Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Lost Towns of Illinois - Weston, Illinois.

Weston was predated by a 100-house subdivision named West Field, which was on the verge of growing in size due to the proposed development for 50,000 people. However, DuPage County sued developer William Riley to prevent the town from incorporating, basing their challenge upon a technicality, and further stated that as it had not properly incorporated that the town had no legal right to annex land for development. 

In April 1964, four months after the town's initial unveiling, the project collapsed, and the developer filed for bankruptcy, blaming the county's lawsuit. Had construction proceeded as planned, the town would have contained the largest mall in North America, with some 2,000 stores within it. The town also was to have an airport, more than 11,000 houses, athletics fields, a town center, and even large man-made lakes.

The subdivision was taken over by DuPage County, allowing the few existing residents to remain. The residents then worked again to incorporate as a town in an attempt to free themselves from DuPage County control, eventually seeking help from the Federal Government through the US Atomic Energy Commission. 
Aerial view of Weston, the site for the National Accelerator Laboratory. 1966

The National Academy of Sciences also made a visit to the site of the community. In 1966, after much controversy from within both the community and the surrounding county, the community was chosen as the site for the new Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory at Kirk and Pine Streets, Batavia. 

Shortly after, it was revealed that the town would be contained within the laboratory's boundaries, meaning that the community's residents had to sell their homes to the State of Illinois, and the community of Weston ceased to exist.

Today, some of the original houses are still standing, used by Fermilab for boarding international scientists, but are not accessible to the public.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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