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Bungalow Matriarchs

Over the past two decades, we've spent countless hours hosting events in neighborhood fieldhouses and libraries all over the city, as well as doing a variety of projects in bungalow neighborhoods. We field dozens of calls each week from our 25,000+ members and know many of them by name and address. One thing that comes up in conversation again and again among our staff are the stories we are told by our elder members—specifically, the women who have been in their bungalows since the 1970s, 1960s, or even 1950s. They tell us about how things have changed, how they raised their families on that block, struggles they've had along the way, how they've known their neighbors for decades, about the house fire down the street, or the successes their children and grandchildren have seen—truly, you name it.

These women know the names and stories of everyone on their block, and they keep an eye on the activities of those around them. They tell their neighbors about our programs and others. They are the heart of their street. So, we think of them as moms of the block, or Bungalow Matriarchs.

If this resonates with you, we want to hear about the #BungalowMatriarchs you know. Send us your stories and photos of these extraordinary Chicago women. We’re planning a project that will celebrate women who #MomTheBlock!

Email Carla Bruni, Preservation & Resiliency Specialist at CBA, at

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