May 2008


In attendance: Pat and Dan Miller, Holly Wiedmeyer, Jennifer Fritz-Williams, David Williams, Gregg Hagen, Joe Kjellender, Alicia Lykins, Nick Lykins, Laura Jacobson, Evan Hennessey, Brenda Zeid, Karen Bach, Chris Bach, Kathleen and Chris Mau, Dave Mendiola



Real Estate sales:

  • 167 S. Channing (condo) $100,000
  • 100 N. Liberty $126,000
  • 373 Park $170,000
  • 514 Division $145,000

Homes for sale:

  • 207 S. Channing $239,900
  • 64 S. Channing $189,900
  • 169 S. Channing (condo) $279,900
  • 59 S. Gifford $349,00
  • 564 E. Chicago $317,800

Interior pictures of 514 Division, which has been unveiled and is currently being rehabbed by John Anderson and Paul Cayez.

A newspaper article announcing that Emmett’s Tavern, owned by the family of GPA members Mike and Sarah Burns, won the silver medal at the recent World Beer Cup Competition.

A newspaper article about the cemetery at the Elgin Mental Health center which featured a picture of our own Bill Briska.


Nick Lykins moved to approve the Minutes of March 20, 2008.

Holly Wiedmever seconded the motion

The motion to approved the Minutes of March 20, 2008 was carried unanimously


Holly Wiedmever reported that our CD balance is $51,464.95 and the checking account balance is $37,289.95. Holly thanked Bill Briska for helping her update the accounts. She said, “He blew me away” with his expertise.

Joe also thanked Bill for doing our taxes. He reminded the group that we are a 501 c(4) non-profit organization. Gifts or things like the housewalk tickets are not tax deductible. We are a tax-exempt organization so we do not pay taxes on our income.


Pat Miller reported (for Dave Mendiola who was late):

There was a recent home invasion on Laurel St. with the perpetrator escaping on foot. The schools were asked to keep their students inside while a K-9 unit searched the area. Pat mentioned that the dog went in our garage. Many people commented that the dog probably did not like the looks or smell of Dan. Officer Kevin Sosnowski, with gun drawn, searched behind our garage.

Dave arrived at the meeting and added that he has been very busy with lots of loud music complaints. With the warmer weather there is always an increase in the calls for service. Dave added that there was a shooting at 321 North for which they did recover the gun. A foot chase ensued with the schools locked down again. They have not apprehended the shooter but they do have everyone else in the car.

Alicia Lykins asked if he knew anything about the house at 398 Park, as it is vacant with a window broken. It was reported that the house is in foreclosure. Jennifer Fritz-Williams promised to report the broken window to the code officer.


Dave told us of the upcoming ROPE camp for underprivileged kids. They will be taken to Lake Geneva again this year on June 13-15. Dan Miller made a motion to donate $200 for the ROPE camp as we have done in the past. Nick Lykins seconded the motion. Holly Wiedmeyer suggested that with rising costs, we should make the amount $250. The amended motion passed unanimously.


Historic Committee

Laura Jacobson reported that we hope to have a new Gazette out in June. It will announce the porch parties for the summer. If you have ideas for articles or would like to write one contact Laura at

630-689­8857. Laura reminded the group that she and Jeff would do the Gazettes through the end of the year.

Joe informed the group that Paul Durrenberger has a planting plan for our beloved Gifford Park beds. Joe asked if we need approval for the city to do the work? We received a $500 matching grant from the Elgin Proud and Beautiful group to buy materials.

Membership Committee

Alicia Lykins thanked everyone for coming to our membership pot luck dinner. She counted sixty

people in attendance. We got five new members at the dinner. Great food, great conversation and an interesting presentation by Steve Stroud made for a very enjoyable meeting.

Reminder to all: Annual GPA Membership costs: $6 for individual and $12 for family. First year membership is free.

Porch Parties

Alicia informed the group that she and Nick were going to organize the porch parties this summer. She hopes to have one every other Friday starting on June 13. Pat Miller offered to have one on June 27th. Call Alicia at 847-622-8447 if you are interested in hosting a porch party.

