The Gifford Park Association (GPA) is a not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1979. The goal of GPA is the revitalization, enhancement and  preservation of Elgin’s Historic homes and public buildings with a focus in the Elgin Historic District.

The neighborhood is located in the oldest portions of the city of Elgin, Illinois, and is oddly shaped and roughly bound by Park Street on the north, Center Street/Villa Court on the west, Villa Street on the south, and Liberty Street on the east. Click here for a map of the neighborhood boundaries.

GPA has made great strides in preserving Elgin’s Historic past and actively works to continue that effort. Our members are enthusiastic and proud to show off both their own homes and those of others. Hence, Elgin’s Historic House Tour began. Now in its 36th year, the house tour attendance averages 1,000 people annually. Elgin rallies behind this event every year as all of our GPA members, city officials, and residents gather together to make this one of Elgin’s finest events. Click here to see a preview of the 2017 tour.

Upcoming Events and Meetings

Our next General Membership meeting  will be held on Thursday, October 19, at 360 Park Street, second floor. General Membership meetings are open to the public. Non-members (and future members) are welcome! Josh VonDran, our code inspector will talk to us about code enforcement in Elgin. Come to learn what's happening in the neighborhood and build some community.



Become A Member

Membership in GPA lets you tap into a large network of owners and renovators, a chance to salvage architectural elements for your own home, and a subscription to the GPA Gazette with articles, news and tips for working on your home – and a chance to meet, converse, volunteer, learn, educate and socialize with other old-house people.


Click here to view a video on You Tube of a Jerry Turnquist summer 2014 walking tour of the Holy Hill area of the Elgin Historic District.


View Changes in the Historic District
View Housewalk 2015 edition
View Spring 2015 edition
View Housewalk 2014 edition
View full archive


Always a fun time in Lord's Park - tales of the Holly and Oak King's battle....hot beverages and a fire ... See MoreSee Less

Ancient Cultural Traditions and the Solstice

December 21, 2017, 6:30pm - December 21, 2017, 8:00pm

The Winter Solstice is a dark time of year - the darkest here in the northern hemisphere. Since ancient time, humans have replaced the long hours of darkness with lights and festivals, celebrating with fire, family and community gatherings. The Celtic people of Ireland and many other cultures chose the solstice as a time to celebrate the seasons. The cycle of nature is the ultimate celebration. The Elgin Public Museum invites you to hear about ancient cultures and the astronomical significance of the winter solstice. Learn about the Druid Oak King and the Holly Queen and watch the Yule log be burned in a glowing campfire. Learn about the significance of the harvest and wildlife to ancient peoples. Drink warm cider and enjoy campfire treats. $5, $3 member price.

Kids on vacation at month end? ... See MoreSee Less

Drop-In Small Wonders

December 29, 2017, 4:15pm - December 29, 2017, 6:15pm

Back by popular demand, Side Street Studio Arts will be hosting another Drop-In Small Wonders Friday, December 29, from 4:15-6:15pm. Some of our amazing summer artist-educators, Kelly Hicks and Valerie Elise, along with Berto Martinez, will be leading the creative visual and performing arts activities that evening. Interested young artists, aged 4-12, are welcome to attend for a $5 donation at the door. DROP OFF/PICK UP: You can start dropping children off at 4:10pm. Please try not to arrive any earlier, as we are putting final touches on the evening's activities. When dropping off, DO NOT park in the gravel lot in front of Side Street Studio Arts. This is not our lot. Also, do not park in the bank lot across the street. They will tow. You are welcome to pull into the alley next to the building for a quick drop off, or park on the street, if you need to come in. Same parking rules apply for pick up. You are always welcome to come in and check out what we are working on at any time. DRESS FOR A MESS: While we don’t try to get messy, we will be using messy paints and other materials. Be sure to send your young artist in clothing they (or you) won’t be sad to get paint on. Most of our supplies are washable, but…well, you know kids! And, as we expand our LAB in order to expand our arts education programming, starting February of 2018, we will be offering monthly Friday Friday Drop-In Small Wonders for make ups or just for fun! Mark those calendars. Side Street Theater* 15 1/2 Ziegler Ct. downtown Elgin *Side Street Theater is not wheelchair accessible.

👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻go NWNA neighborhood! ... See MoreSee Less

Happy holidays from our neighborhood! ... See MoreSee Less

Happening today and now until 6! ... See MoreSee Less

Happening Downtown this Saturday evening, the 5th anniversary of Krampus coming to Elgin! ... See MoreSee Less

Krampuslauf 2017 at the Martini Room!

December 9, 2017, 7:00pm - December 10, 2017, 2:00am

A new venue for 2017! Krampuslauf is at the Martini Room staring at 7:00pm on December 9th! Featuring Alpine Thunder, an authentic German band, art show, onsite Drink & Draw from Oddball Studios artists, an Ugly Sweater Contest and costumes! Krampus, St. Nicholas and holiday angels are encouraged (both light and dark angels - your chance to goth it up for the holidays!)

Gifford Park Association shared Side Street Studio Arts's event. ... See MoreSee Less

Art for Good: Exploring Activism Through the Arts

December 9, 2017, 4:00pm - December 9, 2017, 6:00pm

Side Street Studio Arts has been working with the students of the Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) to explore the ways various mediums of art can create calls to action that lead to change. On Saturday, December 9, students and professional artists will come together to create visual and performance works exploring a range of social issues, including climate change, gun violence, human trafficking, racism, and women's rights. Their creative works will be on display at Side Street Theater* (15 1/2 Ziegler Ct., downtown Elgin) starting at 4pm. The event is FREE and open to the public. We hope you will join us in celebrating the work of these up-and-coming artist-activists. Who are YLA cadets? They are 128 students from 7th to 12th grade living in the Elgin Community College District 509 (including U-46, D300, D301, and D303 Illinois school districts). 93% are students of color. 100% come from families living in poverty. Many cadets have been told that going to college is not an achievable dream. Some have been told that they do not belong in our country or, even worse, that they simply should not have been born. Yet 100% of them live the YLA motto: “I AM on the path to success. I AM college bound.” 100% are being prepped for college and trained as leaders. 100% are making a difference today as our youngest leaders to stand up for the poor and disenfranchised in our community. *Side Street Theater is not wheelchair accessible.