If you've driven past the Cook Mansion in downtown Libertyville over the past eight weeks, you've undoubtedly noticed some exterior work going on.
It took about 879 man-hours, 27 gallons of paint stripper, 57 gallons of paint, 22 tubes of caulk and 14 bags of cement for the stucco, but now the Cook Mansion has been restored to its former glory.
"We take care of the inside of the house. We're extremely pleased with how the outside turned out," said Lynne Stetz, membership coordinator for the Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society.
"These guys treated it as if it were their own home," Mayor Terry Weppler said of the workers involved in the restoration.
The Cook Mansion was gifted to the village on Aug. 2, 1920, said Mike Foley, owner of DiVinci Painters, who led the efforts with Roch Tranel of The Tranel Financial Group. The two companies created the Paint the Town Foundation, a non-profit to fund the renovations.
An official ceremony to kick-off the facelift was held July 3.
"I want to thank everybody for what they did," said Foley. He said the original plan involved stripping the paint and just repainting the mansion. That plan then became an effort to restore the building, including stucco repairs.
Foley said crews used paint from Benjamin Moore's Historical Colors line.
"I really wanted to bring back some of the color to it," he said. The white trim, he said, is original to the building. "I hope everybody likes it."
JC Licht/Epco donated $5,000 worth of materials to the project, Foley added.
The community — including private and corporate donors — contributed $23,831 to the project, Tranel said. Private donors contributed $4,121. The following corporate donors contributed: Cook Memorial Library Board, $7,500; Libertyville Civic Center, $5,000; Rust-Oleum, $2,500; Sunrise Rotary, $2,000; Austin's Saloon and Eatery, $1,000; the Proctor Building, $500; and Libertyville Bank & Trust, $500.
Sales of notecards designed by Copeland Manor students resulted in another $710.
"This building, for almost half a century, was your local library," said Stephen Kershner, director of the Cook Memorial Public Library District. "It is one of the gems of the community."