Historic Designation

The neighborhood has undergone significant change since the Gifford Park Association formed in 1979. That is the year a small group of neighbors, passionately concerned about the destruction of historic architecture and the growing density of their neighborhood, met on a porch overlooking Gifford Park to discuss strategies to deter this trend. Brainstorming, they came up with ideas such as enacting a preservation ordinance and applying for historic district status. This informal meeting was the beginning of what would later become the Gifford Park Association. Historic preservation, crime prevention, overcrowding, property neglect, and community building became the focal issues for the group. In their original mission statement, the charter members identified saving the integrity of the Elgin Historic District as the first goal.

In a relatively short period of time, the newly formed Gifford Park Association took several strategic steps to reverse the decline of the neighborhood:
1. They acquired local Historic District status for the neighborhood in 1981;

2. They acquired National Historic District designation in 1983, thereby