National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Glen Ellyn Downtown South Historic District
Reference Number 13000717
State Illinois
County Du Page
Town Glen Ellyn
Street Address Main Street between Duane Street and Hillside Avenue., parts of Duane Street between Glenwood and Forest Avenues.; north side of Hillside Avenue just east of Main Street.
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 9/18/2013
Areas of Significance Commerce, Architecture, Community Planning and Development
Link to full file
The Glen Ellyn Downtown South Historic District is locally eligible for listing to the National Register of Historic Places in the areas of architecture, community planning, and commerce. The proposed district meets Criterion A, commerce, as a physical representation of the of the commercial history of the Village of Glen Ellyn, which evolved from a small cluster of blacksmith shops, harness-makers, and groceries along the newly-established Galena and Chicago Union Railroad in the 1850s, into a compact and lively central business district serving a booming suburban population 100 years later. The district, which encompasses the area of Glen Ellyn's central business district located south of the railroad, represents the rapid commercial growth that followed a population boom and suburban expansion in the 1920s. The district also meets Criterion A, community planning and development, as the product of a focused movement within Glen Ellyn in the 1920s to control and direct commercial growth within its central business district. The creation during this decade of the Village's first zoning ordinance and comprehensive plan, along with the establishment of the Zoning Board of Appeals, Plan Commission and Architecture Advisory Board, all led to significant changes within Glen Ellyn's downtown, including the expansion of the business district south of the railroad tracks and the proliferation in the 1920s of Tudor Revival commercial buildings within the district. The design decisions of the Plan Commission shaped the built environment in Glen Ellyn's downtown in ways that are plainly evident to this day, and contribute heavily to the district's overall character. The proposed district meets Criterion C, architecture, as an intact collection of commercial buildings representing architectural styles from the first half of the 20th century. The Commercial Style, which features subdued Classical ornament, is used on the earliest commercial structures in the district; most buildings are rendered in historical revival styles like Tudor Revival, Classical Revival and Renaissance Revival, which represent the district's most robust period of growth in the 1920s. The period of significance for the proposed district spans from 1880 to 1963. The year 1880 marks the approximate date of construction of the two vernacular residences that remain behind later commercial structures and represent the early residential character of the business district south of the railroad; 1963 marks the end of the historic post-war era in the district, during which efforts were made to modernize and retain businesses within the Village's original commercial center.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria