History of the Rockford Library

History 2018-08-10T00:31:01+00:00

The Rockford Gas Light and Coke Company operated a manufactured gas plant (MGP) at the northeast corner of North Wyman and Mulberry Streets from about 1857 to 1898. After the plant was shut down, most of the above-ground structures associated with the gas plant operation were removed.

The City of Rockford assumed ownership of the property in 1902, and built the Rockford Public Library, which was completed in 1903. In the 1960s the library building was remodeled and various additions were made to the building.

The Rockford Gas Light and Coke Company merged with the Central Illinois Electric and Gas Company in 1931.  Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) purchased the company in 1966. As part of its company wide environmental program, ComEd investigated the property at 215 N. Wyman Street, and located remnants of the MGP at the site.  ComEd plans to remove the historic MGP materials with oversight by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). Reports submitted to the IEPA are available to the public at the Library’s 214 Church Street location.

What is happening now?

ComEd is addressing the site in coordination with the Board of Trustees of the Rockford Public Library. Library services have  temporarily moved to 214 North Church Street, a few blocks away. ComEd will remove the existing building on Wyman Street, remove the materials from the MGP process, and bring in clean soil to bring the site back up to grade.

For more information about the status of the project, please visit the Progress Updates page.