Much of Itasca's charm lies in its history. Itasca's historic downtown and neighborhoods lend the village that small town quality that makes residents and visitors feel at home. These homes and buildings, dating back as far as the 1850s, give the village its identity as a charming oasis within the Chicago metropolitan area.
The task of ensuring that Itasca's historic structures are protected and cherished now and by future generations lies with the Itasca Historic Commission, a group of dedicated residents appointed by the mayor. Equally important, the Commission's role is to help residents renovate and expand historic homes and businesses as efficiently and cost effectively as possible while maintaining the buildings' character, charm and compatibility with surrounding buildings.
Today the historic district boundaries reflect the village's original boundaries as they were when the village was originally incorporated in1889. Historic district residents seeking to modify their homes, install a fence or other structures must first fill out a permit application with the village Community Development Department. Then petitioners are placed on the Historic Commission's meeting agenda to present their plans. The Commission reviews their plans, frequently offering useful suggestions and applying ideas from the Historic District Guidelines for Residential (PDF) and Commercial (PDF) buildings. Acceptable submittals with receive a Certificate of Appropriateness.
Historic District Plaques
Residents may obtain an Itasca Historic District plaque to affix to their facade indicating their building's year of construction. Requests for plaques may be made through Community Development.
The Historic Commission recognizes renovation projects that demonstrate exceptional attention to detail, original building architecture, neighborhood compatibility, and historic charm and character. To request consideration of this honor for your home improvement project, contact the chair of the Commission in care of Community Development. Historic District Photo Tour Depot Museum
Learn about different eras in Itasca history at the Itasca Depot Museum, one of the last intact original train depots on what was the Chicago and Milwaukee Railroad District Line. The Depot Museum is located beside the Itasca Community Library at the intersection of Irving Park Road and Catalpa. Exhibits display historical artifacts and photos that allow visitors to go back in time and see what life was like in the days of Itasca founder Dr. Elijah Smith, as well as view pictorial Itasca history.
Each year, the Historic Commission distributes activity books featuring information and illustrations of Itasca's historic homes and buildings for Itasca School District 10 students. The books offer fun historic facts about recognizable historic structures in the village.