SCHAUMBURG CENTER SCHOOL: A HOT SPOT FOR REALTORS

This charming little school at Schaumburg and Roselle Roads served as one of the five, one-room public schools in Schaumburg Township. It remained Schaumburg Centre school until January 1954 when students in the township began attending the newly built Schaumburg School on east Schaumburg Road.

When that happened, the school building entered its second phase and was rehabbed to accommodate a series of businesses. With its central location in the township, it was a prime spot for small businesses to get a start. As a result, for the next 26 years it housed everything from the R.I.C Delicatessen to a wrought iron store to three different realty agencies.

The photo below, taken in 1978 or 1979, was contributed by local realtor Bob Dohn when it was Koenig & Strey Realtors. The sign to the far left clearly shows a portion of the long time Koenig & Strey logo.

This realty agency was preceded by FBK Realty and Kole Real Estate. According to Mr. Dohn, “Kole Real Estate [was] a well-known local real estate company in the 1970s that was started by Robert Kole. When I worked in the building, Koenig & Strey was a well established, family-run firm from the north suburbs that made a foray into the northwest suburbs in the late 1970s.

As part of this move, they purchased FBK Realty, which still had operating offices in Mt. Prospect and Arlington Heights. I’m not sure whether Jack Keller retained ownership of the schoolhouse building or if the building and land were part of the acquisition, but K&S hired me to open their office there. Jack Keller remained active in the merged company until he passed away a short time later. Jack was a genuinely good person who was admired by eveyone, by the way.”

The office began operating in September 1978 according to a March 8, 1979 issue of the Daily Herald. Mr. Dohn said, “Koenig & Strey had plans to build a shopping center on the site, much like the current Schoolhouse Square that was later developed by Terry Bolger. The idea was to build the new center around the schoolhouse, then move our offices into the new space and donate the schoolhouse to the historical society, who were to move it to its current location by St Peter’s Lutheran Church.

Unfortunately, per my understanding at the time, the Village of Schaumburg wanted the schoolhouse moved to allow for the installation of a water detention area prior to any other construction taking place. As a result, we merged our Schaumburg staff into another K&S office in Palatine and the schoolhouse was moved to its temporary location.”

This site was across Schaumburg Road in Town Square. You can see the red school next to the pond in the photo below.

Mr. Dohn continued, “Before the shopping center was started, the real estate market saw record-breaking interest rates, heralding hard times for the real estate business. K&S shelved their building plans and eventually closed all their northwest suburban offices. After several mergers over the years, K&S today operates as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff.”

In a time when open commercial space was valuable, it is telling that three realty agencies took advantage of the real estate mantra “Location, Location, Location” and moved into our township’s centrally located, one room school. What a prime spot!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

 

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