The Central Berwyn Bungalow Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service effective August 18, 2015.
The district, roughly bounded by Cermak Road (north), 26th Street (south), Ridgeland Avenue (east) and Home Avenue (west), is distinguished by its high architectural integrity and for its size. Homes within the district have maintained the historical character that dates to its development in the . Of the 1,506 residential structures inventoried within the district, 1,360 are designated as “contributing,” making the Central Berwyn Bungalow Historic District the largest such district in Illinois and one of the largest in the United States. This designation recognizes Berwyn as the location of one of the metropolitan area’s highest concentrations of Chicago-style bungalows. In addition, the district is notable for its numerous variations of bungalow subtypes. Over 40 variations have been identified and documented in the district. These characteristics are the basis upon which the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council unanimously recommended the district’s nomination at its June 19, 2015 board meeting.
The quest to pursue the national register nomination began with the establishment of the City of Homes Organization (CoHo) in 2010. CoHo is an independent non-profit organization started by community members committed to advancing the idea that Berwyn is well positioned to become the primary destination in the Chicago area for families and individuals seeking an affordable, livable, walkable, location-efficient and transit-oriented community. Promoting and preserving Berwyn’s historical housing stock is a cornerstone of CoHo’s mission. 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 was a catalyst to nominate the district.
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources deemed worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a federal program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect the country’s historic and archaeological resources. Listing on the National Register affords properties a measure of protection from the possible impact of federally funded projects. To learn more about the National Register of Historic Places please visit www.nps.gov/nr/
The Central Berwyn Bungalow Historic District is Berwyn’s seventh entry to National Register of Historic Places, and its first district. Preceding this entry are the following properties:
- Berwyn Suburban Station (680l W. Windsor Ave, also known as the Burlington Suburban Station, added 1982)
- The Arthur J. Dunham House (3131 Wisconsin Avenue, added 1982)
- Berwyn National Bank (6801 W. Cermak Rd, current home of Big Hurt Brewhouse, added 2000)
- Berwyn City Hall (6700 W 26th Street, added 2001)
- Berwyn Township Public Health District building (6600 West 26th Street, listed as “Berwyn Health Center,” added 2002)
- The Mr. Robert Silhan House (3728 S. Cuyler, added 2007)
Hold The Date for the Celebration: Oct 1, 2015
Our friends and neighbors in Berwyn are invited to join us for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct 1, 2015 near Grove Ave. and Riverside Drive. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be immediately followed by CoHo’s annual fundraiser at Big Hurt Brewhouse. Please check this website and our facebook page (www.facebook.com/cityofhomes) for additional details.
Putting Berwyn’s Bungalows on the Map
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 that includes a significant percentage of Chicago Style bungalows .
Subsequently, the City of Homes Organization (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 Avenue (east) and Home Avenue (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 !
The City of Berwyn has hired the Lakota Group to manage the research and preparation of the Heart of Berwyn National Register Historic District nomination. Representatives from the Lakota Group are currently conducting a survey of all properties that are located within the proposed district. They are taking photographs of each building from the street or sidewalk and are adding a few notes about the building’s location and architectural details.
Milestones for this project are as follows:
- November 2014: Survey of Homes begins
- March 2015: Initial draft of Central Berwyn Bungalow Historic District National Register Nomination submitted to Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA)
- June 2015: Central Berwyn Bungalow Historic District National Register Nomination submitted to the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council (IHSAC)
- August 2015: Central Berwyn Bungalow Historic District Added to the National Register of Historic Places
- October 2015: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
This program receives Federal financial assistance for identification and protection of historic properties Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or disability or age in its federally assisted programs. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to:
Office for Equal Opportunity Equal Employment Opportunity Officer National Park Service or Illinois Historic Preservation Agency P.O. Box 37127; One Old State Capitol Plaza Washington, DC 20013-7127; Springfield, IL 62701