It was history in the making as dozens of people gathered on the front lawn of Barrington’s White House Tuesday to celebrate the start of the property’s total restoration to be completed in time for Barrington’s sesquicentennial next year. This week, crews will begin the process of turning the historic home into a cultural and community center for Barrington.

Barrington White House Groundbreaking Celebration - Photographed by Susan McConnell

Barrington White House Groundbreaking Celebration – Photographed by Susan McConnell

So far, project coordinators have raised over $4 million to fund the restoration and on Monday, Village officials approved spending up to $6.1 million on the entire project.  Fundraising efforts will continue as work gets underway.  The project is now scheduled for completion by July 1st of 2015.

Once the property is fully restored, there will be public gathering spaces on the first floor.  Several non-profits will lease office space on the second floor. The third floor remodel will involve expanding the original ballroom and raising the roof to accommodate seated parties of 150 people.

Reporter James Owen captured the excitement of this week’s groundbreaking in his latest video report for 365BarringtonTV.

What Comes Next

Barrington’s long-awaited White House restoration will begin tomorrow under the direction of Pepper Construction as General Contractor.

The first thing you’ll notice is crews fencing the site and removing shrubs, trees and landscaping to prepare for the year-long project.  Next week, they will begin addressing environmental remediation at the White House.  Then, they will be tearing off the old addition on the southwest corner of the property to make way for a new addition which will house an elevator, stairs and new ground-level access for catering services.  Crews plan to replace the roof by late fall so they can be prepared to work on the interior throughout the winter.

This Friday, the Village of Barrington will be submitting an application for the White House to receive National Historic Register Status, which would make it one of only three commercial structures in Barrington with this rare and prestigious designation alongside Barrington’s Catlow Theater and Octagon House.

Formerly the “Robertson House”, the property at 145 W. Main Street was built in 1898 as the family home for a successful Barrington banker named John Robertson.  (CLICK HERE for more on the property’s history plus floor plans and site plans for the restoration.)

For more information about Barrington’s White House and ways they’re asking the community to get involved, CLICK HERE to follow the White House’s Facebook page or visit the project’s website at BarringtonsWhiteHouse.com.

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