Village of Downers Grove
Historic Preservation Program

The Downers Grove Village Council adopted a Historic Preservation Ordinance in 2007 to promote the protection, enhancement, perpetuation and use of improvements of special character or historical interest or value in the Village.  In 2015 the ordinance was revised to encourage broader participation.

This VIllage program provides specific criteria for landmarking a property. Once a property is approved as a landmark, certain changes to the exterior of the property must be approved by the Village. In contrast, the Society’s Historic Home Program, is honorary, focuses on just homes, and places no restrictions on exterior changes.

In addition, the ordinance provides for landmarking of specific properties by property owners, the ordinance also provides for the creation of two types of historic districts: contiguous and thematic.

Notable landmarked properties include residences, such as, the Pierce Downer House, The Drew HouseEhr House, John Oldfield House and Century of Progress House. Other landmarked properties include the Main Street Cemetery, the Main Street Train Station, and the Fairview Train Station. No historic districts have been created yet.  

The program is administered by the Village’s Historic Preservation and Design Review Board (formerly the Architectural Design Review Board). By ordinance, one seat on the board is reserved for a member of the Historical Society.

This short video from the Village of  Downers Grove Inside DG series provides a nice introduction to these houses:
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