CoHo's 3rd Annual Fundraiser

CoHo_Fundraiser_Invite_2014

We cordially invite you to join City of Homes Organization, Inc’s (“CoHo”) for our annual fundraiser to benefit the Heart of Berwyn Historic Neighborhood Campaign!

For just $50.00, you will be supporting continued progress toward listing the Heart of Berwyn Historic Neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places (see details below).  Since last year’s fundraiser, the City of Berwyn has secured funding through a matching grant from the Illinois Preservation Agency (IHPA) with 70% reimbursement and 30% local match provided by CoHo. In addition, the city has selected a consultant to prepare the application. The initial draft is scheduled for submission to the IHPA March 2015.

Annual Honors

At this event, CoHo will honor Beverly and Trent Weable with the  “CoHo Award” for their outstanding commitment to Berwyn’s historic housing stock. An integral part of the Berwyn Bungalow Preservation Initiative team, Beverly and Trent surveyed Berwyn’s bungalow neighborhoods and conducted initial research that led to the development of a simplified process to nominate homes for local landmark designation. Their hard work provided the building blocks for the Heart of Berwyn Historic Neighborhood Campaign.

When?

Thursday, October 16, 2014
6 pm. to 9 pm

Where?

Fitzgerald’s Side Bar
6615 Roosevelt Road
Berwyn, IL

What?

A great evening of quality entertainment, including:

  • Open bar with wine and Fitzgerald’s excellent beer selection
  • Food from Tamale Hut Café
  • Live entertainment by Lady T Jazz Quintet
  • Raffle drawings
  • An opportunity to learn about the Heart of Berwyn Historic Neighborhood Campaign
  • An opportunity to meet fellow enthusiasts of historically significant homes and adaptive reuse

How?

Purchase tickets online at www.homesweetbungalowcoho2014.eventbrite.com

A Commitment to CoHo is a Commitment to Community

Founded in 2011, CoHo, a 501(c)(3) corporation, is dedicated to promoting the preservation, redevelopment, adaptive reuse and continued viability of Berwyn’s historic housing stock.    Its goal is to make Berwyn the primary destination in the Chicago area for families and individuals seeking an affordable, walkable, location-efficient and transit orientated community.  With donor support and volunteer commitment, CoHo  spearheaded the Berwyn Bungalow Preservation Initiative and completed the initial survey of Berwyn’s housing stock which served as a catalyst to pursue National Register of Historic Places designation.

CoHo has partnered with the City of Berwyn to make the historic district come to fruition.  In October 2012, the Berwyn City Council passed the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) Comprehensive Plan. A cornerstone of this bold plan is to designate the area between Cermak Road and the Depot as a historic district in order to preserve and protect Berwyn’s most important and attractive asset – its housing stock.  Subsequently, CoHo worked with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) to identify a district within the area proposed in the CMAP 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 Maple Ave. (west) was selected for nomination to the National Register.  CoHo worked with the City of Berwyn to secure a grant from the IHPA 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 will create one of the largest Bungalow Historic Districts in the United States.  Placement of the area on the National Register will help preserve and protect Berwyn’s housing stock, raise awareness of its neighborhood boundaries and historic importance.  Such acknowledgement paves the way for appropriate and much needed homeowner investment in Berwyn’s homes that can be assisted with available historic property tax assessment freeze.  In addition, National Register designation enhances the Berwyn “brand” promoted by the Berwyn Development Corporation’s “Why Berwyn”  and “Berwyn Style” campaigns.

Heart of Berwyn Campaign

coho_2014_bungalow_week

We cordially invite you to join City of Homes Organization, Inc.’s (“CoHo”) to celebrate Bungalow Appreciation Week and learn about CoHo’s efforts to create a National Bungalow Historic District in Berwyn.

This event will take place at one of Berwyn’s local historic landmarks, and one of its most recognizable homes, the Dvorak house at 6945 W. Riverside Drive.

