Berwyn Historic Preservation Commission

Berwyn Historic Preservation Commission The Berwyn Historic Preservation Commission was formed in 2007 to preserve Berwyn's historic and architectural heritage for future generations.

The current Berwyn Historic Preservation Commissioners are Lori Thielen (Chair), Rebecca Houze (Secretary), Michael DeRouin, Jamie Franklin, Nasri Mansour, Michael Plummer, and Doug Walega.

Operating as usual

National Trust for Historic Preservation
06/08/2015

National Trust for Historic Preservation

Today is the anniversary of the Antiquities Act, a law that has enabled presidents since Theodore Roosevelt to swiftly protect historic sites and culturally important lands. In honor of more than 100 years of saving these vital places, please take a minute to ask your members of Congress to stand up for a law that has given us a tremendous gift: places that will inspire, educate and enrich our nation. http://savingplac.es/1cGJIWV

Check out Why Berwyn's new design!
06/04/2015
- Why Berwyn?

Check out Why Berwyn's new design!

The City of Berwyn is located just 8 miles west of Chicago's loop and offers easy accessibility to downtown Chicago and the surrounding suburbs via the

American Bungalow
05/27/2015

American Bungalow

Today, we honor those who have sacrificed for our freedom.

“For love of country, they accepted death.” – James A. Garfield

To all homeowners, here is a chance to discuss your bungalow renovation ideas and issues with local architects.
03/24/2015
AIA Chicago to Hold "Ask an Architect" Sessions at Chicago Bungalow & Vintage Home Expo 2015

To all homeowners, here is a chance to discuss your bungalow renovation ideas and issues with local architects.

"Our 2014 'Ask an Architect' experience with the Historic Chicago Bungalow Expo was fantastic. We had lines of homeowners wanting to discuss their bungalow renovation issues. We were helping so many homeowners that they almost had to kick us out the door at the end of the event!" - Kenneth E. Casey…

Why Berwyn?
03/04/2015

Why Berwyn?

The City of Homes organization is moving forward with the first phase of its project to have a Berwyn Bungalow District added to the National Register. Read about their progress and contribute your images and comments: http://bit.ly/BungalowDistrictMap15

Thanks to everyone who attended the Chicago Suburban Preservation Alliance Meeting in Berwyn. Great turnout and a specia...
03/01/2015

Thanks to everyone who attended the Chicago Suburban Preservation Alliance Meeting in Berwyn. Great turnout and a special thanks to Landmarks Illinois and the Big Hurt Brewhouse for hosting and sponsoring the event.

02/12/2015
Berwyn Historic Preservation Commission

We have openings on the Commission and are currently accepting applications for new Commissioners.

Berwyn’s Commissioners, past and present, have an interesting range of backgrounds and bring a variety of skills to the BHPC. We have counted architects, lawyers, community volunteers, urban planners, art historians, and history teachers among our members.

Please message us if you are interested in becoming a Commissioner.

Berwyn Historic Preservation Commission

First known film clips emerge of 1915 Eastland disaster
02/11/2015
First known film clips emerge of 1915 Eastland disaster

First known film clips emerge of 1915 Eastland disaster

For years, Ted Wachholz had all the evidence he needed to believe that film footage of the 1915 S.S. Eastland disaster on the Chicago River existed, except maybe for the film itself.

Very proud to see one of Berwyn's historic landmarks thriving once again!
02/06/2015

Very proud to see one of Berwyn's historic landmarks thriving once again!

Looking for a cool spot to have a beer and a bite to eat this weekend? Eighteen years after its inclusion on Landmarks Illinois’ annual statewide endangered list, the Berwyn National Bank (also known as the American State Bank) has been rehabilitated and opened as Big Hurt Brewhouse, the flagship restaurant and sports bar of baseball great Frank Thomas. Vacant for over 30 years, the adaptive use of the building retained its signature dome ceiling and original bank vault. At the December 5 ribbon-cutting, Mayor Robert J. Lovero remarked, “Big Hurt Brewhouse turned this historic building into a treasure again. It truly is a tremendous addition to Cermak Road both for our residents and for visitors. I am grateful to Frank and his team for their vision.” Berwyn Development Council Board President Mal Montoya concluded, “It’s great to see how this space has been transformed into a lively restaurant while maintaining its architecture and integrity as a historic landmark.” Big Hurt Brewhouse, 6801 W. Cermak Road, Berwyn:tinyurl.com/mhzbhgy

It has been a year since this interesting exploration of Berwyn was posted, but if you missed it, it is well worth the r...
01/29/2015
A day in Berwyn

It has been a year since this interesting exploration of Berwyn was posted, but if you missed it, it is well worth the read!

Chip Mitchell and Tricia Bobeda spent a day in Berywn, Illinois looking for stories.

We at the BHPC have loved this house for many years. Kudos to the new owners for their thoughtful and historic-minded re...
01/13/2015
Jill & Chris' Beautiful Prairie-Style Craftsman Home — House Tour

We at the BHPC have loved this house for many years. Kudos to the new owners for their thoughtful and historic-minded rehab.

Name: Jill Dudones & Chris Campbell Location: Berwyn; Chicago, IL Size: 3,225 square feet; 5 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2.80 lots Years lived in: 2 years; Owned The up-and-coming neighborhood of Berwyn, Illinois is filled with beautiful, historic Chicago-style bungalows. But among them is a special home…

The Old Neighborhood Berwyn Cicero Chicago History Page
01/12/2015

The Old Neighborhood Berwyn Cicero Chicago History Page

Very few if any older Berwynites have never heard of Baar & Baar Realty. The company was founded in 1943 by Lillian Baar while her husband Bill served overseas during WWII. Mrs. Baar had been the youngest woman to start a real estate business at that time and was also the first woman to become the president of the Cermak Road Business Association. That CRBA promoted business on Cermak Road and did other things such as start the Houby Day Parade which Mrs. Baar spearheaded. William & Lillian Baar were also the parents of now deceased Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka who just passed away this past December. Lillian Baar passed away in 1988 at the age of 72. My parents purchased their home through Baar & Baar Reality in 1976 and they still live there today! Who remembers this business or knew Lillian Baar? This original photo from my collection below came from the estate of Lillian Baar and shows the original store front at 6335 W. Cermak Road circa 1960.

The Old Neighborhood Berwyn Cicero Chicago History Page
12/31/2014

The Old Neighborhood Berwyn Cicero Chicago History Page

The Berwyn Bungalow. Yes, I have covered this topic before but I just can't get enough! The bungalow is one of the most recognizable aspects of Berwyn, ask anyone who has ever heard of Berwyn and besides the annoying references to that make-up, top hat wearing fella, the next thing you will hear them mention is our rows and rows of well built bungalows. Below is a vintage shot of one of my favorite streets in Berwyn, 30th & Maple. If you left the area and come to visit occasionally, please do yourself a favor and drive down this street from 31st through 28th St. You will find some magnificent examples of some of Berwyn's finest bungalows. I found this 1928 ad for builder Adolph Havlicek (Hmmmm, I wonder if he's one of those Bohemians :D ). Interestingly, Mr. Havlicek lived in the home on the left of the image (7131 W. 31st St., N.W. corner of 31st & Maple) which is one of the more elaborate on that block. Builders in the bungalow era would often build their own extravagant residences with all the "bells and whistles" on the corner of a block to show off their handiwork. Raise your hand if you live(d) in a corner bungalow! Me me, I do! :D. Please make sure and share this and every post from this page!

Happy holidays from Berwyn! Here's one of our own bungalows decorated in fine form:
12/23/2014

Happy holidays from Berwyn! Here's one of our own bungalows decorated in fine form:

Anyone thinking of tackling a bungalow window restoration project? Here's some inspiration!
12/14/2014

Anyone thinking of tackling a bungalow window restoration project? Here's some inspiration!

On the third day of Driehaus...

We would like to congratulate John Brabeck & family, winners in the new category of Window Restoration:

When the Braebecks purchased their home, all of the original stained glass casement windows had been painted white, and two of the stained glass windows had been replaced with a singular Plexiglas panels. Wanting to restore their windows, they found the cost higher than they had originally intended. John decided to take matters in his own hands and create replica stained glass panels himself. Under the guidance of an instructor, John used stained glass from the Broadway Armory and recreated two of the missing stained glass. The result is a tremendous improvement: the stripped sashes and trim pop against the muted colors in their living room, creating a beautiful canvas for their stained glass windows. #12DaysofDriehaus

View more project details including challenges, solutions and contractors used here:
http://www.chicagobungalow.org/design-inspiration/driehaus-awards/driehaus-gallery-brabeck

Please feel free to post any questions and comments on this post!

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum

Such sad news - we will miss you.
12/14/2014

Such sad news - we will miss you.

