On Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 7:00 p.m., you are cordially invited to attend the Elgin Heritage Commission’s meeting to discuss the merits of a proposed National Register Elgin Downtown Commercial District Nomination that was submitted by the Design Committee of the Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.  This is a public meeting and not a public hearing. However, a public hearing is being held on Friday, October 24, 2014 in Springfield, IL.  More information on the October 7th and October 24th presentations, can be found on this link for the Historic District Public Meeting Notice Oct 2014, which also includes the proposed downtown commercial district map and the official public notice.

DNA Receives 2013 National Main Street Accreditation

national-trust-historic-preservationThe Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) of Elgin has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center®, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street® programs that have built strong revitalization organizations and demonstrate their ability in using the Main Street Four Point Approach® methodology for strengthening their local economy and protecting their historic buildings.

“We congratulate this year’s nationally accredited Main Street programs for meeting our established performance standards,” says Valecia Crisafulli, acting director of the National Main Street Center. “Accredited Main Street programs are meeting the challenges of the downtown in the economy head on and are successfully using a focused, comprehensive revitalization strategy to keep their communities vibrant and sustainable.”

Downtown Elgin’s reinvestment statistics for 2012 included over $2 million in commercial and residential real estate transactions and over $800,000 in commercial rehabilitation. More than 25 new businesses opened their doors in downtown Elgin during 2012 creating approximately 70 full time jobs and 50 part time jobs. DNA volunteers invested over 3,000 hours into the downtown community at an estimated economic impact of over $65,000 in 2012. The new Elgin Artspace Lofts, which were completed in 2012, significantly expanded downtown’s residential base with 55 live-work units for artists and their families.

The DNA’s performance is annually evaluated by Illinois Main Street which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program’s application of the Main Street Four Point Approach® to commercial district revitalization. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as developing a mission, fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking economic progress and preserving historic buildings.

Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) of Elgin is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, volunteer-driven organization focused on enhancing the economic vitality of downtown Elgin through promotions, special events, economic development and historic preservation. The DNA is celebrating 15 years of downtown Elgin revitalization in 2013 with a brand new “We ♥ Downtown Elgin” Buy Local Campaign. For more information, visit

Established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts. Working in more than 2,200 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 32 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $55.7 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 473,535 net new jobs and 109,693 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 236,418 buildings, leveraging an average of $18 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.

Honoring Our Volunteers: DNA Design Committee

Volunteer_HeartIn honor of National Volunteer Week, the Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) of Elgin would like to recognize our volunteers who for more than 15 years have been at the very heart of DNA’s downtown revitalization efforts.

Today we are recognizing the members of our DNA’s Design Committee.

The Design Committee helps get downtown Elgin into top physical shape and creates a safe, inviting environment for shoppers, workers and visitors. The committee leverages the visual opportunities inherent in our downtown business district by directing attention to all of its physical elements: public and private buildings, storefronts, signs, public spaces, parking areas, street furniture, public art, landscaping, merchandising, window displays, and promotional materials. An appealing atmosphere, created through attention to all of these visual elements, conveys a positive message about downtown and what it has to offer.

In addition to historic preservation education and advovacy, the Design Committee also reviews all downtown projecting sign and facade improvement grants for the City of Elgin and offers free architectural consultations to new and existing businesses through DNA’s Design Resource Center.


Tom Armstrong – Chair
Besty Couture
John Hrivnak
Darlene Hulin
David Jurina
Amy Munro
John Roberson
Sarosh Saher
Dave Segel
Jerry Sorenson

On behalf of the DNA Board and Staff we thank all of our volunteers for your dedicated service.

In downtown Elgin, volunteers are in our hearts and in our DNA. We ♥ Downtown Elgin.