Saturday, January 7, 2017

Day 6, Mc Kee House

January 6, 30 paintings in 30 days hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Day 6: 3 hours Monthly Total: 18.5 hours

I'm still not done with this commission but feel as if I need to back away from it and "live with it" awhile. I'll go back to it and add more to the trees and shadows in the building. It was wonderful going back to the watercolors and I plan on doing several more hours in that medium before this 30 in 30 is done.

My current commission, the McKee House was built in 1936 by the WPA (Work progress Administration). All the bricks are Naperville Firestone, hand chiseled by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The building served as the headquarters and superintendent's residence for the DuPage County Forest Preserve from 1936 to 1982. Robert L. McKee was the 1st superintendent of the Forest Preserve. He is responsible for acquiring large parts of the current preserve, planting thousands of trees, speaking out against water pollution. He worked on battling Dutch Elm Disease and was instrumental in the preservation of the Graw Mill at Fullersburg Woods.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency deemed the house and its outbuildings as likely candidates to be included on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.  In 2013 a study was commissioned by the Preserve to decide the cost of bring back the building from its current state of disrepair. The cost was well over $4 million so this beautiful building was at risk of being torn down.

The McKee House Coalition is fighting to stabilize the condition of the house with a new roof and other improvements. They'd like to see the home used by county residents as a multi purpose facility.

For more information see the McKee House Facebook Page click here

The McKee House
Work in Progress
Watercolor and Pen

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