May 14

UVNA April 2014 Meeting Notes

Thursday February 20th, 2014 – 6:30pm – Helen School Cafeteria

Officers and UVNA Board Members in attendance:

  • President: Paul Matwyshyn 
  • Treasurer: Harriet Siller 
  • Secretary: Samantha Arnold 
  • Board Members: George Matwyshyn
Historic Homes and Historic Preservation
Keith Goad, a Vintage and Historic Property Broker (Prudential Rubloff) gave a presentation on listing, buying, and maintaining a historic property. He is an active member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, Preservation Chicago, and Landmark Illinois, so he brought a lot of background and experience to the discussion.
  • We had a lot of questions and discussions about historic districts and their requirements for historic properties, as well as the guidelines for maintenance, and how to work with Landmarks to make updates to your own property.
  • We also talked about economic incentives for the repair and rehabilitation of historic buildings at the local and national level

Keith writes a blog about vintage property, that covers buying, selling, as well as historic preservation issues, and maintenance issues like foundations and windows.  It’s called Do You Speak Vintage? and can be found here.

UVNA Officer Elections
We conducted an election for new officers for 2014 and the following individuals were elected:
  • Steve Niketopoulos – President
  • Leigh Kelsey – Vice President
  • Kim Jackewicz – Secretary
  • Lily Steele – Treasurer

The date for the next meeting will be announced soon!

Mar 14

UVNA March 2014 Meeting Notes

Thursday March 20th, 2014 – 6:30pm – St. Helen School Cafeteria

Officers and UVNA Board Members in attendance:

  • President:  Paul Matwyshyn
  • Treasurer: Harriet Siller
  • Secretary: Samantha Arnold
  • Board Members: George Matwyshyn


Discussion of Possible Historic District Expansion

In light of the recent demolition of the New Hope Bible Church on Leavitt street, and the purchase of the Hoyne Avenue Weslyan Church by a developer (see this link for a further discussion of these properties in our February Meeting Notes)  we started a discussion with our members and Alderman Fioretti from the 2nd Ward, and his Chief of Staff Tim Stevens,  at this month’s meeting about the status of the current historic district. We dicussed properties included and excluded from the district, as well as how we could best go about protecting the building stock of our neighborhood that is not within the boundaries of the Ukrainian Village Historic District.

We reviewed the areas that are currently outside the historic district boundaries as well as some of the churches that are excluded and determined that if we would like to propose another extension to the historic district, that we should start with a small management geographic area.  Based on this, we decided to start with the properties along Augusta Avenue between Western and Damen that are currently outside the existing boundaries of the historic district. This area includes the St. Helen school and church on the south side of the street, as well as St. Stephen King of Hungary Roman Catholic Church near Augusta and Damen.

We need to survey residents/building owners along this stretch of Augusta as the Alderman has suggested that we would need approximately a 50% or higher approval of the property owners within the proposed extension boundaries in order to move forward with proposing the extension to the Chicago Landmarks Commission.

  • Steve Niketopolous volunteered to talk to residents along Augusta between Hoyne and Damen Avenue
  • Samantha Arnold and Paul Matwyshyn will talk to residents along Augusta between Leavitt and Hoyne
  • Harriet Siller will talk to St. Helen’s Parish and St. Helen School between Western and Augusta

We will report back our findings at the April Membership Meeting.

Downzoning of Property at 1137 N. Leavitt Street

Alderman Fioretti, who was also in attendance at our meeting, proposed that his office downzone the now vacant property at 1137 N. Leavitt, formerly the New Hop Bible Church, as a method to insure that the developer will need to meet with the neighborhood association to review his plans and zoning requests before construction begins.
Discussion of possible Expansion of  the boundaries of the neighborhood association

There has been some discussion among some members and some potential new members about expanding the boundaries of the neighborhood association to match that of the officially declared neighborhood which goes south of Chicago Avenue to Superior Street, as originally declared by Mayor Byrne in 1983.    If there is sufficient interest from residents in that area, we could put the issue before the board.  However, there is also a survey circulating to residents beteween Chicago, Grand, Damen, and Western, about the interest in a neighborhood association to serve the entire area as well.  The survey can be found here. 

