A map/brochure that will serve as a tool to educate River Forest residents about the village’s architectural gems is in the works.

The River Forest Historic Preservation Commission, for the past four months, has been working on creating the 24-by-36-inch map, which will offer locations, brief descriptions and photographs of some of the community’s historically and architecturally significant structures. 

As many as 50 buildings by noted architects Frank Lloyd Wright and William Drummond and others will be included, although which ones will be highlighted and other details are still in the works. 

Yet to be determined is how the brochure can be made accessible on the village’s website and if it can be interactive. Those details may be worked out with the communications consultant the village hired months ago to upgrade the River Forest’s outreach efforts. 

Discussion will continue next month. Completion is anticipated later this year.

As much as $10,000 has been committed toward the project, which has the backing of Village President Catherine Adduci, said Tom Zurowski, the commission’s chairman. 

Once it has been completed, the commission will bring it before the board for approval, Adduci said. 

“Trustees will want to weigh in; they may have ideas,” Adduci said. “Once the board says it’s a go, they can print it up. I’m anxious to see what they are talking about. It could become something that will complement what they are doing.”

The map is part of the commission’s expanded outreach effort and will be made available at village hall and the library and other spots, all of the “usual suspects,” Zurowski said. 

From the commission’s perspective, this is all about education, Zurowski said.

The goal, said commissioner Brian Prestes during the group’s Sept. 14 meeting, is to maximize interest among the general community to look at its houses. It might not be a balanced survey from a connoisseur’s perspective of each variety of home in the village, but that’s not the goal.

“It could be used for tourism. That would be fine for us. But it’s really to raise awareness and provide another resource for residents,” Zurowski said. “It will be easier to get a snapshot of the architectural history of River Forest from this.”

Deborah Kadin

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