DANVILLE - He's entertained you for decades, made you laugh, and maybe made you laugh so hard you cried, but many in Central Illinois don't know that famous actor Dick van Dyke grew up in Danville. At one point, city officials were also unaware of the home's legacy. They condemned the dilapidated house in December. Some residents are not happy.
"It'll be a great, great, great, loss," said neighbor Fellini Evans.
The mayor of Danville says city staff didn't know it's history, but this week he's received phone calls and social media messages from residents who don't want to see the home demolished.
"You need to give out-of-town people something to come here for," said another neighbor who lives across the street from the home.
The mayor says the city is not against gaining possession of the home if someone with the financial means to renovate it comes forward with concrete plans to do so.
"I just hope somebody takes it into consideration and puts some money into it," said Evans.
According to city directories, the Van Dykes were listed as residents of the home between 1935 and 1944. The most recent owner died in 2011. Danville's Public Works director says a relative of the former owner has expressed interest in restoring the property but hasn't shown evidence he can afford to do it.