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, February 15, 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.


Then stick around for SSSA's 5 year anniversary ! ... See MoreSee Less

Drop-In Small Wonders

March 2, 2018, 4:15pm - March 2, 2018, 6:15pm

Side Street Studio Arts will be hosting our monthly Drop-In Small Wonders Friday, March 2, from 4:15-6:15pm. Our amazing professional artist-educators will be leading a variety of 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! AGES: We will separate young artists by age, based upon those attending. Often times, even if those young artists are friends or siblings. While we don't anticipate filling up, there is limited space available. First come, first served. 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.

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

Screen Print Workshop with Fred Wimms

March 31, 2018, 12:00pm - March 31, 2018, 5:00pm

Are you like Freddrick D. Wimms? Wanting your art to live beyond the framework of a canvas? Free from hanging on the plain walls in domestic spaces? Lost in the shuffle of stacks of reams of paper yellowing in the sunlight or graying under dust? Then, let your ART explore and be seen like never before. Let your work be reborn through the SCREEN. Learn the fundamentals of screen printing in this crash course on developing the basic skills of the screen printing process. Create a simple design and explore the printing possibilities from printing personal original artwork on paper to printing on the beloved T-shirt or any other swag you can dream. Work alongside LAB Artist Freddrick D. Wimms of Style Art Play to learn and practice the screen printing process from start to finish. With subject matter in mind you will develop an image by hand or computer. Step-by-step students will be taken through the process of silk-screen printing including photo emulsion, mixing ink, creating a b & w image, and screen registration.This class will prepare students to work independently and utilize our LAB programs. The screen you produce in class is yours to keep and for use to make future prints. ages 13+ $60, all supplies included Limited space available. Register today!

Need something to do tonight?? ... See MoreSee Less

Resident Show Case of Art, Music & Poetry

February 17, 2018, 7:00pm - February 18, 2018, 12:00am

Who Is Artspace Come check us out ! There will be Live Music & Art performed at Art space!. The opening reception will feature over 30 resident artists. The music will be performed by a few of our musicians and the Art is by all the artists in the buliding. Come and enjoy some great music and look at some fabulous Art. This is a free event!

one of the best parts of our Downtown Elgin revitalization - who can believe it's been 5 years?!!! Congratulations to all at Side Street Studio Arts! ... See MoreSee Less

V: Celebrating five years of Side Street

March 2, 2018, 6:00pm - March 2, 2018, 10:00pm

Celebrating five years of Side Street Studio Arts with live performances, art making, visual art, the Side Street family, and much much more! Featuring the work these amazing artists: David Bremer Ursula Kempken Buol Lizzy Sommer Mike Rende Bruce Bachelder Bobby Rowland Lukas Suzzi Chris Palm Marisa Boyd Lauran Hon Jesse Pace Jane Erlandson Natalie Pivoney Ignacio martinez Jamey Bouwmeester Maddie Richmond Scott A. Maki Kevin Hunter Saffron Klekamp Rana Sadek Chloe Topf Sara Peak Convery Lance Long Birger Norlund Christensen Ken Simonsen Anna Vannoni Karl Jahnke Valerie Elise Jade Morem Adrian Mesino Peter Brankovic Mary Caravette Jeff Kolak Erin Cramer Joni Sullivan Mary Sheehan Brian Garbrecht Jamie Neely Janelle O'Malley -some works contain mature content $5 suggested donation Stay tuned for the full schedule: 4:15-6:15pm Drop-In Small Wonders in the Theater around 5:15pm The Olive Branch will start serving up food! 6-8:30pm Judging and Audience Voting for V 6-9pm Open Screen Print in the Lab with Freddrick D. Wimms, featuring original design by Chris Palm Bring your own t-shirt $5/Need a t-shirt $10 Stump the potter with Jack Holt in the Lab 7:45pm Think Easy in the Theater 8:15pm Eastern Groove Studio - Project Groove performs in the Gallery 8:30pm Old Jaw in Theater 9pm Announcement of V prize winners in the Gallery 9:15pm Eastern Groove Studio - Project Groove performs in the Gallery 9:30pm Watch City in Theater Sponsored in part by Elgin Public House and the Illinois Arts Council Agency #supportlocalart #downtownElgin #firstFriday #makestuff #v

consider attending to learn more about what's happening, residents are invited ... See MoreSee Less

Downtown Stakeholders meeting

February 5, 2018, 2:00pm - February 5, 2018, 3:00pm

Join us on Monday, February 5th from 2-3pm for a Downtown Stakeholder meeting at #10 North Spring Street (second floor). We encourage business owners/managers, building owners, and residents who would like to be involved to come and meet fellow downtown stakeholders and the DNA team. Our featured presentation will be on our new all-inclusive Membership structure. Find out what has changed, get your questions answered and learn how DNA membership and involvement can support your success in Downtown Elgin. We will also have an officer from the Elgin Police Department on hand to provide updates on crime stats and police work within our Downtown and will provide info on DNA's plan for regular Stakeholders meetings in 2018. Hope to see you all there!

Opening tomorrow night at Side Street Studio Arts! ... See MoreSee Less