History & Landmarks

Our Beginning


Development Trouble

In 1979, a developer planned to build an18-story high-rise at Evergreen Avenue and Miner Street on land occupied by an Illinois Bell parking lot. Illinois Bell required the developer to find a new location for the parking lot.


Homes in Danger

The developer planned to purchase two homes for sale on St. James Street between Vail and Chestnut Avenues. The homes were to be demolished and the land rezoned to allow for a new parking lot in the midst of a residential area.


The Neighborhood Unites

The residents organized to stop the development and the plan was defeated. Two sisters bought the houses from the developer and renovated them. The homes still stand and are testaments to the power of a united community.


HANA Celebrated Its 40 Year Anniversary In 2020!


Early Events


A group of residents acted on their deep concern for the community to create a permanent neighborhood association:

Spring 1980

HANA, the Historic Arlington Neighborhood Association, was officially formed.

July 4th 1980

The first HANA activity was a march in the Arlington Heights Independence Day parade.

November 1980

The first HANA general meeting was held.

February 1981

HANA’s constitution was ratified at Arlington Heights Memorial Library.

December 1981

HANA sponsored a forum for all village office candidates.


Read More About Our History and Landmarks

Historic Homes and Prairie Town Beginnings

Published by HANA in 2010, this publication includes a listing of historically significant homes in our neighborhood.


Early Arlington Heights and the Creation of the Parks and Park District

Background on the origination of the Village of Arlington Heights and the formation of its park system.

Arlington Heights QR Code History Project

This project was created by Nick Stevens of Arlington Heights Boy Scout Troop 34 as his Eagle Scout service project and lists historical information and photographs through the use of QR codes on plaques installed at various sites around town. Note that information referenced by all the plaques is accessible through a bottom navigation on the main page.

Maintaining the Character of Arlington Heights, A Community Preservation Report

Created by the Village of Arlington Heights Department of Planning and Community Development in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago's Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, this historic resources survey identifies hundreds of potential important structures in Arlington Heights in order to protect the for future generations. 28 of the 30 residential homes identified are located within the HANA neighborhood.



HANA Fun Facts

Check back regularly as we feature new trivia. If you have a story to share, contact us!

Did Festival Park Exist Before HANA?

No. Festival Park used to be a closed well site. In early 1981, the village began surveying the land at the closed well site at Hawthorne Street and Chestnut Avenue to sell to a developer who wanted build two houses on it. HANA persuaded the village and park district to develop a small park on the site instead. The Festival Committee provided a grant of $15,000, and as a show of gratitude, the park was named Festival Park. HANA residents were involved in the design of the park. Playground equipment was purchased, a gazebo was built by a resident carpenter, and a water fountain was installed.


In 2015 Festival Park underwent a $101,000 renovation when the original gazebo and playground equipment were replaced. The park district had originally planned to only replace the playground equipment, but then HANA helped by paying half of the cost to build a new the gazebo as it was in need of significant repair. The updated park is more accessible to citizens with disabilities, and includes accessible transfer stations adjacent to the playground equipment and picnic tables designed to accommodate visitors in wheelchairs.

Has HANA Changed Zoning?

Yes. HANA became involved in the village’s discussions of its comprehensive plan and succeeded in getting the HANA neighborhood excluded from the R6 zoning that would have allowed multi-family use.

What is the “Mystery” Garage?

The extra garage tucked between two residences on the north side of Hawthorne Street between Chestnut and Highland Avenues belonged to the Tessner family who owned the Chestnut corner lot that was subsequently divided into three parcels in the 1940s. The building seems to have operated as a machine repair shop, though the details are unknown.


The garage was from a Sears kit that required owners to pour the concrete to make the cinder blocks. Thumb prints are still visible in the mortar between the blocks. The garage now belongs to the homeowners of the house that was later built on the corner lot of the Tessner property when it was subdivided. The original Tessner home on Chestnut Avenue still stands, though it has been expanded.

Is HANA Haunted?

With numerous historic homes, several HANA residents have heard stories of ghosts and haunted houses. Read about one adventure detailed in the Chicago Tribune by one of HANA's very own.