Barrington‘s White House, a village-owned cultural and community center in the downtown, recently created a nonprofit investment group designed to maximize contributions to the center, officials said.
Managed by three area residents who will act as volunteer investment managers, the group, called Friends of Barrington’s White House, will invest funds given to the center, 145 W. Main St., which often serves as a place for entertainment, private events and retreats, said Dave Nelson, who is one of the investment mangers.
“This vehicle allows us to take money, invest it and maximize returns to the White House,” he said.
Nelson works as senior vice president of wealth management for Omni Wealth Management Group of UBS in Barrington.
Alfred St. John, a senior adviser consultant for OppenheimerFunds, and Timothy Romenesko, vice chairman for AAR Corporation, also are on the investment team, Nelson said, bringing experience with handling nonprofit investments.
The creation of Friends of Barrington’s White House, though, should not be a sign of financial issues at the center, Nelson said.
“It’s just the opposite,” he said. “We have people coming to us regularly and want to donate money.”
On Sept. 11, the Barrington Village Board approved a resolution to form the investment group. Village President Karen Darch said investment returns will go into a capital reserve fund, cultural and unrestricted funds, covering multiple areas.
Beth Raseman, manager of Barrington’s White House, said the center needs between $105,000 to $110,000 a year in capital reserves for building maintenance, including the roof, heating and air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical.
“This is to maintain the conditions of the house at the level that it was restored,” she said. “We had a firm do a capital reserve study.”
The move comes after officials with Barrington’s White House recently completed a multi-million-dollar renovation to the center, which officially opened as a cultural and community center in 2015 and coincided with Barrington’s 150th anniversary.
Last year, officials said they successfully raised $6.8 million to cover the overhaul to Barrington’s White House, which included leasable office space for nonprofits, an expanded ballroom and other upgrades.
Village officials initially bought the building in 2007 for $1.2 million, and crews started renovating the neoclassical-style, three-story building in 2014.
The home originally was built in 1898 for John and Julia Robertson, a popular couple in Barrington at the time who were known to host large social gatherings in the third-floor ballroom, according to the village’s website.
John Robertson was a successful banker in the area, while Julia served as a respected hostess, the website stated.