14299 S. Wolf Rd.,
Architect Unknown, 1910
Significance: Located in
unincorporated, south suburban Cook County, this one-room schoolhouse went
through interior renovations, converting it into rental space for commercial
use, but has maintained its historic character on the exterior. The school
was built with rusticated concrete block walls, a two-columned entrance
portico and a school bell housed in a cupola.
The front of the building is marked 1910 and the door lintel is carved
“School District 134.” The land upon which the school was built had been
bought from William Yunker, a local farmer. The school closed in 1957 after consolidation with School District 135 and was used for storage until
the current owner purchased it in 1987.
Current Condition and/or Status: The Yunker School is one of two
one-room school houses remaining in Orland Township and one of a handful in
Cook County. It was for sale in May of 2008 and many inquiries were made to
the realtor about demolishing the schoolhouse for commercial development.
The property was taken off the market after the owner decided to continue
leasing it for office use instead of selling.
Potential Threat: Surrounding development continues to threaten the
schoolhouse. It is located in an area of strip malls and vast commercial
growth. Discussions continue between local and Illinois Department of
Transportation (IDOT) officials regarding a future widening of 143rd Street
(State Route 7), which would bring the road within a few feet from the
school’s front steps. Because the school building is located on a site that
is part of Orland Township, the Village of Orland Park has no legal
jurisdiction to designate the building a local landmark. Orland Township
does not have a preservation ordinance.
What You Can Do: Encourage Orland Park and Orland Township officials
to work with the current owner toward developing a preservation plan for the
building. Encourage the local legislator, Representative Kevin McCarthy, to
work with IDOT to assure a state road widening project will not threaten the
Board of Trustees, Orland
Township: 15100 S. 94th St., Orland Park, IL 60462,
Daniel McLaughlin, Village
President/Mayor and the Board of Trustees: Village of Orland Park, 14700, Ravinia Avenue, Orland Park, IL 60642 (708-403-6100)
IL State Rep. Kevin A. McCarthy
(D-37), 8951 West 151st Street, Orland Park, IL 60462 Phone: (708) 226-1999
Fax: (708) 226-9068
Richard Riley, owner: (312)
Other Contacts: For more information on the history of the building
and its significance to the community, contact: Rosemary Estand, Chairman,
Orland Park Preservation Commission, (708) 349-7548.
Janine Wilkosz/Landmarks Illinois