About GWCA

About the Graceland West neighborhood and (GWCA), the Graceland West Community Association:

The Graceland West neighborhood is in Lake View: http://www.ravenswoodhistorical.com/the-lake-view-saga/.   There are about 1,200 households in this neighborhood.  Housing varies in age and style and includes frame, brick, stucco, grey stone single family homes, row houses, townhomes, condos, two – six flats and larger apartment buildings.  Some property owners completed the process of historic preservation to safeguard the historic value of this neighborhood.  Others have built more contemporary homes.  Most architectural styles may be found in this neighborhood. In recent decades, many 2- to 4-flats have been converted to single family homes.  Montrose, Clark and Irving Park include a mix of residences and businesses.  Lake View High School (1874) anchors the southwest section of the neighborhood and Historic Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum (1860) http://www.gracelandcemetery.org/  anchors the East border of our community, hence the name:  Graceland West.  http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/502342_graceland.html

Lake View High School was the first high school in Illinois and is built on land donated by the Graceland Cemetery Company (1870’s) https://chicagohistoricschools.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/lake-view-high-school/

Graceland West is a part of the 1889 Sulzer Addition to Ravenswood from Berteau Avenue North to Montrose Avenue and also the1890 Ashland Addition to Ravenswood from Irving Park Road to Berteau Avenue, both Additions being bordered by Clark Street on the East and Ashland Avenue on the West.  Neighborhood Boundaries are Montrose (N), Irving Park (S), Clark (E) and Ashland (W).  Conrad Sulzer founded Lake View.  The Conrad Sulzer Regional Library is named after him.  His son Frederick developed the area we now call Graceland West.  The Frederick Sulzer family home is on the S/E corner of Greenview and Cullom.  http://digital.chipublib.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/rvw/id/37/rec/4

Neighborhood Greenspace is abundant and includes Corner Parkway Plantings, Warner Park and Gardens (1987), Graceland West Community Association Park (now the east 25’ of Warner Park), The Lake View High School Campus and Community Park and adjoining Children’s Play Lot (1997) and the Berteau Greenway, which includes a bike path and traffic calming bump-outs with rain gardens for stormwater (2013). Neighbors have also planted many parkway corners.

The Graceland West Community Association (GWCA) is a non – profit 501.c.3 corporation.  GWCA was established in 1979 and has continuously represented the neighborhood. Leadership includes nine Council Members who serve staggered 18-month elected terms.  They are supported by Block Rep volunteers. Three GWCA council members are elected for terms beginning in July & January each year.

Neighbors are encouraged to join GWCA and get involved as Block Reps, on a committee of interest or run for a seat on the 9- person GWCA Council.  As an all-volunteer organization, your effort and nominal membership dues are essential to the life and vibrancy of your neighborhood organization.  Our membership form includes our volunteer section..  Please contact brad@skyprocessing.com for information on being a Block Rep.

Typical GWCA Events can include: a spring and/or fall Garage Sale, GWCAWalks – neighbors walking or running at the Lake View High School Track daily about 6:45 a.m. and anytime the track or campus park isn’t in use by the school, spring Children’s Concert & Sing-Along, summer Garden Walk and Lake View High School Architectural Tour, late summer GWCAFest (neighborhood wide “block party”), fall Graceland Cemetery & Arboretum Tour, Halloween Children’s Party, Halloween Blood Drive, November Leaf Clean-up and Holiday Pot Luck, Caroling or Cookie Exchange.  Meetings, Workshops and Presentations include anything and everything of interest or need for the community and have included beautification, gardening, composting, green and eco topics, children’s sing-alongs and baby-sitter networking, play group networking, zoning, neighborhood health and safety, movies in the park, stargazing, Block Rep Workshops, property taxes, neighborhood schools, candidate debates, historic preservation, history, services needed, cooking, baking contests and social interaction.  GWCA supports diversity and encourages activities for our residents of all ages and abilities.

Why should I join GWCA?

GWCA is active in and committed to identifying neighborhood needs and directing the future of our great neighborhood. We share civic and safety information, as well as host ECO / green, beautification and social events with the neighborhood. Your membership supports communication, education, crime prevention and safety, meeting venue costs and popular neighborhood events. GWCA is a great place to meet neighbors and participate in community building events, like the annual Garage Sale, Garden Walk, GWCAFest, Halloween Party and Leaf Cleanup. Paid members, living within GWCA neighborhood boundaries, can vote on issues, the budget, zoning and more after 30 days.

GWCA’s charted purposes are to:

  • Encourage a sense of community and develop a neighborhood spirit
  • Provide an open forum to discuss community matters and their resolution
  • Provide a united effort in the securing of city and neighborhood services
  • Develop and preserve an appreciation for the historical significance of the area
  • Encourage preservation, restoration, and beautification of the neighborhood
  • Promote an appreciation of the cultural diversity of the neighborhood
  • Establish a means to provide for the welfare of the community





Upcoming Events

  1. GWCA Annual Yard / Garage Sale

    June 2 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  2. GWCA Annual Yard / Garage Sale Rain Date

    June 3 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

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GWCA Photos