PORTAGE PARK — Portage Park's Bungalow Belt is now a historic district.
Federal officials approved plans from the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association to include Portage Park on a list with 10 other Chicago neighborhoods — including North Mayfair and Schorsch Irving Park — recognized by the National Register of Historic Places as a historic bungalow district.
The designation could help owners of the homes, most of which were built nearly a century ago, get grants, loans and tax credits to renovate their properties, bungalow association Executive Director Mary Ellen Guest said.
"It is a point of pride to own a house in a historic district," Guest said.
Heather Cherone says very few city bungalow owners will receive any tax benefits:
Properties listed on the National Register are also eligible for an eight-year property tax freeze if they undertake renovations equal to 25 percent of the market value of their homes, Guest said.
The district includes structures built between 1915 and 1930 from Pensacola Avenue south to Hutchinson Street and from Lockwood Avenue west to Central Avenue. The area includes 189 bungalows, as well as other structures built during the same time period with the same materials and craftsmanship including Portage Park Elementary School.
The designation won't stop owners of the brick homes — which are typically 1½ stories tall, trimmed in stone and feature low-pitched roofs with overhangs — from demolishing or changing the facade of their home, officials said.
There are nearly 80,000 bungalows in Chicago, instantly recognizable by their big windows and offset front or side entrances.
They make up nearly a third of all single-family homes in Chicago, according to the bungalow association.
The other historic bungalow districts are Wrightwood Boulevard, Schorsch Irving Park, South Park Manor, Rogers Park Manor, North Mayfair, Falconer, Talman West Ridge, South Shore, West Chatham and Auburn Gresham.
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