We have been critics for many years of River Forest’s toothless approach to preserving and enhancing the enormous value of its wonderful, historic, residential architecture.
Now the village board has approved a package of preservation reforms recommended to it by the Historic Preservation Commission and so we offer congratulations and thanks. The changes move River Forest’s approach from the aforementioned toothless to perhaps dull incisors. It is progress and we’ll take it. But it still relies too much on the persuasive powers of the dedicated volunteers on the preservation commission to convince would-be demolishers and defacers to think again before they run down the clock on mandatory waiting periods.
Village President Catherine Adduci says the 296 properties deemed architecturally significant are “a vital asset to River Forest’s future.” We agree. Now the commission will need all its energy to convince the wide citizenry of the village that, in the legitimate debate between individual property rights and community values, River Forest’s culture needs to shift toward shared purpose.