O’Fallon’s Planning and Zoning Commission has approved two items that, if passed by the City Council, will clear the way for the sale of the city-owned Krekel House and ensure the historic landmark’s future as a bridal shop.
The Krekel House, located at 103 Civic Park Drive, was the first home in what would eventually become the City of O’Fallon. According to the O’Fallon Historical Society, Nicholas Krekel purchased land from his brother after arriving in the area around 1855 and built a home that served as a store, the railroad agent’s office, and a post office.
The city purchased the historic home in 2007 for $275,000, but funds for restoring the structure were not available. In 2012, the city began putting out feelers for a business that would be interested in purchasing the home and restoring it.
Last Thursday, the Planning and Zoning Commission greenlighted a rezoning of the property from R-3/Garden Apartments and Condos District to C-1/Restricted Business District. They also approved a site plan to add two required handicapped parking spaces to the site.
These changes help clear the way for the sale of the property to the owners of White Traditions Bridal House in St. Charles, who plan to restore the Krekel House and run a bridal shop in O’Fallon.
Patrick McKeehan, Economic Development Director for the City of O’Fallon, said that the contract for the sale would include a clause that would restrict the new owners from making changes to the current footprint of the house, unless it was to return it to its historic appearance.
McKeehan said he was concerned that if much more time passed without restoration efforts, the house would “reach a point of no return.”