Central Bungalow Historic District Continues On Path to National Register

The Central Berwyn Bungalow Historic District National Register Nomination is scheduled to be presented to the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council (IHSAC) at its June 19, 2015 board meeting in Springfield. The proposed district boundaries are Cermak Road (north), 26th Street (south), Ridgeland Avenue (east) and Home Avenue (west). Of the 1,506 residential structures inventoried, 1,360 are designated as “contributing,” making Berwyn’s proposed district among one of the largest bungalow districts nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.

The quest to pursue the national register nomination dates to the establishment of the City of Homes Organization (CoHo) in 2010. CoHo is a grassroots organization that was started by community members who were concerned about how the foreclosure crisis was impacting Berwyn. With donor support and volunteer commitment, CoHo created the Berwyn Bungalow Preservation Initiative (BBPI) and completed the initial survey of Berwyn’s housing stock that served as a catalyst to pursue the National Register of Historic Places nomination. This idea was bolstered in October 2012 when the Berwyn City Council voted to adopt the City of Berwyn’s Comprehensive Plan which was undertaken in partnership with the Berwyn Development Corporation (BDC) and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). The plan recommended the creation of a historic district between Cermak Rd and the Depot District as a strategy to preserve and protect Berwyn’s most important and attractive asset – its housing stock.

Subsequently, CoHo consulted with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) to identify a district within the area proposed in Berwyn’s Comprehensive Plan that would meet the criteria for National Register nomination. Based on the IHPA recommendation, the area between Cermak Road (north), 26th Street (south), Ridgeland Ave. (east) and Home Ave. (west) was selected for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

CoHo has partnered with the City of Berwyn to make the historic district come to fruition.  The City of Berwyn has secured funding through a matching grant from the IHPA with 70% reimbursement and 30% local match provided by CoHo. These funds have been used to hire a consultant to survey and research homes within the proposed historic district and prepare the application to be submitted for nomination.

The nomination was prepared by the Lakota Group which was selected by an ad hoc committee appointed by the City of Berwyn to oversee the preparation of the nomination. CoHo President and Berwyn Historic Preservation Commission (BHPC) member Nasri Abi Mansour has led the committee comprised of BHPC commissioners Emilio Padilla and Michael Plummer, 5th Ward Alderman and CoHo board member Cesar Santoy, CoHo board members Alicia Ruiz and Christina Serafini Shorner, and community members Brian Brock, Linda Gutfeld, and Elizabeth Kurr.

To learn more about the City of Berwyn National Register Nomination Ad Hoc Committee, please contact Nasri Abi Mansour, President, City of Homes Organization and Chair, National Register Nomination Ad Hoc Committee at nasri.mansour@gmail.com or Elizabeth Kurr, National Register Nomination Ad Hoc Committee Member at eskurr@comcast.net.

Recent Posts