At its February meeting the North Central College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to purchase a house adjacent to campus at 409 E. Chicago Ave. The house will replace the Edward Everett Rall House as home to the College’s president.
In February 2012 the Board began evaluating the Rall House, which served the recent five presidents of the College: Edward Everett Rall, after whom the house is named; C. Harve Geiger; Arlo L. Schilling; Gael D. Swing and Harold R. Wilde.
“One of our important tasks was to assess renovation needs for the Rall House,” says Board Chair Steve Hoeft ’73. “The house, originally built before 1917, has not had significant renovations in nearly 40 years, and received only cosmetic upgrades in 1991 when President Harold Wilde and his family began living in the house.”
According to Hoeft, the evaluation revealed that the Rall House, which is near the intersection of Chicago Avenue and Brainard Street, would require major restructuring and/or a new physical addition to serve the long-term needs of the College. At the same time, Trustees recognized that a great opportunity existed at the intersection of Chicago Avenue and Loomis Street.
“In September the Board contacted the current owners of the house at 409 E. Chicago Ave., which was for sale, to discuss a potential purchase,” says Hoeft.
The Board’s decision to purchase the property allows the College to retain the strategic location at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Brainard Street, identified in the College’s Master Land Use Plan, without investing in potentially temporary renovations.
“While there are currently no plans in place for this strategic location, it is important to keep exciting options available for North Central’s future,” says Hoeft.
The College received several significant gifts, including from the sellers, to purchase the new house. The property will continue to have R2 zoning, intended solely for residential use into the future.
“President Troy Hammond and his family will soon move into the house, fulfilling the College’s commitment to housing the president on campus,” says Hoeft.
The College will continue to use the Rall House for activities central to the College’s mission.