Preservation: actions truly speak louder than words

The village’s website proudly declares that it is “strongly committed to the preservation of its community character and historic past.”

The historic Dean house begs to differ. It is slated to be torn down with little more than a collective yawn from the village board. Another local developer, when complimented on her recent purchase of a historically significant home, declared, “This one is going down.”

In the 15 years since the New York Times deemed Hinsdale the epicenter of the teardown trend, all that we have to show for the village’s efforts to erase that label is its “strongly” worded, self-promotional website declaration.

It’s time to determine if our elected officials are serious about historic preservation. Lets start by rewriting the village’s historic preservation ordinance, which has not been touched in 20 years. Next, lets at least give the historic preservation commission more power than the Hinsdale Central Student Council. Last, it’s time to streamline the permitting process and eliminate the exorbitant costs imposed by the village on reconstruction projects. We should be incentivizing responsible historic redevelopment projects, not ensnaring them in red tape and hidden fees. — Sarah Barclay, Hinsdale