Every year, the village of Oak Park recognizes homeowners, organizations and business owners who go above and beyond in taking care of their property in a way that aids preservation and sustainability.

Nominations are open for the 2023 Historic Preservation, Cavalcade of Pride and Sustainability awards, and each category represents the work of a particular area of citizen-based committees within the village.

Cavalcade of Pride Awards are administered by the Oak Park Community Design Commission, which develops a continuous program to enhance the aesthetic quality of life in the village. 

The CDC provides design advice and develops resource material to aid in private property development. They also make recommendations on selection, planting maintenance and removal of trees and shrubs withing the village and provide education and informational programming on urban forestry.

Made up of 11 members, at least six of whom must be trained as design professionals and two of whom who must be trained in urban forestry or horticulture, the group meets monthly.

The CDC chooses Cavalcade of Pride winners who are property owners within Oak Park who have done an exceptional job of maintaining and improving the exteriors of their homes or businesses. 

Property owners can be nominated in the categories of residential, multifamily, garden, commercial and sign. The deadline for Cavalcade of Pride award nominations is Sept. 15.

Historic Preservation Awards are administered by the Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission, which is a volunteer commission that evaluates proposals affecting the village’s landmarks and historic districts.

The commission considers compatibility of development with long-range preservation of historical sites and recommends sites for historic landmark designation. The commission also reviews building permit applications affecting properties in the village’s three historic districts and historic landmarks throughout the community.

The Historic Preservation Commission is made up of 11 members, at least eight of whom should have demonstrated expertise in history, architectural history, art history, architecture, engineering, planning, law, real estate, historic preservation or a related field. At least one member should be a resident or businessperson from one of Oak Park’s designated historic districts.

The HPC meets once a month. Each year, the HPC recognizes Historic Preservation Award winners in the categories of restoration, rehabilitation, adaptive use, additions/new construction, stewardship, detail and design. 

Nominations are open to any building in the village, not just to those in historic districts, and interior work may be considered in conjunction with exterior work. The deadline for 2023 Historic Preservation Award nominations is Sept. 29.

The Oak Park Environment and Energy Commission presents the Sustainability Awards in recognition of community members and organizations, local businesses and nonprofits, institutions, and collaborative projects and initiatives that demonstrate leadership in advancing equity-centered climate action, climate resilience and sustainability.

The Environment and Energy Commission promotes energy efficiency and energy conservation, works for a pollution-free environment in Oak Park, and develops methods to promote recycling and to reduce and manage solid waste. The commission meets monthly and is made up of nine members, one of whom may be a high school student.

The Sustainability or Green awards are made in the categories of community organization, local business, and collaborative initiative for initiatives that link with Oak Park’s community climate and sustainability plan, Climate Ready Oak Park. Nominations for Sustainability Awards are due Oct. 15.

Interested in making a nomination? Visit the village of Oak Park’s website at oak-park.us/news/nominations-sought-2023-community-awards for more information and to nominate someone you think deserves recognition for work well-done.

Preservation Oak Park talks village hall preservation

On Tuesday Aug. 29, Preservation Oak Park will hold a public meet-up to discuss the possible demolition of Oak Park’s Village Hall. Designed by architect Harry Weese in 1975, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

On July 5, the Oak Park Village Board voted to explore demolishing the existing village hall and building a new village hall and police station. Elected officials have since indicated a willingness to explore preserving the building while modernizing it to meet current needs. 

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Unity Temple, 875 Lake St. in Oak Park.


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