In four to six weeks, the Cook Mansion will look like a brand-new building, thanks to the efforts of the Libertyville community.
The Ansel B. Cook House, built in 1878, is undergoing a facelift that will include patching of exterior stucco and repainting the building.
"We're taking it back to its glory days," said Mike Foley, owner of DiVinci Painters, who is leading the efforts with Roch Tranel of . The two companies created the Paint the Town Foundation, a non-profit to fund the renovations.
Instead of the village footing the bill, community groups and individuals have contributed about $25,000 to the effort, Foley said. Tranel helped with the fund-raising.
Thanks to donations like the $2,500 apiece given by Rust-Oleum and Sunrise Rotary, and the $5,000 from the Cook Memorial Library, the project is being done at no cost to the village, Foley said.
The building's exterior is set to be stripped down to the bare wood. The man-hours for the project — estimated at about 1,000 hours — are all being donated.
An official ceremony to kick-start the project was held July 3.
"They came to me and said, 'The Cook Mansion really needs some work,' and on behalf of the village, I thank you very much for organizing this and for doing this," said Mayor Terry Weppler.
"We're ecstatic," added Stephen Kershner, director of the Cook Memorial Public Library District. "It'll be great to have the exterior as nice as the interior."
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