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The demise of Sycamore's purple house on the corner

SYCAMORE – The corner of Somonauk and Waterman streets will look a little different in the coming months as the owner, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, prepares to tear down the purple house on the corner.

Pastor Carl Beekman said safety was the primary concern for razing the building at 503 Somonauk St.

When renovations were done about five years ago, he said, a load-bearing wall had been removed and now the foundation was in bad shape.

It was particularly concerning because the most recent group to meet in the house was the church’s youth group.

“You have to have a safe environment for the youth,” he said. “[The house] has kind of run its course.”

The youth group moved to meeting in the St. Mary’s Parish Activity Center about two years ago, Beekman said. Church groups had met in the purple house, off and on, over the years, but not any longer.

Now the church is in the process of getting bids for the work to demolish the building.

According to DeKalb County records, the church bought the property in 1995 for $152,000. Beekman said former pastor, the Rev. Frank John Timar, was the one responsible for the unique color scheme of the house.

Timar asked the kids of the parish what color they wanted the house to be and they said purple, Beekman said.

Beekman said it’s unfortunate that capital expenses are something that organizations, especially nonprofits, often have to push off to later dates.

“You can do patchwork, but when big things have to be done the can gets kicked down the road and someone gets left holding the ball,” he said.

There are no final plans in place for the lot once the house is taken down. Beekman said the parish will work to beautify the corner to ensure it matches other landscapes and goes with other homes in the area. He said its location, as one of the first intersections coming into Sycamore, was also important.

“It’s a first impression, coming down that street,” he said.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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