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Facelift Complete on Community Gem

The Cook Mansion in Libertyville recently underwent an exterior renovation.

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 two companies created the Paint the Town Foundation, a non-profit to fund the renovations.

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"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."

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; , $5,000; Rust-Oleum, $2,500; Sunrise Rotary, $2,000; , $1,000; the Proctor Building, $500; and , $500.

Sales of notecards designed by students resulted in another $710.

"This building, for almost half a century, was your local library," said Stephen Kershner, director of the . "It is one of the gems of the community."

Brian L. September 07, 2012 at 12:54 PM
When the color first started going on, I wasn't a big fan. Now that the whole exterior is done I think it looks very nice as a center piece to our downtown district. If you want to call that our town square (Cook, Church, Milwaukee, and Brainerd) it makes for a nice focal point without having a big court house like most squares.
Mike September 08, 2012 at 03:26 PM
I think it looks great, period...

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