On August 2, 1982, the Chicago Landmarks Commission passed the following motion:
“The commission on Chicago Historical and Architectural Landmarks shall propose to the City Council of Chicago the designation of the area known as the Villa District, Chicago, Illinois, as a Chicago Landmark.”
But it would be more than a year before the City Council adopted the resolution giving the Villa its landmark status, and it would be more than five years from the time the idea of landmark status for the Villa was hatched by a small group of Villa neighbors meeting in a home on Harding Avenue. In those five years the homeowners would spend countless hours photographing and researching the area’s 126 homes, meeting with city officials and consultants, and making their case that the Villa was worthy of landmark status. In the meantime, the Villa would earn a place on National Register of Historic Places.
Two important areas of the Villa were almost left out of the landmark district. At the corner of Waveland and Pulaski stand twin apartment buildings. The two apartment buildings feature tile roofs, craftsman style rafters over the entryways and built-in planters. When the buildings were planned in 1914, legal action was taken by a Villa resident to stop their construction because the neighborhood’s original covenants prohibited multi-unit buildings. But the apartments were built and today form a stately entrance to the Villa at Pulaski and Waveland.
Four blocks away, Hamlin Avenue, between Addison and Avondale, forms the eastern border of the Villa. Hamlin features a fine stand of neat, 1920s Chicago bungalows on 25-foot lots. In the first vote establishing the Villa’s city landmark status, Hamlin was excluded because of its contrast with the craftsman and prairie styles homes on 50-foot lots that characterized most of the neighborhood. Recognizing the importance of the historic Chicago Bungalow, a second vote was taken and Hamlin became part of the landmark district.