Founded in 1981, CAPA was formed by concerned neighbors who joined together to address the uncertain future of their neighborhood. As the economic woes of the 1970s brought about a need for low-cost housing, many of the Cathedral Area’s majestic, single-family homes were divided into small rental units. As a result, the character of the neighborhood began to change – no longer could residences be described as owner-occupied, single-family homes. Instead, the neighborhood was becoming a collection of illegal, multi-unit rental properties owned by careless absentee landlaords. In an attempt to preserve and protect the Cathedral Area from further deterioration and decline, neighbors formed CAPA.
Today the CAPA membership numbers have increased tremendously. Thanks to the hard work of hundreds of dedicated homeowners, volunteers, City officials and others, Joliet’s Historic Cathedral Area is one of the best-preserved historic neighborhoods in the area. Since the early 1990’s, 1,300 properties have been down-zoned to restore the single-family character of the neighborhood and property values in the area have appreciated 75% since 1990. the housing stock is remarkable and the preservation and restoration efforts of those who live here is unmatched. The members of CAPA and those who live in this neighborhood all share a similar philosophy of historic preservation combined with good, old-fashioned neighborliness. In 2005, CAPA’s membership eclipsed 600 residents, friends and supporters of historic preservation.
As the University of St. Francis, First Presbyterian Church, and other neighborhood “cornerstone” institutions have expanded in recent years, CAPA has collaborated with others to help the neighborhood grow and also preserve its finest and most admirable characteristics. As CAPA continues to develop a prosperous community, our energies will no doubt remain focused on the philosophy of historic preservation and the appreciation of historic homes. All of this is done in an effort to create community and form partnerships with others for the benefit of all who live in this special area.
CAPA continues to have monthly board meetings on the second Monday of every month at 6:30pm. Meetings are held at the First Presbyterian Church at 805 Western Ave. All are welcome to attend.
Founding Board of Directors, 1981:
Mike Dubrovich – President, Ed Batis, Dr. Greg Carey (deceased), Ray Carey, Tom Cawley, Frank “Fritz” Fehrenbacher (deceased), Sid Florey, Dan Maher (deceased), JoAnn Potenziani, Kenneth Pritz (deceased), Scott Reynolds, Robert Shoemaker, Jim Slouf