Award for Adaptive Use

Emmett's Tavern & Brewing Company

West Dundee

A local brewery in downtown West Dundee, five miles north of Elgin on the Fox River, has brought new life to this historic three-story Italianate and the surrounding downtown area. The property, historically known as the Hunt’s Block building and listed on the National Register, was originally constructed as a bank in 1871 using “Dundee brick” made with local river clay. Later tenants have included a general store, newspaper printer, paint shop, Masonic lodge and even the high school basketball team. The current owners were seeking a property with architectural character for their business and identified this historic resource in downtown West Dundee as a candidate for adaptive use. The $3.5 million rehabilitation, supervised by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, was largely funded by private capital. Jury members were impressed by the substantial private funds devoted to the project as well as the “generous allocation of Village resources to assist in the revitalization of the downtown area.” Emmett’s has been credited by city officials as a cornerstone to their redevelopment efforts and a catalyst for similar rehabilitation projects.

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