June 2004 Membership Meeting

Gifford Park Association
General Membership Meeting-Focus on Lovellton
June 10, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.

Present: Fran Cella, Paul and Jean Bednar, Pat and Dave Segel, Julie Schmitt, Dan Miller, Pat Miller, Mark Billings, Vanessa Darnieder, Paul Durrenberger, Deborah Allen, Betty A. Sanders-Webber

General Information

GPA met with the developer, [name here], of the proposed Walgreens at the Lovellton site. The developer brought drawings and presentation boards of what the new Walgreens would look like, along with landscaping ideas.

A picture of the Lovellton site during which the building was a sanitarium was passed around. The street was brick at the time.

Truck deliveries will occur during the day on the Margaret Place side. This is also where the drive-through would be located. The developer made mention that the trucks that make deliveries to Walgreens are small trucks, not the usual large delivery trucks that are seen at grocery stores.

According to the developer, peak hours are from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. and the noon hour for Walgreens traffic.

Store managers are directly responsible for their store, which means responsibility for trash, appearance, customer satisfaction, complaints, etc.

Walgreens is moving away from in-store shopping complexes to stand-alone stores. Walgreens is also moving towards a residential, neighborhood family store, and would like people to be able to walk from their homes to the store location. Yet, they want to look like a business, not a house.

Bike racks would be added.

This particular Walgreens would not have a liquor license, and Walgreens is canceling most of their existing liquor licenses.


Description of Proposed New Walgreens Building

The developer suggested the following for the building in the possible new Walgreens:

  • all brick, no stone
  • metal awnings
  • cast stone on base of building
  • no concrete blocks
  • Walgreens sign would be red with a light color behind it
  • band of stone going around building
  • classical tower, arch opening
  • shingled-roof
  • green tint glass and a gabled, metal roof would be for the drive-through portion (the developer mentioned that the drive-through of a Walgreens accounts for 45% of all Walgreens pharmaceutical sales)
  • stone banding
  • a vestibule will be added to stone



The developer suggested the following for landscaping in the possible new Walgreens lot:


  • 3”      caliber trees
  • additional      perennials and shrubbery in flower beds
  • additional      shrubbery in back to provide a buffer from any noise to the residential      structures located next to the Walgreens
  • a      6-foot cedar fence will be added around the lot
  • the      stone pillars that are part of the original Lovellton mansion could      remain, along with a dedication plaque next to them describing the former      mansion and site
  • ornamental/historical      turn-of-the-century lighting could be placed throughout the site to give      it a brick road feel
  • sidewalks      will be replaced
  • day      lilies, prairie grass, and plants common to residential homes can be added      to the site
  • flower      beds will be irrigated


The entrance/exit off of Route 20 will have to follow state requirements so not much can be done with this.



Trash bins and dumpsters will not be located outside, only a small, sealed compactor will be.



If this is a 24-hour store, than people may be woken up at all hours of the night if there is a parking lot located directly by the residential side.


Fran Cella asked if Walgreens would be open to having a store that doesn’t look like a Walgreens. The developer said he was not sure about that.


Dan Miller gave a speech on how he felt that Walgreens could really make an impact with this site in the historic district. Dan mentioned that the Elgin Historical Society is writing a book called “Lost Elgin”. He also explained how the Design Sub-Committee and the Historic Commission would be difficult in sticking to the guidelines and would be a tougher crowd to convince than GPA members. He feels that something spectacular needs to be done in order to convince Elgin’s historic district members that a Walgreens could go in the Lovellton site.


Fran Cella agreed with Dan in that something special could be done to this site.


Pat Segal believes that something really nice could be done. She explained about how ugly the Villa Street entrance is and how this has the opportunity to be the catalyst to change this.


Concern was expressed for the stone pillars/archways to remain in their current location, as they are original to the Lovellton mansion. Perhaps benches could be added by the pillars with a historical plaque.


Much discussion took place about parking and traffic. The developer said that parking is determined by: emergency vehicle access and city codes. Being that this is a commercial project, it will need to conform to commercial codes, not residential codes. Also, ADA (American Disabilities Act) codes will have to be followed in this possible project as well.


The developer has not yet finalized the tree presentation plan.


Deborah Allen feels that a modern facade may be shocking when older homes are in abundance in the area. Setbacks need to be located as far back as possible.


On Villa and Liberty, a green turn arrow needs to be added for those turning left, especially if a Walgreens is put there.


Submitted by Betty A. Sanders-Webber, GPA Board Secretary