Once on an “endangered” list for historic structures, the Wilder Mansion, built in the 1860s, now enjoys a new life as a gleaming special event space for the Elmhurst Park District. McHugh worked with the district and Williams Architects to reconfigure and reconstruct the mansion, originally a residence and then used to house the Elmhurst Public Library, to make it suitable for modern use while restoring its pre-library character. The team demolished a visually incongruous 1964 addition and added a new, handicapped-accessible entrance that better blended with the original structure.
McHugh refurbished the brick exterior and completely reconstructed the interior space, installing new MEP systems, adding restrooms and bringing the mansion up to modern standards for life safety, accessibility and comfort. Interior elements, including several dramatic fireplaces, were attentively restored.