College, city partner to transform downtown Naperville eyesore into park

Jan 23, 2013

North Central College is moving ahead with plans to create a park on land that for years was home to a downtown Naperville eyesore.

Demolition work of the structure at 420 S. Washington St. began on Jan. 19. A backhoe tore down the building that sat vacant for the past decade at the prominent location along Washington Street. Debris was carted away over the following few days.

The long-awaited demolition and future beautification of the site is the result of a partnership between North Central College and the City of Naperville. The College purchased the property in December, and the city hired a contractor to clear the site.

The park will serve as a new entryway from downtown Naperville to the College, said Paul Loscheider, vice president for business affairs.

The site is across the DuPage River from Naperville’s Fredenhagen Park and adjacent to the Moser Bridge pedestrian walkway that connects the downtown to the College’s new Riverwalk Gateway. The new entryway eventually will provide better access to such destinations as the College’s Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium, which draws thousands of visitors to College and local high school football games and other events.

No timeline has been set for development of the park.