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The Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Housing and Economic Development is preparing a nomination of Chicago’s historic Park Boulevard System to the National Register of Historic Places. The City’s park boulevard system is one of Chicago’s finest historic resources. Authorized by the State legislature in 1869 and built over the next twenty years, this “necklace” of boulevards and connected parks is nationally important for its landscape architecture and planning and remains an equally important city and neighborhood resource. The proposed district consists of approximately 26 miles of boulevards and contains more than 3000 properties.
Why is the City preparing a National Register nomination for the Park Boulevard System?
The purpose of the nomination is to recognize the historic significance and importance of the boulevards, as well as to qualify the historic buildings that line the boulevards and associated large parks for federal and state historic preservation and rehabilitation incentives. Listing may also help the boulevards and parks qualify for possible grant funds in the future.
What restrictions are placed on buildings in National Register districts? Will I have to get government permission to make changes to a building within the proposed historic district?
National Register listing is primarily honorary. Unlike Chicago Landmark designation, it does NOT place any additional requirements or restrictions on property owners. It does NOT involve any kind of mandatory building permit review by the City of Chicago. National Register listing would, however, encourage preservation and enhance public awareness of the boulevards’ historic significance.
What preservation and rehabilitation incentives are available for a building within the proposed historic district?
National Register listing would qualify historic (termed “contributing”) buildings along the boulevards and parks for various preservation and rehabilitation incentives, should eligible property owners elect to participate in those programs—principally the State Property Tax Freeze Program for rehabilitation of owner-occupied residences and the 20% Federal rehabilitation tax credit program for commercial, industrial and rental residential properties.
For more frequently asked questions, click on the continuation page.
Chicago Park Boulevard System Historic District - Part I / Part II - Draft National Register Nomination Form (PDF)
Building Catalog for Proposed Historic District - Part I / Part II - listed by street address and includes "contributing/non-contributing" information for buildings. Please note that the entries for buildings located in the already National Register-listed Logan Square Boulevards Historic District can be found in Part II of the Building Catalog. (PDF)
GIS Map of the Chicago Park Boulevard System Historic District - searchable by address. Please note that the hatched-line layer that represents the Boulevards Historic District in a few places does not line up exactly atop the street and building layers of the map. The "Building Catalog for Proposed Historic District" (above) may also be checked by address for buildings located within the district.
Information on the National Register of Historic Places - Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Website
Information on preservation and rehabilitation incentives - Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Website