Pretty much everyone has heard the news by now, but with great sadness I inform you that Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has suddenly passed away at age 70 after complications from a stroke. As almost anyone who has lived in Berwyn, Cicero, & Riverside will tell you, "Judy" was an institution in this area and was one of, if not THE most well known good will ambassadors to us. Her parents Lillian & William Barr owned Baar & Baar Realty on Cermak Rd. in Berwyn and her mother in particular was a trail blazer among local women. She must have been a tremendous influence to Judy who worked at the Life Newspaper early in her career as a copy editor and then a reporter and columnist. Judy eventually got involved in local politics and among other offices, served three terms as Illinois State Treasurer and ran unsuccessfully for governor against Rod Blago. Judy then ran for Illinois State Comptroller and won and was just re-elected this past November. Judy was very outspoken and told it like it was, but she was a very friendly and outgoing person. I would see her very regularly at area estate sales and it was amazing how she would just walk among the people who would say hi to her and treat her as if she was just a regular person like the rest of us. One more personal story about Judy, a few years back I gave a presentation to a large group about my book Chicago's Little Village Lawndale-Crawford. I really don't like doing these as I get nervous speaking publicly, but when I was done I felt that I had done very well. I had a Q & A session and Judy raised her hand. When I called on her she publicly "corrected" me on a couple of misspellings in my Power Point and the improper use of the word Alumni when I should have used Alumnus. Everyone just laughed and I was so dumbfounded that I said "I'm sorry ma'am, I will make the necessary corrections for next time." She said that she was a copy editor at the Life and that would have never gotten past her then! :) Judy Baar Topinka is another part of the old neighborhood that has now passed on. Thank you for your many years of service, you will be greatly missed. Attached is a "selfie" I took of Judy and myself at Bohemian National Cemetery a few months back.

Why Berwyn?
12/04/2014

Why Berwyn?

Here's a #ThrowbackThursday photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune. This photo was taken at Vesecky's Bakery as customers waited in line in 1979. Amazing to see how little it has changed!
Photo Source: http://trib.in/15R9B3p

Get them before they're gone!
12/04/2014

Get them before they're gone!

Christmas is right around the corner and what could be a better gift then an actual piece of the old neighborhood! I am happy to announce that The City of Berwyn is replacing all of the street signs in town and you now have the opportunity to purchase the old ones that are being removed! The signs are being sold directly by the city for a cost of $20.00 per sign. I was one of the first people to get their old signs and now 13th & Kenilworth will proudly be on display in my basement! Caution though, some of the signs could be a tad bit beat up as they have been outside for at least a couple of decades. I am attaching the order form and the contact person who is handling this project is the City of Berwyn Traffic Engineer Nicole Campbell. She can be reached at [email protected] or 708-788-2660 ext. 3251. As a side note, I was lucky to purchase a few very old Berwyn street signs that were pulled off of the last couple of old poles left in town. These are much larger and made of very heavy embossed steel with two signs bolted back to back. They have to be 50+ years old and I am very happy to have added them to my collection! they ended up in the right home!

The Old Neighborhood Berwyn Cicero Chicago History Page
10/29/2014

The Old Neighborhood Berwyn Cicero Chicago History Page

If you had been walking near 26th Street and Ridgeland Ave. in 1910 it would have been pretty much unrecognizable as it is today. This area was one of the very first Bohemian settlements in Berwyn and an area onto itself at that time. South and far north Berwyn were already settled, and with nothing else in-between, this was the only other area in Berwyn settled by then. Berwyn eventually filled in, connecting this area to the rest of the city, and when it did it added an interesting neighborhood with its own stores,, pharmacy, banks, taverns, etc. Many of that area's settlers lived in their homes for generations. The image from my collection below is Ridgeland Ave. looking south west from 26th St. The tall narrow brick building was a temporary real estate office which was gone by the 1920s. The home on the right in the background still stands on the 6400 block of W. 26th Place. How many of you or had family that lived in the 26th & Ridgeland neighborhood?

We at the BHPC like to showcase other historic sites in the area. If you've never visited Showmen's Rest in Woodlawn Cem...
10/21/2014
Showmen's Rest

We at the BHPC like to showcase other historic sites in the area. If you've never visited Showmen's Rest in Woodlawn Cemetery, just to our west, you've missed a fascinating historic site where dozens of victims of a tragic 1918 circus train accident were buried. The Showmen's League is still active today.

This one bears re-posting! One of our favorite blogs.
10/21/2014
A Chicago Sojourn

This one bears re-posting! One of our favorite blogs.

A journey through the architecture and urban landscape of Chicago - from industrial zones to Mid-Century suburbs and all points between.

Come out to support preservation - Berwyn is about to make a name for itself as Bungalow Central, and CoHo needs all of ...
10/13/2014
Berwyn, City of Homes

Come out to support preservation - Berwyn is about to make a name for itself as Bungalow Central, and CoHo needs all of our support!

10/06/2014
www.landmarks.org

Ever been curious about the Maywood Home for Soldiers' Widows? Check out Landmarks Illinois' reuse proposal to learn about this remarkable building's history. Our sister community of Maywood is looking for development proposals.

It's that time of year again!
09/30/2014

It's that time of year again!

Address

Berwyn, IL
60402

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Visit our website at www.berwynpreservation.org.

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