The Village of River Forest, led by the Village’s Historic Preservation Commission, is currently conducting a community-wide architectural and historical survey to gather information in determining which buildings, structures and sites within the community have special historic, cultural and architectural significance.

This is the Village’s first comprehensive, village-wide survey to document the number of significant historic resources and potential landmark buildings and districts. The survey will enable the Village to gain a better understanding of where significant historic buildings are located and to plan more effectively for their preservation.

Through a competitive selection process, the Village has engaged the services of The Lakota Group, a professional preservation planning firm based in Chicago, to conduct the survey. The survey’s final report, which will include an inventory of significant properties in River Forest, is scheduled to be completed in late November 2012. The on-site field survey will be conducted over a period of three months between July and September.

Each structure in the Village will be evaluated for its significance according to criteria established for the National Register of Historic Places, which is the nation’s list of important buildings, districts, structures, and sites worthy of preservation. This criteria measures significance according to whether a building or district embodies distinctive characteristics of a building type, period or method of construction; or that of a master architect or builder, or that represents a significant and distinguishable entity. Properties may also be considered significant if they are associated with important historic events or people that have contributed to understanding River Forest’s past. The determination of whether a property is historically or architecturally significant is based on factual documentation which will allow each property to be studied in a balanced and objective manner.

It is critical to note that the results of the survey are for planning and information gathering purposes only and will not result in a landmark designation of a building nor impact a properties tax rate or assessed value by the Cook County Assessor’s Office.

The Village has established a project website to provide background information on the survey process and schedule as well as access to survey reports and documents as they become available: