• River Forest has long taken its diverse architecture for granted. We believe it is one of the reasons the village came late to the essential mission of historic preservation. Residents may have believed these notable homes and buildings would always be there. Some, we know, took the more libertarian view that home ownership was a property rights issue that ought not be messed with by any level of government.

Our view is that the built community is central to the shared community. That’s not an argument against change, but rather for considered, thoughtful change.

This Sunday, the gradually empowered River Forest Historic Preservation Commission will sponsor a program touting the history of several local architectural gems. This is a worthy effort and one that helps raise our community consciousness about the greatness of our village.

  • With great respect for the legacy of Parenthesis Family Center, we are intrigued to see this venerable agency being folded into a vigorous West Side social service agency called New Moms. The grassroots Parenthesis will remain as a distinct program within New Moms.

But the opportunity here is to link the similar missions of these two agencies and also to actively work across the border of Austin and Oak Park to provide services. Often, generous Oak Parkers volunteer money and time in Austin. Sometimes it can feel paternalistic rather than a partnership. 

This is a new and interesting model. 

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