Past gets a fresh look during Preservation Month

Save the past. Enrich the future.

That’s the motto guiding the work of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which helps sponsor Preservation Month each May, in partnership with local organizations like the Hinsdale Historical Society.

Those of us who live or work in the village perhaps take for granted at times the stunning specimens of architectural heritage we encounter on a regular basis, whether on residential streets or in the central business district.

First-time visitors are certainly struck by the homes and buildings that hearken back to a era gone by, when horse hoofs, not car engines, marked one’s approach.

Many are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including 318 S. Garfield Ave., featured on Page 5 of today’s issue to kick off our monthlong Hinsdale Legacies series spotlighting the town’s vintage gems.

The village has long wrestled with how best to protect its treasured past while not obstructing the natural forces of modernization and the real estate market. That work continued Tuesday night as Hinsdale trustees listened to a presentation on the village’s policies surrounding landmarking in hopes of ultimately devising a system that promotes preservation without impinging on homeowners’ property rights.

Tomorrow, May 7, the Hinsdale Historical Society will host a luncheon version of its annual Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk. Themed “Making Old, New Again,” ticket-holders can enjoy a prepared lunch by Vistro Prime, a signature cocktail, a sweet treat and one raffle ticket at home or at Immanuel Hall, with proceeds benefiting the society.

Those seeking information about the history of their own personal slice of village turf can pursue the extensive archives at the Roger and Ruth Anderson Architecture Center in the lower level of Immanuel Hall, 302 S. Grant St. Since access to the center is limited to Tuesdays and Wednesdays, be sure to make an appointment first through the online sign-up portal at

The Hinsdale History Museum at 15 S. Clay St. is open to visitors on Fridays and Saturdays; reservations are required for the museum, too, and available at through the website above.

And for those eager to test their grasp of Hinsdale history, visit the historical society’s Instagram page for a trivia test.

The Hinsdalean continues to help readers discover their town’s vibrant past with stories touching on Hinsdale’s early days and with the weekly Page 4 Once Upon a Time photo (we’re always looking for submissions!). Those early chapters in the village’s story form the foundation of its present, and today’s denizens and their contributions will be instrumental in its future.

So take a walk through the Robbins subdivision or down to First and Washington streets. And imagine what your predecessors’ day-to-day lives were like in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Thanks to so many well-preserved structures from those days, it’s not too hard if you try.