Between 1950 and 1960 the population of Naperville grew 84%. Harold Moser’s vision for affordable, yet distinctive, housing was clearly attracting young families to Naperville. With the success of the original East Highlands subdivision, he developed the West Highlands following same model.
By 1957, Moser decided to tweak the model. He acquired land on the west side of the DuPage River West Bank. In 1959 he added additional property and created River Haven Estates. Homes in River Haven estates had the same large lots and winding streets as other Moser subdivisions. Harold Moser donated the land immediately along the river bank as park land for all to enjoy.
In 2023, having completed the survey of the East Highlands, Naperville Preservation againg engaged the Chicago-based historical architecture firm Preservation Futures to study the River Haven neighborhood and to classify features of these homes. The survey was funded by several grants. Thanks to the City of Naperville Special Events and Community Arts Commission, Landmarks Illinois, the Driehaus Foundation and Elizabeth Konopka for their generous support. Please read below the results of the architectural survey.
Unlike the East Highlands, River Haven Estates is mostly intact. Of the 96 sites surveyed, only 13 are new construction. River Haven is a wonderful example of Midcentury Modern architecture. It exemplifies the culture of Naperville at a time of pivotal change in our city. The complete survey will be available both in print and online at a future point. Naperville Preservation hopes that this survey will contribute to the conservation of this lovely neighborhood and its unique contribution to the heritage and culture of Naperville.