Riverside Village, Riverside IL

For the Village of Riverside, IL

Heritage Landscapes worked with the Village of Riverside, in collaboration with National Park Service, Midwest Region and National Register Program, to update the 1969 Riverside National Historic Landmark Landscape Architecture District, to more explicitly incorporate the contributing elements of the Olmsted Vaux Riverside design and build-out in an NHL Amendment. Our work comprised:

  • Perform historic research and field study to identify the remaining Olmsted Vaux landscape contributing features
  • Identify elements of the original design not carried out and later negative changes
  • Identify variable residential setbacks as contributing, and document variable setbacks as a regulatory feature for building permits over decades
  • Lead community meetings using graphics to capture findings and gain inputs
  • Prepare a report for use in amending the NHL with the landscape contributing and non-contributing features enumerated

The master landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. and Calvert Vaux developed the plan for Riverside as a residential village in 1869. The 1969 NHL explanation was brief and uninformative. Heritage Landscapes, working with Charles Beveridge, PhD. Olmsted Historian, identified a detailed list of contributing features including, street pattern, sidewalks with lawn verges, street lighting rhythm and scale, small green triangles and peninsulas, large commons defined by streets and the variable setbacks of houses that contribute to the graceful curvilinear forms of circulation and green space. The NHL amendment expands the boundary of the listed district to include another 46 acres, to 1,176 acres in total, adding a residential area planned by Olmsted and Vaux.

WORK Riverside Landscape Architecture District National Historic Landmark Amendment, 2002


Heritage Landscapes, Preservation Planners & Landscape Architects; Charles Beveridge, Olmsted Historian