Mount Greenwood Housing - The South Side of Chicago

The housing in Mount Greenwood continues to improve. People in Mount Greenwood continue to add full second stories and front porches, expanding the original cape cods and single story homes. 

Wrought iron fences are a nice addition.

And sometimes an older house is torn down and a bigger home is erected.
More photos at:

Facade Improvement Plans

Façade Improvement Programs:
Getting the Private Sector Involved in Downtown Revitalization

Authors: Craig Hullinger AICP
Diane Gormely-Barnes AICP

A Facade Improvement Program can be a cost effective method of encouraging private sector reinvestment in older commercial areas. A program will usually provide partial funding for appropriate facade improvements that both enhance the appearance of the building and contribute to the overall character of an historic commercial area or central business district (CBD), most often as part of a larger improvement program.

The Village of Tinley Park, Illinois undertook a transit-oriented development (TOD) plan in 1998 that was sponsored by the Regional Transportation Authority of Northeastern Illinois (RTA). The RTA’s Regional Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) provided matching funds for the development of the plan. The TOD plan was essentially a downtown improvement plan, focusing on enhancements to the train station area within the historic commercial core of the community. The community planning process, led by the Chicago-based planning firm of Camiros, Ltd., resulted in recommendations to enhance the appearance and viability of the “Old Town” area along Oak Park Avenue, adjacent to the Metra station.

Train stations were the focus of many communities when rail transport was king. The CBD of Tinley Park developed around the train station, a stop on the famous Rock Island Line. Most businesses and homes were within easy walking distance of the train station. As the town grew and the auto became dominant, wider modern roads diverted traffic away from the historic commercial buildings adjacent to the train tracks. The station area declined in importance and became a minor center relative to the large commercial centers developed at the intersections of major roads elsewhere in Tinley Park. The Village became concerned about the deterioration of “Old Town” and also recognized that some of the buildings no longer exhibited a character appropriate for an historic area, due to modern era renovations.

The TOD plan included numerous proposed improvements to Metra facilities, and also many landscaping, streetscaping and marketing enhancements. The Village and Metra have moved aggressively to implement the public sector initiatives of the plan, and a number of improvements have been made or are underway. These include the removal of an unsightly water tower near the tracks, parking lot and sidewalk upgrades, installation of a plaza near the station to serve as a community gathering space and CBD focal point, and the ongoing construction of a new Metra station. A new mixed-use building containing retail space and condominiums is also under construction on a key site in the area.

A very important and effective part of the plan was the development of Façade Improvement Guidelines, and the preparation of several specific facade improvement concepts for high visibility buildings in the area. The Guidelines address three specific development types found in the station area: traditional commercial facades built up to the sidewalk, auto-oriented buildings set back from the street, and older residences that have been converted to business use. Each façade improvement concept included a detailed illustration of the potential future appearance of the façade, juxtaposed with a photograph of the existing condition of the building. The sketches provided an improvement recommendation that each building owner could pursue with an architect or directly with a general contractor, depending upon the scope of the proposed façade changes.

The Village of Tinley Park then developed and marketed a Façade Improvement Program for buildings in the CBD, beginning with building owners for whom the Village had proactively funded improvement concepts. Under the Program, the building owner hires an architect acceptable to the Village to design (or in these cases refine) a façade concept and estimate the cost of the improvements.  Drawings are then submitted to the Village. If approved, the Village reimburses the building owner for up to 50% of the cost of the façade improvements.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Village staff used the facade improvement concepts in meetings with property owners, the business community, and developers. The sketches were very effective in developing interest in building improvements by the private sector. Several buildings in the immediate area of the train station have been attractively renovated and house thriving restaurants that are highly visible to passing Metra commuters, providing outdoor dining areas and substantial new downtown activity, jobs, and sales tax revenue.

A Facade Improvement Program is a low cost and effective way to attract quality investment to a community. The facade improvement concepts were a very important outgrowth of the TOD plan.  They encouraged the active involvement of the private sector in area improvements. The improvements generated by the TOD plan and Facade Improvement Program jump-started a successful effort toward community revitalization.

The authors:

Craig Hullinger, AICP is a city planning consultant.  He can be reached at:

Diane Gormely-Barnes, AICP, AIA, LEED AP
is currently a Principal Planner with HNTB Corporation in Chicago, Illinois.  She was formerly a Senior Associate at Camiros, Ltd. She can be reached at

For more information on Tinley Park’s Façade Improvement Program and other “Old Town” initiatives, contact: Director of Planning for Tinley Park, IL at 708 444 5000.
The façade improvements at Ed and Joe’s Pizzeria were also based on historic photographs.  The decorative wooden façade and signage replaced dark, diagonal wood siding that had been installed in recent decades.

