Memorials For Betty Cheever & Nan Newlon

Pierce Betty Cheever's PlaqueDowner's Heritage Alliance has created memorials to honor former Village of Downers Grove Mayor Betty Cheever and the Village's former Public Works Director Nan Newlon.

Betty Cheever is being honored for her lifetime of civic leadership. Betty was active in the League Betty Cheeverof Women Voters, serving as President of the Downers-Grove-Woodridge-Lisle Chapter during 1969-1973, as well as serving as a judge of elections for many years.  Betty chaired the Downers Grove Plan Commission before being elected as Downers Grove's Mayor, 1983-1999. As Mayor, Betty Cheever played a key role in achieving public ownership of the Lyman Woods Preserve. Dedication of Betty Cheever's memorial Buttonbush and plaque at the Downers Grove Public Library took place on Saturday, September 10th, which would have been Betty's 94th birthday.


Nan Newlon, Public Works Director from 2009 to 2019, emphasized environmental Nan Newlonsustainability in the Nan's Tree Village's public works, pioneering many green initiatives such as solar panels in village facilities, a green fleet of hybrid and Compressed-Natural-Gas vehicles, rain gardens and pollinator gardens, recycling events, and sale events for rain barrels and native trees. Through her efforts, the Village received numerous awards for good planning and environmentally friendly practices.  A dedication ceremony was held on May 22nd for Nan Newlon's Shingle Oak tree along with her memorial plaque in the parkway adjoining the playground & naturalized stormwater management area in the multipurpose park at 2nd Street & Cumnor Avenue. 

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Downers Grove's Latest Landmark

Congratulations to Nancy and Gordon Goodman!

On February 1st the Downers Grove Village Council unanimously approved local landmark recognition for their 1954 ranch home located at 5834 Middaugh Avenue. Gordon is a founder and longtime director of PDHA. 5834
Middaugh
Drawing

Both the house itself and the role played by homes like this one in the Village’s post-war expansion are extensively documented in their landmark application where  an original 5834
Middaugh in
1950s architectural drawing for their home is compared to a Polaroid of the house when it was first built and to the home as it looks today.

The home is a classic Mid-century Modern Ranch, with Prairie style elements such as ribbon windows and a wide chimney. It also exemplifies a period of rapid growth for Downers Grove in the 1950s, a decade in which the population of Downers Grove increased by 78%. Downers Grove's residential 5834
Middaugh developments during the 1950s significantly transformed what had been a small, historically rural village into a substantially larger and more diverse community.

The Goodmans purchased their home from John and Doris Mochel in 1965 and have requested that this new local landmark be known as the Mochel-Goodman Home.


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Walnut Park Plans Include Area Around Belmont Prairie

Belmont Prairie Map
The Downers Grove Park District is in the planning phase for development of Walnut Park, along Walnut Street between Burlington and Ogden Avenue.

The District is looking at a combination of active recreation facilities in the northern portion of the park, and enhancements to the  buffer zone for the Illinois Nature Preserve Belmont Prairie in the southern portion, with a nature center facility to provide a location for educational programs. The buffer zone improvements and associated plans offer a real opportunity to improve management of this natural area and highlight Belmont Prairie as an outstanding quality natural resource for Downers Grove. PDHA is following this planning process and we look forward to the next steps.


One of the next steps is expanded public communications about this planning effort. The Park District has posted information about the Walnut Park plans and is seeking public input through their website. We encourage you to submit comments to the Park District in support of the natural areas portion of the plan.

Information about the Park District's planning process is available at https:www.dgparks.org/ walnut-park-master-plan, where there is also a feedback form for your comments.


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  Morton Arboretum Updates Chicagoland Tree Census 

In 2020, The Morton Arboretum partnered with Davey Resource Group Inc. and the Student Conservation Association to conduct its second tree census, remeasuring 1,576 plots in the city of Chicago and the seven surrounding counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will to gain a comparative snapshot of the regional forest and the benefits it provides.