Housewalk 2008

Dan Miller showed slides of the homes that have been selected thus far. Six homeowners have agreed to participate and two want more time to think about it. The addresses selected so far are: 940 Douglas, 259 River Bluff, 1100 N. Spring, 409 Douglas, 1005 N. Spring, 402 N. Spring (restoration in progress). Holly informed the group that Quality Painting is scheduled to paint 1005 N. Spring and that it may not be finished for housewalk. Laura Jacobson reminded us that it would be okay to have two restoration in progress houses.

Reminder: Housewalk will take place on Saturday, September 13, 2008 from 9am to 5:30pm.

Program Committee

In Barb Counterman’s absence, Joe Kjellander said that the Group Trip to Island Girl Salvage on April 12 was a lot of fun and a great success. There were about 12 members who met at Raven Heart Coffee and carpooled to Island Girl Salvage in Elk Grove Village.


Dan showed slides of the recent salvages on State and Jefferson Sts. He publicly thanked the following for helping on some cold days:

Pat Miller (two shifts) Sue Awot, Joe Kjellander, Holly Wiedmeyer, Chuck Keysor, Brian Anderson, Dan Miller, Nick and Alicia Lykins, David Williams, Tobitha Gray, Jeff McIntyre, Tony Sanchez. Dan reported that we took in $490 which is not a lot for two days work but it is very satisfying that we saved hundreds of things from the landfill. He showed a slide of the huge pile of bricks that Tony and Barb salvaged for use on their home. He also showed a slide of a very nice path they made in their yard of brick and limestone. Dan was especially proud in knowing that two bar stools from the 60s were salvaged to furnish Nicks “man room.”



Jennifer Fritz-Williams announced the remaining list of activities for preservation month. Brochures were handed out and can be viewed at httb://qifford-park-assoc.orq/2008preservationbrochure.pdf

• May 31St: Bunte Auction House will be at the Library for a Mini Antiques Road Show-type event Jennifer reported that in a recent conversation with the Mayor, he talked about the possibility of starting a new initiative where people with Bungalows could get grants for rehabilitation like they are doing in Chicago. Perhaps something like this would encourage more Historic Districts to be formed.


Joe reported that a great time was had by all at the recent unveiling of 141 N. Gifford. With all the help we had, we were done by noon. He thanked the following for helping: Tom Krebsbach, Rebecca Hunter, Dan Miller, Laura Jacobson, Denise and Javier recycled the aluminum, homeowners Mike and Lena Williams, Joe Kjellander, Bill Briska, Doug Tomsha, Jennifer Fritz-Williams, Fran Cella, Pat Miller, Evan Hennessey, Holly Wiedmeyer, Jeff McIntyre, Chris Berry, David Williams, Paul and Jean Bednar, Julie Schmitt. Laura suggested that we get a nice sign to announce our unveiling like NENA uses. Dan showed some slides taken by Fran Cella. Dan added captions in a feeble attempt to be funny but it did not work.


Joe reported that the city has closed on the purchase of 140 N. Channing. Dan added that he will get a date for us to view 140 N. Channing, 114-116 N. Channing and 467 Division to see if we are interested in partnering with the city to do a rehab. Ruth Anne Hall has been placed in charge of working with us.


Laura Jacobson suggested that since 398 Park is vacant and has been foreclosed upon, perhaps we could do some volunteer weeding of the flowerbeds.

Karen reported that the Gifford Park Association is again manning a water stop for the annual Memorial Day Fox Trot. In exchange for doing this, the city gives us one free rental of the Lord’s Park Pavilion. Over the years, the Bach and Preradovic families have done it. She could use some help this year. If you are interested call her at 741-8533. It starts at 7:30 am and lasts about an hour.

Karen suggested that GPA give some thought to involving our school age kids in Preservation Month activities in the future. She feels that the architectural/historical tours of our neighborhood should be given to kids as has been done in the past. She said her son is now 21 years old and recently took his girlfriend on a tour of the neighborhood. He remembered details from his grade school tour. A tour of their neighborhood would help make kids proud of where they live.

Dan suggested that bringing back the essay contest for kids might be something to consider.


Motion to adjourn was made by David Williams and was seconded by Karen Bach The motion was carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Dan Miller in Margaret Keen’s absence