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The Park Subdivision

Park Drive, Glenview
Various architects,


October, 2012:

Church tears down home of Glenview’s 1st village president. Read more.

Significance: In the 1890s, a religious group called the Swedenborgian Church of New Jerusalem settled in Glenview, purchasing a 40-acre tract north of Glenview Road. The congregation built


a church and a small pond on 10 acres with home sites for congregants surrounding it in a circular plan designed by landscape architect Swain Nelson, who helped design Chicago’s Lincoln Park. Since its development, the neighborhood has been known as the “Park.” 

Hugh Burnham, nephew of Daniel H. Burnham and the first mayor of Glenview, built a Queen Anne home in the Park in 1894. N.D. Pendleton, the founding pastor of the Swedenborgian Church built a home, later called the Original Manse, which was passed down through subsequent pastors for 50 years. The landscape architect, Swain Nelson, also built an Arts & Crafts, Shingle Style house here.

Current Condition and/or Status: While the Burnham residence has been altered, architectural historians believe the Park neighborhood is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Glenview has a local preservation ordinance, but city officials are unlikely to support local landmark designation of the area without the church’s consent. One of the original homes, at 59 Park Drive, was demolished in 2005 and replaced by a new house.

Potential Threat: The Burnham, Nelson and Manse houses are owned by the church and are among the potential properties it may demolish. The church has stated it can not afford the taxes on these homes, all of which are leased to tenants. Demolition would reduce the taxes paid. The church would then sell the Burnham and Manse house sites to developers and use the site of the Nelson house for a playing field for its school, the Midwest Academy.

What You Can Do: Contact Glenview officials to urge support for National Register or local landmark designation of the Park.

Church officials have stated a willingness to sell the Burnham House if moved. To inquire, contact: Ken Cole,  President, Park Dwellings (847-729-3265). To learn more…


Photos: 1 Burnham House, c. 1900, from “Glenview the First Centennial” by Glenview Centennial Commission, 1999; 2 Burnham House, 2008, courtesy of David Silver; 3 Survey map, 1923, courtesy of Village of Glenview; 4 Swain Nelson house, 2008, courtesy of David Silver; 5 Manse House, Landmarks Illinois







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