Naperville Street naming – Naperville Sun – 5/22/2018

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You might not be able to take a trip down Memory Lane or live on Easy Street in Naperville.

But you can go left on Wright Street or hobnob on Highknob Circle.

Decisions on how streets are named are up to the developers that design the neighborhoods, though city officials get the final say.

Nick Stanitz, owner and president of Oak Hill Builders and Developers, said he likes to incorporate the property’s past into the subdivisions he builds.

“I’m sort of a history buff. I like to read about who paved the way before me,” Stanitz said.

The Naperville developer closed May 15 on a $5.6 million deal to purchase the Clow family property at 103rd Street and Book Road in Naperville. He intends to build 60 single-family homes.

Because the 31.5 acre-property is adjacent to the Clow Creek Farm neighborhood, Stanitz said all but one of the roads in his new development will be an extension of existing ones.

For help, he turned to a member of the Clow family who chose Wendt as the new street name, in honor of longtime residents of the area who farmed their own land as well as on the Clow farm.

Stanitz, who is responsible for the Stillwater and Ashbury subdivisions in Naperville, said sometimes he gets to a point where he doesn’t have any more ideas.

Sharon Court, off Leverenz Road near Book Road, was named after Stanitz’s eldest daughter.

“My other daughters came to me and asked how come she got a street named after her. I said because she’s the oldest,” said Stanitz, adding he promised the other two they would get a street named after them, as long it passes the muster with the city.

Linda LaCloche, Naperville communications manager, cited guidelines city staff considers when developers suggest street names.

To avoid confusion, no street name can be duplicated, and LaCloche said staff denies submissions that sound like or rhyme with existing street names or are difficult to pronounce.

She said the city also will reject proposed names that are longer than 12 characters, more than two words or on the city’s list of restricted “common” street names.

According to the National League of Cities, the most common street names, in order, are Second, Third and First, none of which are in Naperville.

To recognize those who contribute to the community, LaCloche said the city’s commemorative/memorial street name program allows roadways to be named honorary-only after organizations, groups, and individuals. “The dedicated street name remains in place,” she said.

The naming of Naperville roads dates back to the city’s founder Joseph Naper, who appears to have selected the first 11 street names out of function, patriotism and political affiliation.

Naperville Settlement’s Jennifer Bridge said the functionality plays in with Main Street, where commerce was conducted, and Mill Street, where the sawmill was located.

Bridge, who serves as the museum’s curator of exhibits and interpretation, said Eagle Street is an obvious American symbol and Washington and Franklin honor two of America’s founding fathers.

Because Naper was aligned with the Democratic Party, Bridge said four avenues were named after Jacksonian Democrats: President Andrew Jackson, President Martin Van Buren, Thomas Hart Benton (a Missouri senator and devoted Jackson supporter) and William Lee Davidson Ewing, a brigadier general of the Illinois State Militia during the Blackhawk War under whom Naper and other area residents served.

Also whether intentional or not, in the oldest sections of the city East-West roads are avenues while the North-South roads are streets.

She said some street names reflect their time period.

North Avenue and West Street were the city’s northern and western borders, and Center Street was chosen because Naperville thought the DuPage County courthouse would be located on the square.

Bridge said other roads are named for members of the Sleight, Loomis, Brainard, Wright and Wehrli families, all longtime Naperville residents.

When Naperville started growing, developers frequently used themes as street-naming devices.

In Hobson West, a section of a neighborhood is dedicated to Revolutionary War and American Civil War battles with streets like Appomattox, Gettysburg, and Bunker Hill. On the other side of town, colleges – Augustana, Brown, and Emory, for example – are located in University Heights.

In the Moser Highlands, tree and shrub names were used, such as Sandalwood, Lilac, Rose, Cypress, Aspen and Sycamore, and Kentucky Derby winners were used in the Hobson Village subdivision, including Whirlaway, Secretariat, Sir Barton, and Dark Star.

In Ashbury, streets are dedicated to famous poets and novelists: Frost, Keats, Lawrence, Eliot and Conan Doyle.

“If existing roadways connect into the new subdivision, it retains existing name regardless of theme,” LaCloche added.

Deputy Fire Chief Andrew Dina said Naperville’s penchant for subdivisions with themed streets benefits emergency responders because it’s easier to remember. “It totally helps,” Dina said.

On rainy or cold days when outdoor training isn’t possible, Dina said firefighters will pull out maps of the city and grill each other on locations of specific streets. “They make a bit of a game of it,” he said

Keeping your basement watertight starts with the initial construction.

Why Oak Hill installs double drain tiles and oversized sub-pumps in their homes.

Waterproof Your Basement – Chicago Tribune – 12/9/2000

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If you like bargain prices, you’ll want a basement in your new home. Basement space is some of the least expensive living space you can get in a new house.

