McKee Preservation Group members meet twice a month to plan fund-raising efforts and to work with donors and grant-providers for the purpose of restoring the historic buildings on the McKee site to public use.
The three limestone buildings nestled under the towering oaks of Churchill Woods Preserve were built in 1936 during the hardship of the Great Depression with funds secured through the Works Progress Administration. Their beautiful, cream-colored stone was carved from the Salt Creek riverbed by Civilian Conservation Corps relief workers who then hand-chiseled it into bricks. The main structure served both as Forest Preserve headquarters and the 1st and 2nd superintendents' residence. Based on the historic, architectural and environmental significance of the site, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency has determined that it would qualify to be on the National Register of Historic Places
McKee House is in the geographical center of the county, no more than 20 minutes away from its furthest points. It acts as a natural gateway to the 263 acre preserve and could be a hiking and biking hub for the nearby planned Greenway Trail that will intersect the Prairie Path and the Great Western Trail between Glen Ellyn and Lombard. It has the potential to become a lively cultural asset for county residents as a multi-purpose facility that could offer spaces for environmental studies, fine arts classes and performances, as well as rental opportunities for private events. Local schools and a park district have expressed interest in using the buildings for nature study activities.
On June 25, the Village of Glen Ellyn annexed a portion of Churchill Woods Forest Preserve that includes a propsed salt storage facility and the McKee House structures on St Charles Road. This property is part of a lease through an intergovernmental agreement between Glen Ellyn and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. This will allow approval for any construction work and permission for building access to go through the Glen Ellyn.
The Village of Glen Ellyn and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County have agreed to start the lease for the site a year early.
Landmarks Illinois awards $2,000 grant toward McKee roof fund.