Preservation Week Celebrates Wheaton History

Wheaton’s Preservation Week is an annual event coordinated by the City of Wheaton Historic Commission as part of the annual national celebration in May by the National Trust for Historic Preservation known as Preservation Month. This year’s Preservation Week will be held from May 15-25, 2015.

Schedule of Events

May Meeting of Chicago Suburban Preservation Alliance

Date: Saturday, May 9
Time: 1-4 p.m.
Location: DuPage County Historical Museum, 102 E Wesley St, Wheaton, IL 60187 

Join fellow preservationists from Chicagoland and learn about rehabilitation and historic survey projects in our community as the Wheaton Historic Commission hosts the May meeting of the Chicago Suburban Preservation Alliance (CSPA). Contact Lisa DiChiera, Advocacy Director at Landmarks Illinois, for more information at 312-922-1742.

Lecture: "The Underground Railroad in Wheaton"

Date: Wednesday, May 13
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Location: Wheaton Public Library, 225 N. Cross St. 

Dr. David Maas, Professor of History Emeritus, Wheaton College, and author of "Marching to the Drumbeat of Abolition: Wheaton College in the Civil War" will discuss Wheaton's role in the Underground Railroad. Hear Dr. Maas talk about the Freedom Line and his own discoveries, which led to Wheaton being added to the National Register of Historic Places’ official list of Underground Railroad sites.

Free Parking at Cantigny Park

Dates: May 15-22
Location: Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road

From May 15 to May 22, Cantigny Park will provide free parking days for Wheaton residents. Just show proof of Wheaton residency at the parking booth for admittance. Cantigny Park is the 500-acre estate of Robert R. McCormick (1880-1955), longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. It is home to 30 acres of gardens, the Robert R. McCormick Museum, the First Division Museum and a 27-hole golf course. The Robert R. McCormick Museum was listed on the Wheaton Register of Historic Places in 2011 by the City of Wheaton Historic Commission.

Free Historic Mid-Century Modern Tour Maps Event

Date: Saturday, May 16
Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Location: Wheaton French Market, municipal parking lot at Main Street & Liberty Drive 

The Wheaton Historic Commission in cooperation with Boy Scout Troop 303 will be distributing free Historic Wheaton Mid-Century Modern Tour maps featuring the Wheaton homes designed by Edward Dart and built by Wheaton developer Graeme Stewart. Look for a Boy Scout near the Wheaton French Market on Saturday, May 16 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in order to get your free map.

Mid-Century Modern Open House, 816 W. Elm St.

Date: Sunday, May 17
Time: 1-4 p.m.
Location: 816 W. Elm St.

Chicago modernist-architect, Edward Dart, designed numerous churches, homes, and businesses throughout Chicago and its suburbs. Wheaton’s Dart-designed properties include about a dozen homes, and several churches. Come hear Matt Seymour, who has written extensively on Dart, present on the architect’s life, and his Mid-Century design philosophy.   

Home History Research Help

Date: Saturday, May 23
Time: 1-4 p.m.
Location: Wheaton Public Library, 225 N. Cross St.

Interested in learning more about your historic property? Whether your interest is a home’s construction date, past owners, or its architecture, drop by Wheaton Public Library to discover available resources, where to find them and what each reveals. Learn about the Wheaton Register of Historic Places and getting your house listed. Assistance provided by City of Wheaton Historic Commission members and Wheaton Public Library staff in conjunction with Wheaton Preservation Week. The event is free and open to the public at the library's first floor Genealogy Section. Drop-ins welcome but reservations are recommended by calling the Reference Desk at 630-868-7520.   

Downtown Wheaton Historic Walking Tour

Date: Saturday, May 23
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: DuPage Historical Museum, 102 E. Wesley St.

Enjoy a stroll through historic Downtown Wheaton. Learn about the people, businesses and important events that shaped our area. The tour begins at the DuPage County Historical Museum and proceeds through town. Discover the stories behind the railroad, the County Courthouse and more. A special architecture scavenger hunt will be added if children join the tour. Participants should wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. Approximately 1.5 miles are covered during the tour. Small fee applies. Contact the museum at 630-510-4941 or email for additional information.  

Home History Exhibit at Wheaton Public Library

Dates: Throughout May
Location: Wheaton Public Library, 225 N. Cross St.

Interested in learning more about your old home—when it was built, what architectural style it is, or who used to live there? During the month of May, visit the Wheaton Public Library for a display on home history research methods and materials. Learn what records reveal and explore city directories, newspapers, census returns, Sanborn maps, aerial views, cemetery records and local histories. Featured this year is the special challenge of researching houses that have been moved.

Pride in Preservation Signs

As part of Preservation Week, the Historic Commission places “Pride in Preservation” purple lawn signs throughout Wheaton at various sites designated Wheaton Historic Landmarks and locations listed on the Wheaton Register of Historic Places. Many of these sites include a plaque with the estimated date of construction or a permanent interpretive sign with more information.

See an online tour of some of these sites with images and brief information on the City's website by selecting “Wheaton’s Landmark Homes.”  


Submit any questions or inquiries regarding the 2015 Preservation Week to

Related Upcoming Programs

Milton Township Cemeteries Authority & Friends of Pioneer Cemeteries Memorial Day observance

Date: Saturday, May 23
Time: 11 a.m.-noon
Location: Jewel Grove Cemetery is on the west side of Champion Forest Court (a dead end street) just south of Jewel Road. Park in the nearby Carl Sandburg Elementary School parking lot, and walk south from the parking lot.

A ceremony to commemorate Memorial Day, buried Civil War veterans among others, and the restoration of the Jewel Grove Cemetery. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Bob Jacobsen 630-668-7551

Pleasant Hill Cemetery Patriotic & Family Day

Date: Saturday, June 27
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: Pleasant Hill Cemetery is at the southeast corner of Geneva Road and Coventry Street. Park in the nearby Wheaton Bowl parking lot (2031 North Gary Avenue, Wheaton, IL) and ride the shuttle bus to the cemetery. Suggested arrival of 10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. 

An annual celebratory event for all ages featuring the American Legion Band from Aurora, IL playing patriotic songs and refreshments will be held on Saturday, June 27 starting at 11 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Bob Jacobsen 630-668-7551