For just $25.00, you will be providing valuable support to our Campaign (see details below). Your contribution will be used to pay for the expenses associated with completing the national register application.

When?

Saturday, May 4, 2014
2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Where?

Dvorak House
6945 W. Riverside Drive
Berwyn, IL

Why we need your support?

The Berwyn City Council passed the City’s Comprehensive Plan in October 2012. A cornerstone of this bold plan is to designate the area between Cermak Road and the Depot District as a historic district in order to preserve and protect our City’s most important and attractive asset – its housing stock.

CoHo – a 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to promoting the preservation, redevelopment, adaptive reuse and continued viability of Berwyn’s historic housing stock and in making Berwyn the primary destination in the Chicago area for families and individuals seeking an affordable, walkable, location-efficient and transit orientated community – has partnered with the City to make the historic district come to fruition.  To do this, CoHo and the city have submitted a plan and grant application to the IHPA.  Though the grant was awarded, the state will only cover 70% of the grant, we need your assistance to cover the remaining costs of this initiative.

The nomination will create one of the largest Bungalow Historic Districts in the United States.  The placement of the area on the National Register will not only help preserve and protect our housing stock, but it will raise awareness of our City’s history and architectural and enhance the Berwyn “brand”.

We hope that you can join us to learn more about the steps required to complete the nomination, and learn about the benefits of being listed on the National Register.

Central Berwyn Bungalow District

 

The Berwyn Bungalow Manifesto

Berwyn Style (changes in bold and underlined)

  • Remove your window bars, security doors, and glass block: nothing that you own is worth having a pitiful home.
  • Gustav Stickley did not make kitchen hardware for your bungalow. (best one!)
  • Keep interior walls dark: white walls are for bathrooms, do you want your dining room to look like a bathroom?
  • Your roof should be red or green unless you have specific proof to the contrary.
  • Most of the generic furniture and accessories we collect were made by teenagers: teach your kids to create and save a bundle.
  • A house without a porch is like a woman without a nose, don’t brick in your bungalow porch!
  • Anything over two cats yews is mental illness.
  • If your house is too small, you have too much stuff.
  • Almost every bungalow, when new, was decorated by someone who had not even heard of the Gamble House. Use places such as this as an inspiration to quality, not as a motif.
  • If a tradesman says “it can’t be done” fire him for his lack of vision.
  • Plant climbing roses and native prairie plants.
  • Good restoration is a series of modest projects done well: more history was destroyed by spending too much money than by not enough.

For those of you not familiar with the original manifesto, a number of years back, Erik Hanson wrote a Bungalow Manifesto that quickly became very popular with bungalow owners. 

Erik Hanson’s Original Bungalow Manifesto, recovered from archive.org

  • Remove your window bars and security doors: nothing that you own is worth having a pitiful home.
  • Gustav Stickley did not make kitchen hardware for your bungalow.
  • Keep interior walls dark: white walls are for bathrooms, do you want your dining room to look like a bathroom?
  • Your roof should be red or green unless you have specific proof to the contrary.
  • Most of the generic furniture and accessories we collect were made by teenagers: teach your kids to create and save a bundle.
  • A house without a porch is like a woman without a nose.
  • Anything over two cats is mental illness.
  • If your house is too small, you have too much stuff.
  • Almost every bungalow, when new, was decorated by someone who had not even heard of the Gamble House. Use places such as this as an inspiration to quality, not as a motif.
  • If a tradesman says “it can’t be done” fire him for his lack of vision.
  • Plant climbing roses.
  • Good restoration is a series of modest projects done well: more history was destroyed by spending too much money than by not enough. 

Happy Bungalow Appreciation Week

May is National Preservation Month, and in Berwyn and the rest of Illinois, during the first week of May, we celebrate a historical building type that provides Berwyn its unique character and sense of place; the Chicago Style Bungalow. 

