Heritage Alliance Mission

Pierce Downer's 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.

We 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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Updating Downers Grove's
Historic Preservation Ordinance

The Architectural Design Review Board (ADRB) and its ad hoc Subcommittee on Historic Preservation finalized their report and recommendations about historic preservation efforts in Downers Grove at their sixth meeting on Wednesday, October 21st Click here for the 17 page Final Report & Recommendations and the 100 pages of supporting attachments, including minutes for the groups' six meetings. 

The  Final Report and Recommendations were presented to the Village Council on Tuesday, November 3rd and are expected to be discussed in some detail in December.  Please click here to read the comments of Ken Lerner, Chair of Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance on the October 21st Draft Final Report & Recommendations.

The ad hoc Subcommittee was appointed July 21st to work with the ADRB on improving Downers Grove's historic preservation efforts.  Click here for background information about updating our Village's Historic Preservation and Zoning Ordinances.

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PDHA 2015 Annual Meeting
"Promoting Preservation:
Successful Strategies in Geneva, IL"

Michael Lambert

Our 2015 Annual Meeting featured Michael A. Lambert, Preservation Planner for the City of Geneva, IL, telling us how Geneva has successfully promoted historic preservation.

We were not, unfortunately, able to record Michael's talk and the subsequent, spirited dialog.   You can, however, click here to view the informative slides that Michael used in his  presentation.

Geneva has a rich cultural heritage and an extensive historic legacy. The City’s historic resources include hundreds of historic sites and buildings identified through surveys conducted over the past quarter century. Among its resources are formally designated historic properties both on the local Geneva Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.  Geneva has focused on the significance of its historic resources as the unifying theme for commercial viability and renewal of its downtown area.

In addition to being Geneva's Preservation Planner, Michael is Founding Principal of ARRIS Architects + Planners, Plainfield.  He has served on the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council and was on the Plainfield Village Board from 1991 to 1996.  Michael was also Founding Chair for Historic Preservation Commissions of both Will County and the Village of Plainfield.

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The W. H. Edwards House Is Gone.

The Edwards House was demolished on Saturday, June 6th.

    Down with the old

"After much effort and so much community support, it is a sad and frustrating outcome," Ken Lerner, PDHA Chairman, commented. "We thank the Tillotson/Wast family for their valiant efforts at saving the house. Their message on the PDHA website mentions some of the many people who were involved in the effort to save the house over the last year. Tom Nybo in particular was a consistent spark and driving force, while Mike Behm contributed vital business planning expertise."  Click here to read the rest of Ken Lerner's message.

On May 8th Ken Lerner wrote to ask people who had contributed
to help preserve the Edwards House what they now want done with their contributions.  Click here to read Ken's letter.  All told, 45 people had donated $6,465.   As of July 5th, all funds held in the Edwards House Escrow account had been refunded or distributed to some other charity.  Click here to see the disposition of the Edwards House contributions.

The heritage Oak at 942 Maple Avenue had been cut down on Thursday, May 21st.

Goodbye Noble Oak

Adieu, noble Oak!

Postings on the Facebook page of Friends of the Edwards House provide a forum for
community members to share comments about this unfortunate outcome of our efforts to preserve the historic Edwards House and their thoughts about how we can move forward.

Edwards House

W. H. Edwards House As It Used to Look

Can you find this house in Downers Grove and why is it important?
(Click the image for the answer)


Village Council Meeting
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Click Here for Meeting Agenda
7:00 PM, Council Chamber

Village Hall
801 Burlington Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515

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PDHA  Meeting
Thursday, December 10, 2015
7:00 PM, Room 307
Lincoln Center
935 Maple Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515

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Click here to read our

Please consider a charitable donation
to support educational activities of
Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance.

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  2014 Annual Meeting

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Click here to learn about beekeeping in Lyman Woods.

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The 1846 Blodgett House

An opportunity exists to restore the 1846 Blodgett House one of the Village's oldest houses reflecting our rich cultural heritage. PDHA supports such efforts to preserve valuable historic resources for future generations.
Click here to learn about the 1846 Blodgett House project.

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Click here to learn more about other local historic preservation activities in Downers Grove.

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Downers Grove Township Monthly Electronics Recycling
Information about current the Downers Grove village recycling services can be found on the Village's garbage and recycling page.

Last updated 11/20/2015