Chicago Architecture Foundation Open House – October 2014

The CAF has expressed an interest in including the Ukrainian Village Historic District in it’s fall Open House.  The board members will be meeting with CAF and will bring more information to the April meeting.

Clean & Green Events

Many wards, including the 2nd ward, are hosting Clean & Green neighborhood clean-ups on April 26th.  Contact the 1st or 2nd ward offices for details on events or to coordinate a clean-up event on your block or in your neighborhood.

Mar 14

UVNA February 2014 Meeting Notes

Thursday February 20th, 2014 – 6:30pm – St. Helen School Cafeteria

Officers and UVNA Board Members in attendance:

  • President:  Paul Matwyshyn
  • Treasurer: Harriet Siller
  • Secretary: Samantha Arnold
  • Board Members: George Matwyshyn
Updates on status of neighborhood churches


St. John’s Lutheran Church (913-925 N. Hoyne)
Nothing further has happened with this development since the UVNA agreed to the curb cuts and zoning change requested by the developer.  The 2nd ward alderman’s office has no updates and has not spoken to the developer since the last discussions in late 2013.  UVNA will try to contact the developer for an update


New Hope Bible Church (1137 N. Leavitt)
A demolition permit was issued for this property 0n 2/13/2014.  This church was built in 1894 as the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, though the architect is unknown.  It was not listed/identified in the Chicago Historic Resources Survey ,  not orange rated (meaning a property that possess some architectural feature or historical association that makes it potentially significant in the context of the surrounding community). It was not  considered for inclusion in the original historic district –  sounds like there was little interest to include it at the time, and the congregation may not have been interested either.  According to Chicago Landmarks , all of these things mean that they have no means to stop the demolition.  (thanks the 32nd Ward office for providing more info on this property)


Hoyne  Avenue Wesleyan Church (2108 W. Iowa St)
This church was sold on 12/2/2013 to an LLC .  This church is also not orange rated and was not originally considered for inclusion in the historic district. As of this meeting, no permits have been requested for this property. (thanks the 32nd Ward office for providing more info on this property)

It appears that neither one of these churches could be added to the district on their own,  like St. John’s church was, as  St. John’s was part of the  historic context of Ukrainian Village.  While the historic district is rather tightly framed as residential,  St. John’s  congregation played a very active role in the historic residential development of Ukrainian Village.  That history helped link St. Johns to the residential context of the village two years ago.

These recent sales have raised concerns by many neighbors about other churches that may not be landmarked and how we can protect them from demolition.  Based on some very preliminary research, it appears that the best route to preserve existing structures not already within the boundaries of the Ukrainian Village Historic District, might be to request another extension to the district that combines parcels that currently exist outside the boundaries.  Churches that may be outside the boundaries at this time include:

  • St. Helen Parish (2315 W. Augusta Blvd)
  • St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral (2250 W. Cortez St)
  • Saints Volodymyr & Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church (2245 W. Superior)
  • St. Stephen King of Hungary Church (2015 W. Augusta Blvd)

In order to start this process we will need to, among other things, review property in the neighborhood and make a proposal to Chicago Landmarks.  We will follow up on this at the next meeting. Neighbors interested in assisting with this effort should contact the UVNA at info@uvna.org.


Eddie Winters – Democratic Candidate for State Representative

Eddie Winters is seeking to become the Democratic nominee for State Representative in the 10th district. The primary election will be held March 18th, 2014.  He stopped by our meeting to meet with neighbors in our area.   You might remember him from his 4-month term as representative when he replaced the expelled Derrick Smith.  More info can be found on his website here.