In March of this year, the City of Homes Organization worked with State Senator Sandoval to declare the first week of May Bungalow Appreciation Week in Illinois.  This declaration will further our mission to promote the preservation, redevelopment, adaptive reuse and continued viability of Berwyn’s historic housing stock and recognize the bungalow as an integral part of our community.

Our efforts to celebrate Bungalow Appreciation Week this year are humble, we’re planning a Berwyn Bikes and Bungalows ride on Saturday May 5 to highlight our bungalows and livable streets (May is also National Bike Month).  However, we are working with American Bungalow Magazine to reach out to other communities and start an effort for a National Bungalow Appreciation Week; we hope that by this time next year there will be bungalow appreciation events from coast to coast, and as Svengoolie says, “it came from Berwyn.”

Bungalow Appreciation Week

FIRST WEEK OF MAY DECLARED BUNGALOW APPRECIATION WEEK IN ILLINOIS:

Berwyn, IL – It’s no secret that the bungalow has played a significant role in the City of Berwyn’s history with hundreds built in Berwyn between 1920 and 1930. For over a century, the bungalow has provided Berwyn residents with many benefits including home ownership, walkable neighborhoods and convenient access to Chicago.

The City of Berwyn continues to encourage its bungalow owners by providing resources to help with the restoration of their homes. Berwyn’s bungalows have been honored in several publications including American Bungalow Magazine and This Old House Magazine.

In order to celebrate the bungalow, a state senate resolution was read in the 97th General Assembly of the State of Illinois on March 8, 2012 proclaiming the first week in May as Bungalow Appreciation Week in the State of Illinois.

Berwyn resident and Chairman of the board of the City of Homes Organization (COHO) Nasri AbiMansour stated “The declaration of Bungalow Appreciation week serves to remind us how central this particular style of housing is to providing Berwyn with its character and sense of place. For almost 100 years, these houses have served us as spacious, efficient and affordable homes. We hope that this declaration will encourage and promote their use for the next 100 years.”

Berwyn City Councilman Cesar Santoy who helped advance the legislation stated, “I am grateful and appreciative to work with State Senator Martin Sandoval to advance the adoption of the proclamation. Berwyn’s stock of bungalow houses are an integral part of our community. This initiative furthers our effort to recognize, maintain, and preserve our quality housing stock.”

Unleaded! Renovations shouldn't threaten your family's health.

Lead poisoning affects children’s health and development, especially brain development.   It is primarily caused by a child’s exposure to deteriorating lead-based paint through ingestion of paint chips or inhalation of lead dust created during home renovation.   Exposure to lead can result in learning disabilities, as well as behavior and developmental problems.  Illinois has the highest lead-poisoning rate of any state in the nation, and Berwyn was designated one of the Illinois Department of Public Health’s “high risk zip codes” for lead poisoning.

While the primary focus of CoHo is supporting and promoting adaptive reuse and preservation of historic homes, we recognize that this provides us a unique opportunity to be a driver of environmental justice and health equity initiatives as it relates to safe housing.  It is for this reason that we have partnered with Jack’s Rental to make HEPA negative air filter machines, HEPA vacuums and other resources available to help you reduce potential lead exposure during your renovation projects.

Join us at the next Bungalows on Tap, on Thursday, February 23 to learn about lead hazards in old homes and receive information on how you can access, FREE OF RENTAL CHARGES, specialty HEPA filtered equipment for your next DIY project.

 

Take advantage of the new I-GO Berwyn location: Save $50 with I-GO and your transit card

In case you have not heard, I-GO car sharing now has a location in Berwyn

You have until February 29 (yes that’s an extra day) to sign up for a joint Chicago Card Plus I-GO card for use on the CTA and in I-GO Car Sharing vehicles and you will receive $50 in transit credit and a heavily discounted I-GO membership.

The Chicago Card Plus I-GO card is the only one of its kind in the nation, allowing a seamless transfer between public transit and a car sharing vehicle.

