The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Incorporating solar panels in historic districts

The Village and its Historic Preservation Commission support sustainable building practices like reusing historic buildings and materials as well as the use of alternative energy sources. However, the incorporation of solar panels in historic districts should be done with care to preserve the historic character for which Oak Park’s historic districts are known. Things to consider when looking at adding solar panels in a historic district: 

  • Place panels in areas that are not readily visible from the street, such as rear roof slopes, behind dormers, or on garages behind the house.
  • Panels should be “readily reversible.” This means that their installation allows for future removal without any damage or alteration to the original historic structure.
  • Installation should not entail damage or removal of any historic features of the building. 

In most cases, if solar panel installation meets these recommendations, it will not require addtional historic review by the Village. For more information, please contact or visit