Heritage Alliance is dedicated to preserving the
natural and cultural heritage of Downers Grove. In the past, we have
maintained sharp focus on the natural heritage within our community.
Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance has been instrumental in the
preservation and protection of Lyman Woods, and Belmont Prairie, which
continue as on-going projects.
are now also committed to the preservation
of cultural aspects of Downers Grove, including its rich
architectural heritage. We work to accomplish our mission through
education as well as community outreach.
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Historic Preservation Activities
As the result of changes to the
Village historic preservation program interest in
landmarking homes and other historic structures has increased.
On November 15th
the Village Council granted landmark status to two more
James and Maren Huber landmarked
the J.J. Cole House at 710 Maple Avenue and John and Patricia Orwin landmarked the Venard House at 4540 Highland Avenue, exemplifying
the American Foursquare style.
On August 16th
the Village Council unanimously approved landmark status for two
historic homes. Fred and Cindy Zaeske have named their landmarked home
at 1130 Franklin Street "The Foote House", while
Chris and Patricia Patterson named their landmarked home at 4502 Prince Street "The Kruger House." On
the Village Council unanimously approved landmark status for three
historic buildings. Bo and Christine Martin have named their newly
landmarked home at 701 Maple Avenue "The Herring House," while
Charlotte and Byron Holtzen named their landmarked home at 5226
Carpenter Street "The Foster House." Before the unanimous vote to
approve landmark status for the Village owned Main Street Train Station at 1000 Main Street,
Mayor Martin Tully stated "the Village takes seriously its commitment
to historic preservation."
Local architects Amy and Dave
Gassen discussed The History & Significance of the
American Foursquare on September 26th.
Now you can read Amy and Dave's article about our local American
Foursquare homes on page 2 of PDHA's
2016 Fall Newsletter.
A resolution granting historic
landmark status for the "Gjerde House," home of Irene
Hogstrom and Mark Bragen at 1232 Gilbert Avenue was unanimously approved by
the Village Council on May 17th.
On February 17th, the ADRB recommended landmark status for the
92-year-old "Ehr House," home of Amy and David Gassen. The Village Council considered Gassens' petition for landmark status on March 8th.
You can click
here to watch the discussion of this item, which started at 29
minutes into the meeting and continued for 24 minutes. The resolution granting historic landmark status for
the Gassen's home at 5320 Benton Avenue was unanimously approved at
the Council's March 22nd
The house is a prime example of the American Foursquare
design, which is well represented in Downers Grove.
noted in their landmarking application, “American Foursquares were a
post-Victorian house type and an architectural reaction against the
ornateness and complexity found in Victorian buildings. The cube-shaped
massing of American Foursquares was designed to maximize square footage
on small lots. Additional common characteristics of American
Foursquares include a square floor plan, a central dormer in the attic,
a front porch (usually, but not always, spanning across the entire
front facade), a hip roof, and wide eaves.”
We thank the
Gassens for opting to preserve their home and congratulate them on
their well-researched application and presentation to the ADRB. (It
probably didn’t hurt that they’re both architects.) We are pleased that
the Council voted unanimously to make their home the 3rd
landmarked building in
Downers Grove. We now look forward to many more applications
coming in. - Ken Lerner &
Photos of the
home can be found here.
here for background information about updating
Historic Preservation and Zoning Ordinances.
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Chicagoland’s Urban Coyotes
PDHA's 2016 Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 13th featured a free public presentation
on Chicagoland’s Urban Coyotes.
Ms. Ashley Wurth described her research findings.
Ashley Wurth graduated from Colorado State University in 2013. She
is now working on her PhD through The Ohio
State University School of Environment
and Natural Resources Department. Ashley currently works with the Max
McGraw Wildlife Foundation on the Cook County Coyote Project. The focus of her
research involves the connections between coyote behavior,
genetics, and ecology. She told us about the coyote project, her
findings and how to live with the coyotes in our midst.
Click Here to See Slides from Ashley
Talk about Urban Coyotes.
Urban Coyote Project has followed more than 900 coyotes in the Chicago
area over the past 15 years. The project team has used GPS collars and
“crittercams” to study coyote behavior including their movements and
the size of their ranges. They have found, among other things, that
urban coyotes are more nocturnal than their wild-land counterparts. The
coyotes have learned to negotiate the hazards of roads and railroads,
generally avoiding injury and seldom being seen. Dens have been found
in golf courses, parks and cemeteries. The Chicago area coyote
population is estimated at 2,000 or more.
An overview of the project along with many accounts of particular
coyotes that were tracked can be found at the project website, UrbanCoyoteResearch.com.
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Can you find this
in Downers Grove and why is it important?
(Click the image for
Last updated 11/30/2016
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
pm, Council Chamber
801 Burlington Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017
7:00 pm, Room 307,
935 Maple Avenue,
Downers Grove, IL 60515
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Click here to read
2016 Fall Newsletter
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