But a basement that turns into a swimming pool or has several small streams flowing through it every time it rains is virtually useless. If you want your new basement to be bone dry, like my 15-year-old basement, it must be waterproofed early in the construction process.
If you are like many homeowners I talk with, you think the thin black substance sprayed on foundation walls is waterproofing. In almost all cases it isn’t. Commonly the builder is applying an unmodified, asphalt-based, damp-proofing product. Damp-proofing is a low-cost method of retarding water infiltration; it is by no means a true waterproofing membrane.

Damp-proofing products are generally asphalt- or tar-based compounds sprayed onto foundations prior to backfilling. Concrete and other masonry products will easily transmit water vapor, so these products are designed to block water vapor transmission. This, basically, is the extent of their capabilities. Damp-proofing compounds generally become brittle after they dry. They also do not have the ability to bridge cracks, and groundwater can actually dissolve the compounds over time.

Waterproofing compounds are much different. There are a wide variety on the market: urethanes, modified asphalts, and clay- and rubber-based products. They are either spray-applied or come in sheets.

Waterproofing membranes have several distinct characteristics: Groundwater has little or no long-term effect on them; they can bridge small foundation cracks; they usually retain their elasticity; and some actually have self-sealing properties.

Waterproofing compounds are able to resist a hydrostatic head, which develops when water builds up against the side of your foundation. The pressure can be enormous. I’ve seen a stream of water squirt two feet out onto a basement floor.

There are many things that you can do to help ensure that your basement stays dry. First, be sure your foundation is constructed as strongly as possible. Install as much reinforcing steel as practical to ensure that in the event a crack occurs, it will not widen or displace. Consider increasing the thickness of your foundation walls. Remember, no waterproofing compound can bridge a major structural crack. Your first line of defense is a strong, crack-free foundation.

Install an excellent foundation drainage system. Use plenty of large, washed gravel over the foundation drain tile. Two feet is the minimum thickness, but 3 feet would be better. Make sure your builder covers the gravel with 4 inches of straw or tarpaper before backfilling. This is a commonly overlooked step. These materials prevent silt from the fluffed backfill dirt from clogging the gravel and the drain tile system. Geotextile fabrics are available for this same purpose, but straw or tarpaper will work just fine if installed correctly.

Be sure the ground slopes away from all points of the foundation at least 6 inches in vertical height for the first 10 feet of horizontal distance. Pipe downspouts and sump discharge pipes away from the house. Do not let this water collect or discharge at the base of the foundation.

Check with your building department for local code requirements. Many building codes accept damp-proofing if the basement will have no finished living space at the time the house is complete. But if you decide to finish your basement at a later date, it’s virtually impossible to properly waterproof the foundation.


Write to Tim Carter, c/o The Chicago Tribune, P.O. Box 36352, Cincinnati, OH 45236-0352. Or contact him on the Internet at

For a list of manufacturers of exterior applied foundation waterproofing compounds and other details to minimize water infiltration, send $3 and your name and address to Tim Carter at the above address. Ask for Builder Bulletin No. 18.


A semi-custom home that features Smart House home automation is on display at the Ashbury subdivision in west suburban Naperville.

The home is a cooperative effort of Naperville-based Oak Hill Builders Inc. and Lisle-based Molex Inc., a leading supplier of interconnection systems.

The Smart House concept, launched in 1984 by the National Association of Home Builders National Research Center, has since been adapted by developers throughout the country.

The Sharon model at Ashbury is the first Smart House to be introduced in western suburbs, according to Oak Hill owners Nick and John Stanitz.

John Stanitz said this infrastructure allows homeowners to take advantage of centralized home management, including whole-house telephone and audio/video signal distribution, energy management, lighting control and security systems. Commands are executed on-site or through remote control via wall panels, switches or telephones.

Visitors to the Smart House will be shown how the built-in “intelligence” permits the interconnection of electronic, electrical and gas home products. Molex has been a national leader in developing integrated networks for centralized home management systems.

The two-story Sharon is a modified Georgian design.

It has 4,000 square feet of living area that includes a two-story foyer with double octagon recessed ceiling, four bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, formal living room, formal dining room with a custom ceiling, two-story family room with cathedral ceiling and fireplace and nine-foot ceilings throughout the first floor.

The home also has a sunroom off the kitchen and dinette, volume ceiling in the master bedroom, cathedral ceiling with skylight in the master bath, rear deck, full basement and attached three-car garage.

Oak Hill will build the Sharon model, base-priced from $280,000 plus lot, on any lot, as well as at Ashbury.

Oak Hill is one of several builders at Ashbury, which is planned for 1,100 homes.

The model is at 1119 Conan Doyle Road, one block south of 95th Street and one mile east of Illinois Highway 59