Charles Thomas Cedarholm (1930-2003) of the architectural firm Wendt, Cedarholm, Tippens, Inc. in Northfield, Illinois designed the Villa Park Public Library. An Air Force veteran, Charles T. Cedarholm was born in Kansas City, Missouri to Harold O. and Elizabeth Perry Cedarholm, and died at the age of seventy-three in Red Lodge, Montana.
He and his business partners, Forrest D. Wendt and William C. Tippens, all got their degrees in architecture from the University of Illinois and all worked for the architectural firm Charles Stade & Associates in Park Ridge, yet they did not meet until they banded together to form their firm in 1967. Chicago Tribune architecture critic Paul Gapp profiled the firm in 1976 (“Smaller firms sparkle in the big leaguers’ shadow,” Chicago Tribune, Arts & Fun, 21 March, 1976).
…their major projects have included 15 libraries, 15 recreation buildings, 10 office buildings, five industrial structures, 10 houses, 3 restaurants, and a public housing project.
‘We believe we’ve done more municipal libraries than anyone else in the suburban metropolitan area,’ said Cedarholm. ‘But we don’t want to overemphasize that as a specialty because it might blunt our reputation for versatility.’
‘And we like to think that our libraries have few common characteristics,’ said Tippens. ‘Instead, they’re responsive to individual design problems.
‘We’ve tried to develop lasting designs, rather than anything that’s modish or farout. We also try very hard for warmth in terms of design, materials, and the way we handle space.’
Because all bookshelves in today’s small libraries are open to the public, the space handling is more than a bit tricky. Open floor plans with a maximum of flexibility are mandatory, but some areas must carry a feeling of privacy and snugness.
Audio-visual facilities, book-theft detection devices, and computer connections between sharing libraries are among other advances in library science which must either be built in or anticipated as future additions.
A library’s facades are almost equally important. In some of our new dreary, flatland suburbs, the library is the only culture symbol in town and deserves to look as handsome outside as within.
But as Cedarholm pointed out, the Northfield firm doesn’t spend all of its time exploring the nuances of how to mix people and books. Indeed, their other major speciality has turned out to be recreation buildings, particularly those housing racquetball layouts…
The 22,800-square-foot Villa Park Public Library building was dedicated on October 19, 1969. Each of the two floors is 11,400 square feet and the mechanical room on the roof is 1,650 square feet.
The Ohrman Program & Meeting Room can accommodate fifty people. A total of 106 people can sit in the VPPL. There are thirty-eight parking spaces.
The Library Integrated Network Consortium (LINC) serves the public libraries in Batavia, Bloomingdale, Franklin Park, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Itasca, St. Charles, Villa Park, and West Chicago.
Adelaide “Pat” Hubbard, a retired teacher, is the President of the Library Board. She was first elected to the Library Board in 1992 and her term will expire next year. Dan Hippensteel, a teacher, is Vice President of the Library Board. He was first elected in 2001 and his term will expire next year.
Robert J. “Bob” Wagner, a facility project manager, is the Treasurer. His term expires in 2015.
Mark McCleary, a teacher, is the Secretary. He was first elected in 1991 and his term will expire in 2015.
The other trustees are Stan Kosek, a computer programmer; Stephen Seddon, a content analyst for Encyclopedia Britannica; and Matt Matkowski, an attorney.
Sandra D. Hill is the Library Director, having previously worked as Assistant Head of Youth Services, Head of Technical Services, and Assistant Director. She earned her MLS degree at Northern Illinois University (NIU). The post of assistant director is currently vacant.
Carolyn Turner is the Office Manager. Sean Birmingham is the Head of Adult Services and Jan Wernette is the Assistant Head of Adult Services.
Susan McKean is the Head of Youth Services and Jean Jansen is the Assistant Head of Youth Services. Martha Bledsoe is the Head of Circulation Services.
Jeff Bradford is the Head of Technical Services. Michael McMahon is the Head of Maintenance Services. Jeff Sand is the Automation Services Coordinator and Webmaster.
The VPPL is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. The phone number there is (630) 834-1164.