UVNA Officer Elections

Elections for new officers (President, VP, Treasurer, Secretary) will take place at the April 2014 meeting.  In order to run for office you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a current member of UVNA (dues paid by the March 2014 meeting)
  • Be part of a slate – meaning that in the election members will vote on proposed slates of 4 officers
    • one member may only be on 1 slate
    • slates consist of president, VP, treasurer, secretary

Board members and committees are appointed or approved by the officers.

You can join online on our membership page or bring cash to the March 2014 meeting.   If  you have any questions about membership, send an email to info@ unva.org.

Dec 13

UVNA December Holiday Social at the Rainbo Club!

Rainbo Club (photo via chibarproject.com)

Instead of the typical members meeting for December, the UVNA will gather at the Rainbo Club (1150 N. Damen Avenue) for a little holiday socializing on Thursday, December 19th from 6:30-8:30pm.  We’re inviting our neighbors in the associations around us to stop by for a little holiday cheer too. We look forward to seeing everyone!

Aug 13

UVNA Meeting Notes August 2013

Thursday August 15th, 2013 – 6:30pm – St. Helen School Cafeteria

Officers and UVNA Board Members in attendance:

  • President: Paul Matwyshyn
  • Vice President: Patrick Danaher
  • Treasurer: Harriet Siller
  • Secretary: Samantha Arnold
  • Board Members: George Matwyshyn


Update on the Redevelopment of 913-925 N. Hoyne St (St John’s Lutheran Church)

Based on the questions and discussions with the developers and the Alderman in our June meeting,  we sent a letter to the Alderman’s office summarizing all the concerns raised at the meeting, including those concerns submitted via an online form on our website. This information was for use by the Alderman in his next meeting with the developers.  The developers followed-up with a a letter to the Alderman earlier this month to address the concerns that were raised, and then met with the Alderman as well.  The Alderman’s office asked UVNA to review the further information provided by the developers and to follow up with the developers and/or Alderman’s office with any additional concerns.  Following is the information provided by the developer in response to the concerns that have been raised by the community.


There were concerns raised that while the developer and architect have experience in residential and commercial properties, it seems that their historic renovation experience is limited.  In response, the developer provided this additional information about the team that will be working on the project:

  • Developer is Mokin Development LLC, a branch of Regency Development Group,  which has developed residential complexes in Moscow Russia, and Chicago.
  • The design team is lead by Orest Baranyk, an architect with over 40 years experience – though the landmarked buildings that he has rehabbed have been residential and smaller in size than this project. Therefore he will employ a ‘prominent preservation expert’ Hasbrouck Peterson Zimoch Sirirattumrong (HPZS) “as a consultant in matters relating to conservation and restoration.”
  • The structural engineer Harry Marshall, also has over 40 years experience in designing rehab projects as well as new buildings.

Plans & Preservation

Much discussion has surrounded the exterior and interior changes that will be made to the church. The developer has stated that:

  • “Minimal changes will be made to the exterior.”
  • Windows (except those on the Hoyne Street elevation) will be replaced, though they will replaced with windows that replicate the style of the original windows, based on Landmark approval.
  • The enclosed bridge between the church and school will be removed
  • “The ramp from Hoyne St. to the underground garage would be below grade with a wrought iron railing (similar to the existing) above grade.”
  • “The interior structural work will be phased in a manner that will reinforce the existing exterior walls before any demolition begins”.
  • “With the preservation architect’s assistance we will endeavor to recycle/restore stained glass windows and any other historic elements.”
  • “Detailed plans of all the above items have been presented for Landmark Commission approval.”

UVNA will be following up with the developers to review the plans provided to Landmark  as we have still only been provided with limited exterior plans.  We will also follow up with the developers about the  recycling/restoration of the stained glass windows and any other historic elements as that work gets underway. 

