Community rallies against plans to close Palatine Stables amid $2.5M repair estimate

The Palatine Park District will move forward with plans to demolish its beloved horse stables. 

The park board voted Monday night to continue the process leading to demolition.

The decision was made despite passionate pleas from residents. Thousands of community members signed a petition calling on the Park District to reverse course.

The Palatine Stables, built in the 1950s, have been open to the public since the late eighties, serving as a school and training facility.

In May, the Palatine Park District hired a Wheaton-based structural engineering firm, which randomly selected support posts to examine, revealing that some were deteriorating.

The Park District estimated the cost to repair and enhance the facility would be upwards of $2.5 million.

But community members said they don't believe the total would be that high, as not all support posts would need to be replaced.

Now, the Park District is expanding its initial assessment, asking the firm to inspect all 313 posts.

It could take several weeks to complete, and the findings have not been released yet.

An employee at the stables said she hopes the board reconsiders, saying that the stables are home to more than 60 horses and relocating them would be incredibly difficult.

‘There’s not a facility like this in the area to even keep our barn community together. There’s not 60 open stalls somewhere that we could all go and up and re-route," said Cadee Gehrke, employee at Palatine Stables. "It’s a big undertaking and I really don’t think the park district has the equine understanding to be making these decisions at the drop of a hat."

Monday's vote does not mean all hope is lost. The vote indicates that the park district assessment of the property will continue as part of the demolition plan.

A district spokesperson said it is not the final decision.