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The owner of the five-bedroom, French Provincial-style mansion — the backdrop for five seasons of the now-concluded Fox hit TV series “Empire” — cut his asking price by $2 million Thursday to $7.5 million.

The $2 million reduction shows how motivated owner Salvatore “Sam” Cecola is, listing agent Michael LaFido of @properties told Elite Street. Cecola, who had the mansion built in 2008, first listed it for $15.9 million in 2013, and then reduced it to $13 million in 2015, $12.5 million in 2016 and $9.5 million in June 2019. The latest reduction means Cecola has dropped his asking price by half since first listing it.

On “Empire,” the 17,597-square-foot mansion is the home of record mogul Lucious Lyon, who is played by Terrence Howard. And Cecola now has adopted Lyon’s surname as the mansion’s name, dubbing it the Lyons Mansion, LaFido said.

Read more here.

Related: They’re finally marketing the ‘Empire’ mansion as the ‘Empire’ mansion

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Memorial Day – May, 30 1933 (Click on image to enlarge)

Today is Memorial Day. Yet none of the familiar ceremonies scheduled in or around our Village will take place today. Instead, most celebrations of this annual event have been cancelled due to “current events.”

So, we’d like to pass along what might have been read or observed at the Civil War Monument at the Barrington Center cemetery today since it seems so few take to stop by:

Miller’s Grove M. E. Church

Barrington Center

A recruiting station during the Civil War and the center of war time activities in the period of 1861 to 1865.

In commemoration of that event this memorial is erected and dedicated to the memory of those patriotic citizens of Barrington Township who served this nation in the preservation of the Union.

This memorial tablet erected by Barrington Post Number 158, The American Legion, through the aid of friends and the descendants of the above named Veterans.

Memorial Day – May 30, 1933

The names of 91 Veterans appear on the monument, some of which are recognizable for those familiar with Barrington Hills history.  Click on the image above for better viewing. 

Happy Memorial Day.  

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A monument at the entrance to Horizon Farms

For over ten years we have covering the ups and downs, and the ins and outs of the Horizon Farms legal sagas in Barrington Hills. Along the way, many newspaper articles have been published, and invariable they’ve included pictures of the property signs or the majestic main entrance to Horizon Farms with two horse statues greeting visitors as they enter (one of which is pictured above).

These photos became so familiar over the years that some readers gave the statues nicknames. There was Bob and Fritz, Patty and Karen; you name it, there was some name based invariable on local politics that people identified with those statues. Well, call them what you will today, they’ve disappeared.

As the photo below shows, old spotlights mark where the statues shone at night, but there are no horses, and that leads to the quandary of where they went. So if readers know the whereabouts of our Bob or Fritz (or both), please let us know!

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Chicago restaurants won’t be ready to open on pace with rest of Illinois, Mayor Lori Lightfoot says

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday that city restaurants won’t be ready to reopen to outdoor dining by May 29, but she hopes they will be ready in June.

Chicago also is looking at the possibility of closing streets to help expand restaurants’ outdoor dining, Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot made the comments after Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker opened the door to potentially lift the restriction on sit-down dining next week. While “heartened” by Pritzker’s comments, Lightfoot said she wants a more robust plan to make sure restaurants can reopen safely.

Asked about the reopening the city’s lakefront, Lightfoot said she is looking at plans for reopening but isn’t there yet.

Read more here.

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Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights and Hoffman Estates passed resolutions Monday calling on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to alter facets of the Restore Illinois plan in an effort to help businesses. “As I said, nobody’s looking to go rogue here,” Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz said. (Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, Feburary 2020)

Palatine, Arlington Heights and Hoffman Estates passed resolutions Monday calling on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to alter the Restore Illinois plan in an effort to help businesses.

“As I said, nobody’s looking to go rogue here,” Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz said. “This is not something we’re looking to do. … There is not one bit of interest in turning this into a political deal. We’re abiding by the governor’s orders. We’ve abided from the very beginning. That’s not going to change.”

However, in Wheeling, where the village board discussed the Restore Illinois plan but did not put a resolution up for a vote Monday night, Trustee Joseph Vito accused Pritzker of overstepping his authority and suggested suing the state — a move his colleagues did not support.

Vito also questioned Pritzker’s plan for not allowing for gatherings of more than 50 people until Phase 5, assuming a vaccine or viable treatment for COVID-19.

Read more here, but also ask yourself where has Karen Darch been recently?

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To lure Sears into a Chicago suburb, officials crafted the largest tax break package ever awarded to a company in Illinois. It resulted in revenue shortfalls, disappearing jobs and unexpected tax burdens, a Daily Herald and ProPublica review showed.

On a hot Sunday afternoon in June 1989, two of the most powerful men in Illinois met to watch a ballgame at Wrigley Field — and, if all went well, to make a deal.

James R. Thompson, the state’s four-term Republican governor, and Edward Brennan, chairman of Sears, Roebuck & Co., the world’s largest retailer, had been deep in talks for months.

The stakes were high. Brennan was threatening to move Sears’ corporate headquarters, located in downtown Chicago in what was then the tallest skyscraper in the world, to another state. The move would rob Illinois of thousands of good-paying jobs, tens of millions in tax revenues and its reputation as a business-friendly state.

As the two men watched the Montreal Expos blank the Cubs 5-0, dropping the “Lovable Losers” out of first place, Thompson told Brennan he’d do whatever it took to keep Sears from leaving. The state had crafted a package of financial incentives that the legendary political deal maker believed was too good to pass up.

After the game ended, Thompson called up one of his closest associates, Jay Hedges, director of the state’s Department of Commerce and Community Affairs. In a recent interview, Hedges recalled Thompson delivering the news of his breakthrough.

“Well, Jay, Sears is staying in Illinois,” Thompson told him. “And they want to move to Hoffman Estates.”

Read much more here.

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Illinois has been divided into four different regions that can progress through the phases of reopening the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders in DuPage, Kane and McHenry counties argue their communities should not be on the same timeline as suburban Cook County and the city of Chicago.

A push intensified Tuesday to let the collar counties progress separately from Cook and Chicago toward Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 bench marks for reopening the economy.

Leaders representing DuPage, Kane and McHenry counties called on Pritzker to remove their areas from the Northeast region under the Restore Illinois plan, which also includes Cook, Grundy, Lake, Kankakee, Kendall and Will counties.

County leaders, mayors and at least one state representative say the coronavirus situation in their communities is much different from what it is in Cook County and Chicago, where the high concentrations of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have occurred.

Read more here.

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