 

 

Here are the Chicago Card Plus I-GO incentives at a glance:

  • Ends February 29, 2012
  • Applicants must be new I-GO members and pass a driving record check
  • I-GO membership is $15 (a savings of $60)
  • $50 in transit fare credit loaded to card within 10 days after application approval.

The Cook County Department of Environmental Control is administering the program in coordination with the Center of Neighborhood Technology. Funding for this initiative is made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to promote sustainable transportation options.

Click HERE to enroll in the program.

If you are already an I-GO member and you would like to switch to the new program, click HERE.

Great food and beautiful bungalows

Don’t forget that Today, Tuesday, December 13,  is Community Tuesday at Autre Monde Café, and part of the proceeds will be donated to help us with our mission to preserve and promote our historic housing stock. 

What’s really great about Autre Monde is that it is a restaurant that makes simple food taste and look great.  It’s also nice to know that you can have a fine dining experience without referring to the Larousse Gastronomique (or your iPhone) to translate the ingredients. Whether you go for the lasagna, the porterhouse, or even the tongue, you won’t be dissapointed.

In a way, many new restaurants try to go overboard with their ingredients and dishes, it reminds me of some very interesting Bungalow renovations that I have seen.  Take a look at the following pictures, and you will understand why we’re trying so hard to preserve our bungalows and why keeping things true to their origin is always best, from lasagna to bungalows… and remember that in Berwyn great food leads to beautiful bungalows.

 

 

Do you have some other pictures of what NOT TO DO?  The pictures above are of Berwyn bungalows.  However, the following interior pictures are from “rehabbed” bungalows in Chicago as listed in the MLS. 

 

 

and finally, for the new classic, the purple room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Wishes from the City of Homes Organization

2011 has been a great year for the City of Homes Organization. What started as a grass roots effort to preserve and promote our bungalows quickly became a full-fledged 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting the preservation, redevelopment, adaptive reuse and continued viability of Berwyn’s historic housing stock.

So what have we done so far?

  1. We spearheaded Berwyn’s first ever presence at the Historic Chicago Bungalow and Green Home Expo at the Merchandise Mart.
  2. We supported the Why Berwyn outreach at Halsted Market Days
  3. We promoted Berwyn bungalows to a group of local real estate professionals and the Chicago Association of Realtor
  4. We received extensive media coverage (radio and print) of our efforts, including an article on the first page of the Chicago Tribune real estate section
  5. We received a Healthy People 2020 community innovations grant
  6. We presented three Bungalows on Tap seminars at Fitzgerald’s Nightclub
  7. We presented at a ward meeting, city council meetings, and an All Berwyn Committee meeting.
  8. We partnered with the Berwyn Historical Society at Oktoberfest
  9. We mapped all Berwyn blocks that are predominantly bungalow blocks
  10. We worked with the Berwyn Historic Preservation Commission to make it easier for homeowners to nominate their properties as local historic landmark, which in turn will allow them to take advantage of the Historic Property Tax Assessment Freeze.  
  11. We developed bungalow design guidelines with the assistance of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

All of this would not have been possible without the support of our Board of Directors, our volunteers, and the businesses and organizations that support us. We would particularly like to thank the Berwyn Development Corporation, Fitzgerald’s Nightclub, Autre Monde Café and Spirits, Tamale Hut Café, the Community Bank of Oak Park and River Forest, Jack’s Rental and the Illinois Historical Preservation Agency, as well as our great volunteers for all their support.

Community Tuesdays at Autre Monde Cafe and Spirits

We are sure that many of you have dined at neighborhood restaurants. Berwyn is lucky to have a neighborhood restaurant that not only serves excellent food, but is also supportive of local community organizations. On “Community Tuesdays”, Autre Monde Cafe and Spirits donates 10% of proceeds to a local organization, and we are very lucky and honored to be the recipient of December’s Community Tuesdays. So please support this gem of neighborhood restaurant every day of the week (except Mondays when they’re closed) … but especially on Tuesdays.