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Town Historic Commission Votes Against Trail East Demolition

Ryan Denham
Buildings at 104, 106, and 108 E. Beaufort St. in Uptown Normal would be demolished to make way for the Trail East development.

The Town of Normal has 30 days to designate three properties at the Trail East project site as historic or continue with already approved demolition plans.

This comes after the town's Historic Preservation Commission on Tuesday rejected their demolition on a 3-2 vote.

Todd Bugg voted in favor of demolition, saying he doesn’t want Normal to become a town that lacks progress by refusing to erect new buildings.

“I don’t want our community to become stagnant,” he said. “I think the addition of new buildings in a community is often how progress works.”

Bugg said the buildings on East Beaufort Street wouldn’t be the first to be town down, and they will not be the last.

He said his vote in favor of demolition was a vote in favor of community growth.

Fellow commission member Nancy Armstrong voted against demolition. She said she is proud of the town’s progress over her 40 years as a resident, but that she favors preserving the site, which includes a widely photographed mural.

“Our commission’s role is to remind the town that historic properties do have value, and that they need to be very cognizant of the character of the town before they make a decision to demolish a historic property,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong said the character in Uptown makes Normal unique rather than generic.

The Normal Town Council on Monday unanimously approved two measures to keep the Trail East project moving forward.

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