Who We Are
Why Naperville Preservation?
Historic preservation is a celebration of community. It maintains a record Naperville’s history and culture by keeping buildings alive through adaptive reuse. It helps define our identity, keeps our community intact, and is part of a healthy community.
We believe that preservation pays. Historic preservation is good for our local economy:
old buildings attract new businesses
old buildings attract people
Historic Preservation is environmentally friendly. The greenest building is the one that is already built.
How We Work
Naperville Preservation Inc is a registered 501(c)(3). We work collaboratively with all interested parties to encourage adaptive reuse and historic preservation; developers, property owners, the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office, City Council, the Historic Preservation Commission, and Planning Zoning Commission. We are in the business of making friends to help preserve history.
Please read this October 19, 2019 Landmarks Illinois interview about our organization.
Naperville Preservation, Inc. is dedicated to being an independent voice for the preservation of historic buildings and other structures of Naperville. We believe that historic preservation maintains Naperville’s historic character and charm, which results in the “hometown” feel that draws new residents to Naperville and keeps existing residents here. Maintaining Naperville’s historic character contributes to the economic vitality of Naperville.
To achieve this mission, Naperville Preservation:
Works towards safeguarding our historical places
Educates the community, government leaders, and other organizations to raise awareness of the benefits of historic preservation
Serves as a recognized as a resource for historic preservation and its benefits
Engages with all parts of the city government and geographical parts of the city
Seeks opportunities for historic preservation. Observes city meetings and assists with preservation issues
Recognizes historically and architecturally significant places in Naperville
Celebrates successful preservation efforts
Becky Simon, President
Becky first developed her love of old homes and architecture as a child by visiting the Thorne Rooms at The Art Institute of Chicago. Now she lives in a one-of-a-kind Tosi with its original Pierson Sashless windows.
Favorite Naperville Building: Rosin Eye Care, 705 E Ogden Ave
Joe McElroy, Secretary
Joe is a city planner with a special interest in historic preservation. He previously served on the Naperville City Council and on the Plan Commission. He was deputy director of city planning for the City of Aurora. He has masters degrees from the University of Chicago and Michigan State University. He and his wife, Kay, have lived in Naperville since 1987.
Favorite Naperville Building: The Willard Scott House, 109 N Washington St
Tom Ryan, Chief Preservation Officer
I'm an architect living and working in Naperville with a practice started in 1999 focused on all things residential, including nearly 30 renovations and additions to the same historic homes that captured my attention as my wife and I drove through town for the first time many years ago.
Growing up among picturesque fieldstone structures in Pennsylvania, then attending architecture school just west of Seaside Florida (birthplace of New Urbanism where we would visit and study), my design aesthetic was shaped by the regionally inspired houses that surrounded me then as they do now with many older homes in and around Naperville's Historic District.
In addition to serving on Naperville's Historic Preservation Commission for six years, I helped assemble the Historic Building Design & Resource Manual, used by homeowners, architects, builders, City staff and Historic Preservation Commission to help facilitate responsible development in Naperville's Historic District.
Favorite Naperville Building: Almost any house built prior to 1940 and new houses designed to be worthy of preservation. (Favorite Book: Get Your House Right by Marianne Cusato - needed to design that new house!)
Philip Buchanan, Director
Mr. Buchanan is a Project Manager in the Museum Exhibits industry.
Noted projects include the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, and The Great Train Story and Toymaker at the Museum of Science and Industry. He has worked in just about every large museum in the Chicagoland area.
Previously, Philip was a member of the Historical Preservation Commission in Plainfield, is a member of the Plainfield Historical Society, Landmarks Illinois and a Trustee at the Dupage County History Museum Foundation Board.
Philip lives with his wife, Sharon, who is a Human Resources Executive in the manufacturing industry. His interests include theatre, sports (Cubs fan), travel, and author book events.
Favorite Naperville Building: Thomas Clow House on the Riverview Farm. The look of the local Limestone stands out from other buildings and the quality of the craftsmanship.
Jane Burke, Director
I am a Naperville native. My ancestors came to Naperville in 1841. Like all of the early settlers, they were farmers. I graduated from Naperville Community High School in the years when Naperville was 9,000 people and there was only one high school.
My career began as a librarian at the Libertyville Public Library. I have master's degrees in Library Science from Dominican University (formerly Rosary College) and in management from the Kellogg School of Northwestern University. For lots of years I have worked in software for libraries. That has allowed me to travel and learn about research libraries around the world. Today my role is vice president, strategic initiatives, at Ex Libris, a ProQuest company that makes software for libraries. However, retirement is calling, so I am delighted to be involved in Naperville Preservation here in my home town.
Favorite Naperville Building: Old Nichols Library, 110 S Washington
Ron Keller, Director
Ron is a 5th generation Naperville native and the legendary leader of the Naperville Municipal Band; music is in his DNA.
When Ron was born, Naperville had a population of 4200! 38 years of teaching music, 55 years as leader of the Naperville Municipal Band, one of the premier community bands in the country! When he is not busy with music, Ron likes to garden, fish, and work on model trains.
Favorite Naperville Building: The Naperville Municipal Band Shell, 55 Concert Ln
Bill Simon, Director
Bill is a project manager in the energy industry. He is a midwestern transplant who grew up in much warmer climates. His father was trained in architecture and is an excellent drawer, and his grandfather was a builder. His love of architecture was triggered when he took a class in art and architecture in college to take a break from engineering.
Favorite Naperville Building: Truitt House, 48 E Jefferson Ave