Historic Chicago Greystone Initiative

September 18, 2007

Launched in 2006, the Historic Chicago Greystone Initiative is a neighborhood revitalization and housing reinvestment program in the North Lawndale, East Garfield, and West Garfield neighborhoods on Chicago's west side. Greystones are limestone-clad homes, typically more than 100 years old and often found contiguous with Chicago's famed park and boulevard system. The Greystone Initiative, a program of Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, serves two broad purposes: provide homeowners with financial and technical resources to preserve, restore, and modernize their historic residences, and increase "pride of place" and community engagement in Chicago's greystone neighborhoods.

In this program, Charles Leeks of Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago spoke about how the Greystone Initiative is working to achieve these ends, in particular the program's toolkit, which includes an innovative combination of cultural heritage programming, historic preservation resources, green building methods, model buildings, targeted financial incentives, and affordable financing for greystone purchase or rehab.


Charles Leeks

Charles Leeks is Neighborhood Director for Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago's office in North Lawndale. One of the highest concentrations of greystones in the city of Chicago is in the North Lawndale neighborhood. It has an incredibly diverse cultural and historic legacy that includes Sears Roebuck and Company, Western Electric, Benny Goodman, Golda Meir, the West Side Blues, Dinah Washington, Route 66, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.