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David C. Cook Publishing Company

850 N. Grove Ave., Elgin
David E. Postle, architect, 1901




Significance: This Classical Revival style complex was built in 1901 to house David C. Cook’s growing religious publication business. It consists of a prominent, central building distinguished by a large portico and two sprawling wings that housed the company’s nearly 300 employees. The building is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

Current Condition and/or Status: In 1994, the company moved part of its operations to Colorado and the central building has been vacant since 1995. The building is secure and has been maintained. Only warehousing and distribution operations currently remain in the rear buildings. The entire nine-acre complex was under a purchase agreement to a private developer for a reported $7 million in 2005, but the deal failed. A local historic district, including original company worker housing and a park, was designated in 2007, but the D.C. Cook Building was not included due to owner opposition.

Potential Threat: The City of Elgin is pushing for redevelopment of this and other sites along the Fox River. Residents fear that a private developer will opt to demolish the historic building rather than incorporate it into a redevelopment plan.

What You Can Do: Contact Elgin city officials to encourage a redevelopment plan that includes reuse of the building, as well as landmark protection for the building.

  • Mayor Ed Schock: mayor@cityofelgin.org

  • City Manager - Olufemi Folarin: (847-931-5590) (847-931-5610 fax) roder_n@cityofelgin.org

  • Interested buyers should contact the corporate office of David C. Cook:
    Cris Doornbos, President & CEO - 4050 Lee Vance View,
    Colorado Springs, CO 80918, (800) 708-5550 or (719) 536-0100

Other Contacts: A local neighborhood organization, the Northeast Neighborhood Association (NENA), is calling for adaptive-use instead of demolition. The group has commissioned an adaptive-use study for single-family residential unit conversion of the building.

Photos” 1,2 Elgin Area Historical Society; 3,4 Courtesy of NENA






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Chicago, IL 60604 
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