Norwood Park listed on National Register of Historic Places
Perseverance paid off for the Norwood Park Historical Society when after 20 years of working toward this goal, the National Park Service awarded National Register status to a portion of the northwest Chicago neighborhood of Norwood Park. District boundaries of the historic Village of Norwood Park are Harlem Avenue on the west, Nagle Avenue on the east, Bryn Mawr Avenue to the south, and St. Adalbert Cemetery on the north with a jog to include the railroad depot on Northwest Highway.
Listing on the National Register places no restrictions on modifications to property. However, owners of historic contributing structures may be eligible for financial incentives for completing historically sensitive restoration work. Potential incentives include the Illinois Property Tax Assessment Freeze program for residential property and the Federal Historic Rehabilitation 20% Income Tax Credit for income-producing property. For non-profit and municipality owned property, additional preservation incentives are available including matching grants and low interest loans.
Now that the prestigious designation of listing on the National Register of Historic Places has been granted, the biggest challenge will be to maintain the historic character of the district. In recent years, many historic homes in Norwood Park have been torn down. Further demolitions can jeopardize National Register status as well as valuable financial incentives for individual property owners.
The National Register listing recognizes the Norwood Park Historic District for its concentration of high quality historic architectural specimens including late 1800s Victorian homes, turn-of-the-century Tudors, Colonial Revivals, Chicago-style Bungalows, and World War II-era ranches as well as at least four documented Sears Roebuck catalog homes from the early 1900s. Also recognized as significant is the pattern of land development, innovative for 1868-1869 when this neighborhood was originally platted from farmland by the Norwood Land and Building Association. The then-suburban village was designed to be a park-like setting for large single-family lots on wide curvilinear streets encircling large expanses of public green space.
In addition to the newly listed National Register Historic District, Norwood Park also boasts three individually listed National Register and City of Chicago Historic landmarks – the Chicago and North Western (now Union Pacific) station at 6088 N. Northwest Highway; the John Wingert House at 6231 N. Canfield; and the Noble-Seymour-Crippen House at 5622-24 N. Newark Avenue, headquarters of the historical society and the oldest surviving home in Chicago. The Village of Norwood Park was incorporated in 1874 and was annexed to Chicago in 1893.