A non-comprehensive history of the East Village Association

Sept. 1983
The first Newsletter appears, a handwritten two-pager called The No-Name Neighborhood News.

July 1984
The big issue – open fire hydrants. No showers possible on hot days.

April 1985
EVA testifies at city zoning hearing against drive-ins and fast food at Division and Ashland. We are told we are “lucky any developer wants to come to our neighborhood.”

July 1986
Lead article thanked the police beat rep for taking care of a long-standing problem – chickens being raised in a neighbor’s apartment.

Feb. 1988
“Face-to-face with a slumlord” – EVA members take a field trip to picket at the Hoffman Estate residence of an absentee owner of a problem property.

Through 1990
Cut-Rite Liquors often in the EVA headlines.

August 1990
EVA publishes details of complaints with then-Alderman Luis Gutierrez, which are then happily resolved and a stronger relationship forged.

June 1991
In violation of their own ordinances, the City paves the sidewalks on Chicago Avenue without leaving tree-pits. EVA is forced to go to the media for attention and gets 67 trees.

July 1991
Federal Scattered Site Housing program announced in the EVA news, articles continue through 1994.

Jan. 1992
Lead article – “Tax Protest meeting, Assessments increase 100%.”

Feb. 1993
Welcomes in Spanish and Polish are printed on the newsletter cover.

April 1994
CAPS program introduced to EVA and city.

August 1994
EVA argues “taxation without representation” – fights over ward redistricting mean we don’t have an alderman. We’re invited to a personal meeting with the mayor!

Sept. 1995
West Town Library closes. EVA is lead member in coalition for reopening, which occurs in October 1996.

August 1996
Demolition of Goldblatt's at Chicago and Ashland announced, EVA mounts campaign to save the historic structure.

April 1997
Goldblatt's building saved, purchased by city for offices.

Dec. 1997
EVA member-experts present a well-received testimony at city hearing on “Managing the Housing Boom.”

August 1998
EVA takes on St. Boniface preservation issue.

Feb. 2000
EVA launches campaign against too-tall residential buildings, succeeds in having new height ordinance passed.

August 2000
Triangle Garden walk revived as East Village Garden Walk.

August 2001
EVA tackles saving a play lot (space we originally lobbied to have saved in 1984!) that was sold for – yes, more condominiums. We succeed.

Sept. 2001
Cover of EVA news features our newest residents who’ll be using that play lot, the children of families who have made their homes here.

January 2002
EVA joins campaign to save Huntley House, a pre-Chicago fire building and the 5th oldest house in Chicago.

September 2002
Huntley House demolished and replaced by condominiums.

January 2003
Cover article on EVA newsletter, “Why East Village Needs Downzoning,” starts a campaign to address problem of teardowns in neighborhood.

June 2003
EVA establishes the Restaurant Club to experience the exploding entertainment scene.

October 2003
Alderman Manny Flores brings Mayor Daley to the neighborhood to meet ten community leaders, Mayor Daley encourages EVA’s participation in the city’s new zoning project.

June 2004
Alderman Flores and the Metropolitan Planning Council begin an analysis of East Village housing and real estate development.

November 2004
New zoning map for the EVA area finalized by Alderman Flores and the Department of Planning and Development, including some “downzoning”, some “upzoning”, and a proposal for a landmark district. Almost everyone involved in the process is unhappy, the mark of a compromise, but not a good one. Two new groups with competing agendas, the Association of West Town Property Owners and the West Town Preservation Association, are formed.

January 2005
Commission on Chicago Landmarks votes to begin preliminary study of several blocks in the East Village area for landmark status.

May 2007
EVA website established.

December 2009
East Village listed on National Register of Historic Places


March 2009
The East Village Neighbors and the East Village Association merge to form a
united community organization.