Property Maintenance & Safety

Questions were asked about the maintenance and security of the property, now through construction, as well as going forward. According to the developer:

  • “The property will be maintained and secured by Lamarco Security, Inc.”
  • “There has been no vandalism since property was purchased by Mokin, LLC”
  • “Additional exterior lighting for sidewalk illumination can be added.”
  • “The basement parking garage will be fully enclosed…and the Hoyne ramp will be gated.”


The developer desires a zoning change from RT-4 to RM-5 to allow them to create 19 units in the development instead of 17. The developer has suggested that  “After the project completion this parcel should be down-zoned to RT-4”.

UVNA would like to work with the Aldernman’s office and the developer on assurances that the down-zoning will take place. 

Curb Cut/Driveway on Hoyne

The developer would like to make a curb-cut on Hoyne Street to allow for the driveway/entrance ramp to the parking garage as the alley entrance would not allow for a wide-enough turning radius. According to the developer:

  • “The curb cut from Hoyne would be 16 feet wide, which is a loss of one car at street parking.”
  • “The Chicago Department of Transportation(CDOT) has reviewed our proposal and concurred that the Hoyne access is safe and maneuverable, while the alley is not. “
  • “The driveway would consist of a concrete ramp descending into the basement level, the walls of the ramp would be flush with the grade and landscaping at each side, topped by a wrought iron railing matching the existing metal fences. “
  • “At the property line there would be a electronically operated w.i. gate. “

The UVNA membership does not oppose the curb-cut on Hoyne

Financial Concerns

Both the UVNA and the Alderman raised concerns that the property being properly insured as well as that there is  proper financing in place for the condo association once the units are built and sales begin. The developer has stated:

  • “The property is insured for liability and will have a builder’s risk policy.”
  • “The construction loan has been approved and secured by Community Bank of Oak Park”
  • The developer has experience from previous projects in setting up condo associations and proper financing of similar projects
    • Sierra Lofts (824 W. Superior) 40 residential + 14 commercial units
    • Opera Club Condos (Oak Park) 36 residential + 3 commercial units
    • Madison Square Townhomes (Oak Park) 46 townhomes

The UVNA would like to follow-up on the details of the insurance policy with the developer and/or Alderman, as well as get more details on how the condo association will be initially financed.

Next steps:  UVNA officers to meet with the Alderman

Update on Beer Run Chicago

At the July meeting we had a presentation from Tony Wojewocki about his package liquor license request  for his liquor delivery business that he will be opening on Chicago Avenue.   We would like to establish a ‘plan of operation’ with Tony as a way to state the expectation of  the amount of  ‘walk-up’ sales that he can transact.  The 2nd ward office has referred us to the 1st ward office and the EVA as they have some experience structuring similar “plans of operation”  in their neighborhood. We  will follow up with those groups.

Street Flooding in Heavy Rains

Even though the water mains were replaced along Oakley last summer, there have been complaints that the drains back up horribly during storms.  Besides trying to keep the grates clean of debris, there were questions raised as to if there are restrictors  on these mains  (unsure)- which limit the volume of water that can pass through –  and if so, can they be removed?

We will try to follow up with the Alderman’s office

Billboard at 2134 W. Haddon

Concerns were raised about the size of the newly posted project sign at this property as it is very large.  We will follow up with the Alderman’s office concerning this issue.

Notes from recent CAPS meeting for 1212

  • Bike thefts have been a big problem in our area this summer
    • 15 out of 27 thefts in the last two months were bikes
    • Bring your bike inside whenever possible
    • Lock your bike when on outside porches or in garages
    • Use high-quality locks (U-locks or chain locks) do not rely on cable locks
  • If you discover your building/apartment has been robbed call 911 and do not go inside – if you do, the CPD will not send an evidence technician as they will consider the crime scene to have been tampered with.
  • If you don’t have your street address posted on your alley-facing garage, you are actually required by law to have them posted. You can pick up reflective numbers from your CAPS representatives at the 12th district for free.

Next meeting is Thursday , September 19th, 6:30pm, St. Helen School