Teehan’s Tavern was upgraded with ground floor storefront improvements and new siding and trim above.  A raised outdoor seating area was also added to enliven the street.

Façade improvements proposed for the Holstein’s Saloon building were based directly on photographic evidence of its historic appearance in the early 1900s.  The new façade replaced a plain brick front that had been installed over the original ornate wooden façade. A raised outdoor dining area was also created.

Horizons: Community Planning Month Events!

In this Issue: Letter from the Chair | MAPS Kickoff | Urban Planning and LGBTQ Communities | Missing Middle | Women in Planning | Planning Healthy Places |
Happy National Community Planning Month, Section Members!
We are delighted to be celebrating and raising awareness about the importance of our profession. As detailed later in the e-blast, the Section has a number of great events in October, and I hope you can join us in celebrating planning in our community. We also want to hear from you - if your agency or firm is planning a separate event, you can promote it via social media with the #PlanningMonth hashtag or share it with APA Florida at

Your 2018-2019 Sun Coast Section Executive Committee members are here to serve you and we are looking forward to another great year. We have a fantastic group of Area Directors and a YPG Representative who will be reaching out in the coming weeks about event ideas in your area, and the Executive Committee will be holding a retreat in late October to plan out a roadmap for the coming year. The Section’s mentoring initiatives, for both students and mid-level professionals, will be a continued focus. Additionally, the Women in Planning group will continue to expand with additional programming. We will also be offering a variety of fun educational and social opportunities – some targeted to new planners, some to experienced professionals, but hopefully all will benefit you no matter where you are in your career.

My goal in my second year as Chair is to make sure the Section continues to provide a great value for your membership. Please feel free to contact me at any time with your ideas, suggestions or feedback at or

I’m looking forward to the great things we will accomplish together.


Melissa Dickens, AICP
P.S. You may have noticed our newsletter looks a little different this month. We are happy to announce that we along with APA FL have switched email marketing providers to MailChimp! We hope this will resolve the many issues regarding dropped and bounced emails. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Communications Officer, Brandon Henry, at
Community Planning Month Events

The Sun Coast Section celebrates National Community Planning Month with great October events!
October 5th – MAPS Kickoff and Joint SPO/YPG/Section Happy Hour
Attention young and “young at heart” planners! Join us for a fun and informal happy hour co-hosted with our Student Planning Organization and Young Planner’s Group. This event will immediately follow theMAPS kickoff and is a great opportunity to meet our Section’s future and emerging planners.

Click here to RSVP

When: October 5th, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Where: Yeoman's Cask & Lion, Downtown Tampa: 202 North Morgan Street
Tampa, FL 33602
October 11th  - Urban Planning & LGBTQ Communities: Ybor’s Role in a Diverse Tampa Bay
The Section, the USF MURP program, and the USF Student Planning Organization are jointly celebrating National Community Planning Month and National Coming Out Day with a focus on LGBTQ influence in planning and the GaYbor District (Tampa LGBTQ neighborhood). The event will feature guest lectures from academic experts and community partners, as well as a walking tour of the neighborhood. APA LGBTQ, the Ybor City Development Corporation, Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce,  and Metro Wellness and Community Centers are participating partners as well. 1.5 CM Pending.
Click here to RSVP

When: October 11th, 3:30 p.m.

Event Location:
Metro Wellness & Community Centers
1315 E. 7th Avenue
Tampa, FL 33605
Note: Walking tour departs from Metro Wellness at 5PM

Happy Hour Time/Location:
5:00 p.m.
Hamburger Mary’s Pub House
Centro Ybor
1600 E. 8th Avenue
Tampa, FL 33605
October 17th – Missing Middle Housing Session
The Section is partnering with the Florida City-County Manager’s Association and Forward Pinellas to bring together city managers, elected officials, planners and the public to discuss solutions for providing the “Missing Middle” type of housing.  This session is intended build on the Section’s previous programming to engage further with local community leadership and elected officials. 2.5 CM Pending
Click here to RSVP

