Find out what makes Berwyn the City of Homes

When you think houses in Berwyn, you immediately think “BUNGALOWS!” But there’s a reason why Berwyn is known as The City of Homes—it may surprise you just how much variety there is in Berwyn’s affordable housing stock. Whether you want to find interesting facts about your house or are currently looking for a new home, look no further!


You have DEFINITELY seen Queen Anne Victorians around Berwyn—you can’t miss them! Featuring signature style details like beautiful wrap-around porches, turrets, towers and ornamental details, Queen Annes give a nod to the extravagance of the era. Many of the materials required in building a Victorian home were being mass-produced at the time and were able to be easily shipped thanks to the widespread train-routes that were established.

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American Foursquares

American Foursquares are unique in their effective use of space and were some of the first homes built in Berwyn. They were popular to build around the 1910s and were chosen because of their simplicity compared to their Victorian counterparts. Common features of an American Foursquare are two-and-a-half stories, large overhanging eaves, and a large front porch with wide steps. They tended to be built on larger lots, providing residents with plenty of space to plant and craft beautifully landscaped front lawns.

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Workman’s Cottages

The Workman’s Cottage home can be defined by its namesake – a cottage. Most Workman’s Cottages are typically 1.5 stories with a pointed roof; some are frame houses and others were built with brick.  Workman’s Cottage houses are considered to be the predecessor to Chicago-style bungalows because of their similarities. The outsides of the homes may appear very different but the interiors can be very similar with almost the same interior floor plan being used.

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Tudor Revivals

The Tudor Revival style houses are some of the most recent houses to be built in Berwyn, starting to appear in the 1940s. The Tudor Revivals tend to sit on smaller lots than their bungalow neighbors and were built as a more affordable option. These houses boast a very steep pitched roof, intersecting gabled roofs, and are always 1.5 stories high. Some have small front porches but many also feature no porch at all. Berwyn’s Tudors tend to feature intricate stonework that frames different parts of the houses.

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French Normandy

After World War I, the French Normandy architecture style grew popular among the growing middle class in America. Inspired by French chateaus, these houses were built on a smaller and more affordable scale. French Normandy houses can feature a round stone tower topped by a conical roof usually serving as the entrance or a design feature, arched doorways, steep roof pitches, high ridge lines, dormers and half-timbering.

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Berwyn’s bungalows were generally built all around the same time in the 1920’s to 1930’s. Although many bungalows in a block were sometimes built by the same workers, each house in Berwyn will always be unique and different from its neighbors. The roof line, style of shingles, limestone accents, and even the style of decorative face brick is different from house to house. The bungalows in Berwyn are also full of ornamental details such as tiled roofs, stained glass windows, checkerboard brick patterns, and intricate limestone insets.

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National Register of Historic Places

Berwyn has two of its houses on the National Register of Historic Places. The Silhan House and Arthur Dunham House are significant for the way in which they perfectly exemplify the styles in which they were built. Berwyn has also made it into into the National Register’s list of Historic Places for the seventh time for its Central Berwyn Bungalow Historic District.

The Silhan House

In 2006 this home made it onto the National Register of Historic Places for its well-preserved style and many features of the Art Moderne style that make it significant on a local and national level.

Arthur Dunham House

In 1992 the home was added to the National Register of Historic Places because of its clear representation of  the Prairie style. The home has been passed down through generations and still remains under the ownership of the original family.

City of Berwyn Programs

The City of Berwyn offers plenty of great programs from down payment assistance programs to home repair programs as well as local businesses that will help you achieve your dream of owning a home. Browse through the BDC directories for real estate and financial institutions and find the perfect fit for you! You can also check out our blog and see how these institutions are making an impact in Berwyn.

Chicago Magazine recently published an article featuring Berwyn’s diverse housing options—read here!

The Community Development Department has a Housing Rehabilitation No Interest Loan Program to benefit Berwyn residents and keep our City beautiful. This program allows Berwyn residents with low or moderate incomes to make needed repairs and increase the value of the home and also provides ADA upgrades to those with disabilities.

Find out if you qualify here

The Flood Mitigation Shared Cost Program provides financial assistance to homeowners who install systems to protect their homes from sewer backup during a heavy rain event.

Find out if you qualify here

The Downspout Disconnection Program provides financial assistance to homeowners who wish to disconnect their existing downspouts from their sewer which will lead to increased sewer capacity during a heavy rain event and a reduction in the incidence of sewer backups.

Find out if you qualify here

The City of Berwyn offers an annual Shared-Cost Sidewalk Program where residents have the option to share the cost of sidewalk repairs with the City. If you would like sidewalk repair done on your property, this is the program for you.

Learn more and apply

The State of Illinois also offers assistance through local banks. IHDA Loans are ideal for borrowers who need extra flexibility or who have limited funds for down payment and/or closing costs, yet have the financial means to maintain monthly mortgage payments.

Learn more about IHDA loans

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