The first census was in 2010. For the whole seven-county area, the number of trees and shrubs increased from 157,142,000 in 2010 to 172,297,000 in 2020, representing more than 194 species. In 2020, the regional forest tree and shrub canopy cover was assessed to be 23%, an increase from 21% in 2010. In DuPage County, the canopy cover increased from 26% in 2010 to 31% in 2020.

Although the number of trees and shrubs and the canopy coverage did increase, the study notes that a large percentage of the canopy is composed of species considered invasive, such as European buckthorn and tree of heaven. Detailed discussion of the tree census findings may be found at: 
https://mortonarb.org/science/tree-census/

In addition, based on earlier data, the Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI) has developed community-specific tree canopy summaries, including Downers Grove and many other Chicago area towns.

Tree
Canopy
The above images and corresponding ones for other communities may be found at:
http://chicagorti.org/CanopySummaries/

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Historic Preservation Activities

The Village's historic preservation program was revised in 2015, contributing to an increased interest in landmarking homes and other structures. Since then twenty-eight historic features have been granted local landmark status in Downers Grove –– nine structures in 2016, another nine in 2017, four more in 2018, four historic features in 2019, one in 2021 and one in 2022.5834
Middaugh

Landmark status was approved unanimously for 5834 Middaugh Avenue, the Mochel-Goodman Home, on February 1, 2022 at the request of Nancy and Gordon Goodman. Please click here to learn about this Mid-Century Modern Ranch home built in 1954.

200 Shady
Lane
The Village Council unanimously approved landmark status on February 16, 2021 for the Kotes-Kenny House, 200 Shady Lane at the request of Christie and John Kenny. Please click here to learn about this Mid-Century Modern home that was built circa 1960.

The Village Council unanimously approved land5329
Meadow Lanemark status on December 10, 2019 for the John and Doris Mochel House, 5329 Meadow Lane at the request of Louise and Peter Trucano. Please click here to learn about this Mid-Century Modern home that was built in 1964.

Robert J.
Darnley HouseThe Village Council unanimously approved landmark status on July 9th for the Robert J. Darnley House, 4721 Highland Avenue, at the request of Ted and Andrea Anderson. Please click here to learn about this Craftsman Cottage home that was built circa 1904.


Main
Street
Cemetery
On April 16th landmark status for the Village owned Main Street Cemetery, 5158 Main Street, was unanimously approved by the Village Council following a request by the Downers Grove Historical Society.  Learn about this source of civic pride and identity that was established in 1856 by clicking here.
H. M.
Patton House
On February 5, 2019 the Village Council approved landmark status for the H. M. Patton House, 5 Jacqueline Drive, at the request of Judith M. Erickson. Please click here to learn about this English Country Revival home that was built circa 1927.

Please click here to read about the presentation of the 2017 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Advocacy to Friends Of The Edwards House.

Please click here for a complete listing of the 30 historic features that have been granted local landmark status in Downers Grove.

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Heritage Alliance Mission Statement

Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance is committed to sound and sustainable environmental practices; protection and appreciation of our community's outstanding natural features, such as Lyman Woods and Belmont Prairie; and preservation of significant cultural traditions, including the rich architectural heritage of Downers Grove.

The Alliance works to promote appreciation, protection and enhancement of our community's natural and cultural heritage through education, advocacy, stewardship and
community outreach.

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Last updated 11/28/2022

PDHA Logo
 

Village Council Meeting

Tuesday, December 6, 2022
2022 Tax Levy Public Hearing
Meeting Agenda
7:00 PM, Council Chambers
Village Hall
Downers Grove, IL 60515

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PDHA Meeting
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
7:00 PM,
Remote Attendance

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Click Below To Read
Yesterday's Headline Stories:

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


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1846 Blodgett House

The 1846 Blodgett House
is one of the Village's
oldest houses, reflecting
our rich cultural heritage.
PDHA supports preservation
of such valuable
historic resources
for future generations.

Click here to learn about the
1846 Blodgett House project.

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