Part of camp to be razed

Old Fox Bluff site to get new uses

CARY – Six buildings at the former Camp Algonquin site are to be demolished, the McHenry County Conservation District’s board has decided.

The conservation district is in the midst of developing a final master plan for the site and the Fox Bluff Conservation Area, in which it is located.

Six of the 12 buildings at the Camp Algonquin site have been considered for possible preservation, but the other six are in poor condition and haven’t been used for many years, according to the district staff’s recommendation to the board.

The Historic Preservation Commission also verified that the buildings are not of historical value, the recommendation said.

Some of the other six buildings – the recreation hall, dining hall, dairy barn and three dormitories – also eventually may be demolished.

Four preliminary plans were presented to the board and the public in late February. Each of the plans proposes keeping one of the buildings.

The “preferred plan” and one of the other options recommend keeping the recreation hall and demolishing the other buildings.

Another option proposes keeping the dairy barn as a “visual feature of the past agrarian landscape,” and the other proposes saving the dining hall.

The staff is in the process of preparing a final master plan based on the input to present to the board at its June 20 meeting for approval.

Because the district doesn’t have the funding to implement the master plan, the proposed budget for the coming fiscal year includes money to maintain the six buildings not set for demolition.

Camp Algonquin, an 116-acre campground and nature area, was established in 1907. In 2004, the land was sold to the McHenry County Conservation District and was leased by the YMCA from 2005 until it closed in 2011.

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