Who We Are

Old Nichols Library Public Notice 2018
Saving Old Nichols Library was our 1st undertaking. It was library landmarked in 2017. In 2018, the HPC met to discuss the partial demolition of the 1960 addition.

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.

A cobblestone craftsman
This cobblestone craftsman is just one of the lovely old homes that can be found around Naperville.

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.

Mission Statement

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

Board Biographies

Jane Burke

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

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
Joe McElroy

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!)
Becky Simon

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
Bill Simon

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