Save the Wiant House.Org
Also known as the John W. Leedle Home

151 W. Washington Street, West Chicago, IL


Development Committee Meeting
Monday, August 12,  2013, 7PM at City Hall
(475 Main Street, West Chicago, IL) 

The West Chicago Development Committee will discuss the City's appeal to the City Council to reverse the final decision of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) regarding the demolition of Joel Wiant House.

On July 5th, the HPC ruled that the House should not be demolished. The Mayor has referred the matter to the Development Committee which will provide their recommendation to the City Council. The meeting is open to the public, and public comment is encouraged. Council Members that serve on the Committee are the following:

Rebecca Stout - Chairperson, Ward 6 

James Beifuss, Ward 1

Jim Smith, Ward 2

Laura Grodoski, Ward 3

Alan Murphy, Ward 4

John Smith, Ward 5

John Banas, Ward 7

The meeting is open to the public, and public comment is encouraged.

West Chicago, let your voice be heard, finally! Please attend, spread the word, and contact your Aldermen.

What else you should do to save the Wiant House...

  • Contact the Mayors office and your Aldermen. Let them know how you feel. Ask them to withdraw plans for demolition, protect the house from further damage under their ownership, and find a plan that makes sense to integrate the rehabilitation into the wider Washington Street Re-development Plan.

  • Sign the petition (above). The petition will be presented to our City Council after the Historical Preservation Commission renders it's verdict.

  • Check for Updates on Facebook. We post regular updates and important information on our Facebook Page (You don't have to have an account to read the posts).

The Wiant House has been named to Landmarks Illinois' annual Ten Most Endangered Historic Places list. Read the Press Release and visit Landmarks Wiant House page for more information.

The Joel Wiant house, located at 151 W. Washington Street in West Chicago, Illinois is truly one of the City's greatest historical assets, and is in imminent danger of being demolished by order of the West Chicago City Council.

The move is in anticipation of the city's Downtown Redevelopment Project, in which the City is acquiring land and property along Washington Street as a part of its continuing effort to revitalize the downtown area.

The City's efforts to find a developer to restore the structure have been unsuccessful, and they are pursuing demolition of this historic landmark. We believe that community support and inclusion on the Ten Most Endangered Historic Places list for 2013 will provide the exposure and necessary tools to realize a viable solution. We are asking the City withdraw their plan to demolish the Wiant House and to give this new approach a try.

We strongly feel that redevelopment at the expense of the City's historically significant structures, especially the Wiant house, is short-sighted. We urge the City Council to reevaluate their plan, and embrace West Chicago's historical value while moving toward a coexistence of our unique past and prosperous future.

The the citizens of West Chicago must act now and work together to save this important legacy for our community and future generations.

Once it's gone, it's gone forever!

The Joel Wiant house is located at 151 W. Wshington Street, West Chicago IL, 60185. The house was built in 1869 (143 years ago) by Joel Wiant, one of the city's earliest settlers.

An illustration ot the Wiant House from the Combination Atlas Map of DuPage County (Thompson Brothers and Burr), published in 1874.

“Attorney Leedle’s Home” by Fred Duck

Going through an 1874 DuPage Register one day,
I found an old print of the Wiant Home {Above},
A lady sat side saddle in the old fashioned way,
Going past at a leisurely pace, to roam
A dirt road with more trees than today,
With no wires for lights or telephones,
Otherwise the picture looks much the same,
I hope for another century like this it will stay,
So our grandchildren will see it in their day.


This verse is from an under-appreciated West Chicago historian and author by the name Fred Duck. His work entitled "The West Chicago Railroad Story - 1849-1949", aptly describes his sentiment, over 60 years ago, to keep the Wiant house as a community treasure for generations to come. We're with you Duck!

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