinkhamer said, though he admits working 30 seasons and about 2,300 games as a security guard and then chief of security for the Kane County Cougars at Northwestern. Medicine Field in Geneva has “taken its toll.”
There would be one more aspect that Klinkhamer, a former commander of the St. Charles Police Department, would know of his long stint with the Cougars.
âThe pork chops are always so good,â he noted.
Klinkhamer has less than 20 games to play, finishing with a mark of longevity parallel to his career as a police officer. He was in the police force for 29 years, with the Cougars for 30 years, and did both jobs simultaneously for about 12 years.
So what about that kind of commitment to keeping people safe? He’s a guy who knows safety and, spending so much time in a stadium, surely knows his baseball.
Penny Candy Heaven
When I walk into the Pearly Gates to meet my maker, he may ask me what I have felt to be the most wonderful thing in my life besides obvious family, friends, and pets most of whom. others would spring up.
At least in part, my heaven on earth from the earliest years to the present day comes on a display of candy and the joy of choosing whatever you want.
It might not cost a dime now, but the concept is the same as the corner store in my Chicago neighborhood in the 1950s.
That’s why it’s great to hear that Hearth & Hammer General at 319 Main St. in Batavia has added a selection of sweets. This store offers a rotating selection of candies and chocolate bars. It is not open every day of the week, so you must choose your seats between noon and 6 p.m. from Wednesday to Saturday.
For those who enjoy this kind of candy selection, remember that Rocket Fizz in St. Charles had some of the best in the area. But this store is in transition of ownership, so we have to wait and see how this one plays out. There may be others in the Tri-Cities that I haven’t visited yet.
Of course, the Little Popcorn store on Front Street in Wheaton has long been a great destination to take a young child to buy candy.
I also went to Naperville Nuts and Sweets not long ago, and always stopped by for licorice whenever I was in town.