Fullersburg Woods Ben Fuller House

Ben Fuller House

Overview

Built around 1840, the Ben Fuller House at Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve in Oak Brook is the best example of “balloon-frame” construction in northeastern Illinois. The house was moved from its original site to Fullersburg Woods in 1981. Shortly before moving to the forest preserve, the house’s summer-kitchen wing was lost to a fire. 

The Fullersburg Historic Foundation drafted a strategic plan to renovate the structure as an interpretive center and presented this plan to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s Board of Commissioners.

In 2012 the Board of Commissioners approved the use of bonds from the 2006 referendum to help renovate the Ben Fuller House. Combined with $295,000 in grants from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the funds would have helped prepare the house for public use as a visitor center. 

Status   

In 2015, the state of Illinois suspended their portion of funding for the project. At that time, the Board approved suspending the project until future funds become available to complete the work. In 2016, the District analyzed the structure's historic significance per the District's policy on the management of historical and cultural resources. It was determined that the building is locally significant under the National Register for associations with the early settlement and development of the town of Fullersburg and eastern DuPage County (Criterion A) and as an example of balloon framing (Criterion C). Further study would be required to determine if its significance under Criterion C extends statewide or nationally. In July 2016, the Board approved a resolution authorizing the rehabilitation of the Ben Fuller House which will stabilize the building until future partnerships are created that provide funding to perform an adaptive re-use of the structure. 
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