Suburban Cook County Survey

This survey focuses on architecturally significant non-residential suburban Chicago buildings dating from 1935 to 1975—a period commonly referred to as the “recent past.” Approximately 4100 commercial, institutional, office, and religious structures have been identified in more than 53 communities throughout Cook County, Illinois. The survey has been conducted annually by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) Graduate Program in Historic Preservation since 2006.

The Recent Past Survey of Suburban Cook County does not include residential structures due to time constraints and the fact that detailed residential surveys are more appropriately carried out by local governments. It is not conducted in association with any local governments. Consequently, inclusion in the survey does not indicate local protection or recognition. The survey was initiated by Jim Peters, AICP, adjunct professor at SAIC and a former Landmarks Illinois staff member. Subsequent surveys have been supervised by architects, planners, and other professionals with survey experience.

Explore the Recent Past Survey of Suburban Cook County

Survey Highlights

Join us on Flickr to view highlights from the Recent Past Survey of Suburban Cook County.


Since 2010 funds for the Recent Past Survey of Suburban Cook County have been granted by the Jocarno Fund. Initial financial assistance for this effort came from the Kohler Intervention Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Landmarks Illinois has funded development and maintenance of this website in partnership with SAIC. 


Chicago’s public radio station, WBEZ, and the Alliance Review are among the media outlets that have reported on the Recent Past Survey of Suburban Cook County.

Pre-1935 Historic Buildings in Suburban Cook County

For information on significant structures in these communities built prior to 1935, please see This site summarizes a statewide architectural and historical survey that was conducted by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency during the 1970s.

6535 N. Lincoln Avenue, Lincolnwood

123 W. Madison Street, Oak Park

329 Harlem Avenue, Forest Park

2600 River Road, Des Plaines

3020 N. 76th Court, Elmwood Park

7100 W. Cermak Road, Berwyn

Support our advocacy

Be a voice for the future of our communities by supporting Landmarks Illinois. Our work enhances communities, empowers citizens, promotes local economic development, and offers environmentally sound solutions.

Become A Member