When: October 17th, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Where: SPC Clearwater Campus
2465 Drew Street, Room ES104
Clearwater, FL 33765
October 19th – Women in Planning Group Meeting
In line with the Group’s mission to support and elevate women in planning, the WIP group will be hearing from Mary Ross, P.E., with Gannett Fleming. She will discuss strategies associated with their firm’s internal employee resource group, “Connected Women at Gannett Fleming”, which works to create a culture that empowers, supports, and mentors women to achieve career and personal success. Happy hour to follow. 1.0 CM Pending
Click here to RSVP

When: October 19th, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Where: City of Tampa Construction Services
1400 North Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33607
October 24th – Planning Healthy Places Event
The Section is partnering with the US Green Building Council – Tampa Chapter to plan a joint event focusing on planning for healthy communities. This event begins with an optional community service opportunity at 4:00 pm, where participants can give back by assisting with preparation for the UACDC’s largest annual fundraiser (this will involve creating fun craft-type props in the comfort of air conditioning!). Funds raised will fund the UACDC’s Neighborhood Transformation Strategy, which includes land acquisition and construction of affordable housing, new park/recreation facilities, and neighborhood enhancements.

Next, there will be an optional tour of UACDC community garden where participants will learn strategies on healthy food provision. Following networking and registration, we will then hear from a panel of experts on techniques for planning healthy places from the private, public and non-profit sectors. Purchase of a ticket includes one free drink ticket! 1.5 CM pending
This event is sponsored by VHB
Click here to RSVP

When: October 24th, 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Optional Community Service Activity: 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Optional community garden tour: 5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Registration/networking: 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Introductions, keynote speaker, panel discussion: 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Where: University Area Community Development Corporation Community Center
14013 North 22nd Street
Tampa, FL 33613
Calendar at a Glance and Other Events
October 5th (Official Sun Coast Event:): 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.: MAPS Kickoff and Joint SPO/YPG/Section Happy Hour. Yeoman's Cask and Lion - Downtown Tampa

October 5th: Deadline for Tampa Downtown Partnership's Urban Excellence Award Nominations.

October 11th (Official Sun Coast Event:): 3:30 p.m.: Urban Planning and LGBTQ Communities - Ybor's Role in a Diverse Tampa Bay. Ybor City.

October 17th (Official Sun Coast Event:): 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: Missing Middle Housing Session.SPC Clearwater

October 19th (Official Sun Coast Event): 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Women in Planning Group Meeting. City of Tampa Construction Services.

October 24th (Official Sun Coast Event): 4:00 p.m.: Planning Healthy Places Event. UACDC Community Center, Tampa.

October 25th: Hillsborough County Planning Commission Planning and Design Awards. T Pepin Hospitality Center, Tampa.

October 26th: Free Webcast - Planning Webcast Series (Featuring Sun Coast Planners). TBD.

November (Date TBD): Time TBD: Vision Zero Community Service Project (Intersection Painting at Cleveland Elementary), Tampa

November 8th (Official Sun Coast Event): 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Ybor City History Walking Tour. Tampa.

November 13th (Official Sun Coast Event): 5:30 p.m. Sun Coast Section Book Club. The Attic, Downtown Tampa. Book: The Big Thirst: The Secret and Turbulent Future of Water by Charles Fishman

December 3rd (Official Sun Coast Event): Time TBD. TOD Session. Pinellas County.
Other Links of Interest

Tampa Downtown Partnership's Sixth Biennial Survey
Sun Coast Section Executive Committee
Chair - Melissa Dickens, AICP
Chair-Elect - Stefanie McQueen, AICP
Vice Chair - Roger Menendez, CE, AICP
Communications Officer - Brandon Henry
Secretary - Kathryn Gademer, AICP
Treasurer - Rich Wilson, PE, AICP
Professional Development Officer - Katrina Corcoran
Professional Development Officer - Troy Salisbury, AICP
Student Representative  Christopher Moorman
Young Planners Group - Sean Baraoidan

Area Directors
Citrus/Hernando County - Joe Quinn, AICP
Hillsborough County - Matthew Pleasant
Manatee County - Neveen Nawawy, MPA
Pasco County - Matthew Armstrong, AICP
Pinellas County - Jacob Labutka, AICP
Sarasota County - Katie LaBarr, AICP
Section Sponsor: Mark S. Bentley, Esq., B.C.S., AICP
Theriaque & Spain
Prosser Hallock
GAI Community Solutions Group
Wade Trim
APA Florida Chapter
2017 Delta Blvd

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