Welcome to Oak Park
Oak Park is widely known and revered for its association with Frank Lloyd Wright who designed many of the homes and community buildings, and also called Oak Park home.
Locals adore the precious history and value the vintage feel and classical style of the community. The community provides great schools and diverse options for family fun, while also providing convenient access to excitement and advantages of downtown Chicago.
Perhaps best of all, Oak Park is a haven for art and culture that can be found right at home without the necessity of making the trip to a major city. Theatre groups have long been pillars in the community, some even boasting of 35 years of performing experience.
Oak Park is appealing to new college students and families with children, as well as couples looking to establish new lives for themselves while settling down to raise a family in a wholesome yet bustling community. Shoppers are attracted to the community for its unique dining and many retail stores that are readily available. The area readily surrounds inhabitants of the village with beautiful homes and the beautiful amenities of natural gardens well maintained parks.
Fast Facts about the city
Total population 51,878 people as per US census of 2010
Incorporated: 1902 as village
Location from Chicago: 7 miles West
Average Home Value: $299,489 (it was $171,400 in 2000)
Median household income: $74,614
Median Family Income: $103,840
Crime statistics: Oak Park crime Index in 2010 was 284.3, substantially lower than the national average of 319.1 (a higher figure meaning more crime).
History of Oak Park
The founding of Oak Park took place in 1835. Joseph and Betty Kettlestrings established a farm near the center of what is today Downtown Oak Park. Taking advantage of inhabiting one of the few settlements nearby, the Kettlestrings established a tavern in their home which allowed many weary travellers to dine and rest for a reasonable price.
While more settlers began to move in during the year 1844, it really wasn’t until 1902 that settlement formerly adopted the name of Oak Park. Many residents arrived after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 when many began fleeing the city to the suburbs.
Many proud homes reside in Oak Park, and many of them are 19th century Victorian style mansions, which often neighbor smaller and more affordable homes. As a matter of fact 66% of the homes were built before 1939, but a number have been newly renovated to fit the modern world with many added comforts and luxuries.
Condos range from $50,000 to luxurious modern constructions priced up to $600,000. Oak Park houses meanwhile range from $160,000 to $1,500,000 and even include some of the classical Frank Lloyd Wright homes for sale.
Other models come to include prairie, bungalow, stucco, and frame and brick homes. Properties in Oak Parks are diverse and unique and will never feel cliché to residents who move in as neighbors blend a number of styles.
Many in Oak Park choose not to own cars because walking tends to be one of the best modes of transportation. When weather conditions are too adverse for this there are plenty of buses available to make travel within Oak Park more pleasant.
For those looking for an alternative train into the city, one may find the CTA Green line and CTA Blue line trains, and a Metra station located within Oak Park. The Metra here connects to the Chicago Ogilvie Station with far west suburb Elburn, IL.
Both CTA and Pace Buses are readily available in and to Oak Park.
Best Places to Eat
Fine dining may be found Hemmingway’s Bistro where visitors will be treated to a full breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or a delicious dessert menu. They created clever combinations ofFrench dishes with Midwest ingredients and fly fresh seafood options directly from Boston. Currently, Chef Ala from the historic Allerton hotel in downtown Chicago serves as head chef, and Hemmingway’s Bistro hosts fun wine events at various intervals.
If one is looking for food outside the local palate, you will find The Klay Oven Restaurant to your liking. The establishment offers great Indian cuisine with many savory dishes, vegetarian options, and even an exciting lunch buffet on the weekends. Klay Oven also offers fine catering services for those special events, and private dining services for those fancy events. 734 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL 60301 (708) 386-3999.
Nightlife in city
A great deal of Oak Park nightlife is centered ongreat dining and fun family-friendly atmospheres. The CTA and public transportation allows residents of Oak Park to enjoy the convenience of travel to downtown Chicago to enjoy the more extravagant city nightlife of Chicago. The neighboring bars of Forest Park are also available conveniently nearby to Oak Park. They feature many laidback, romantic, and calming pubs.
Poor Phil’s Grill and Bar is just one great spot for a night out especially if weather conditions allow it, and provides seating on the lovely patio for those who can claim a seat. Poor Phil’s features a fully rounded dinner menu featuring a cornucopia of seafood dishes, restaurant style burgers, or authentic dishes from the creole culture.
Many people will enjoy the acceptance at frequently visited gay-friendly Velvet Rope Lounge. Drink specials are available daily and an expansive martini list keeps the place popular every night, 7 nights a week. Exciting events like drag-queen bingo, karaoke, and Sunday brunch will be enjoyed by many seeking a more exciting and unique bar experience.
Fun, entertainment and recreation
Downtown Oak Park will prove to be a unique and ideal experience for the avid shopper. Many sotres are available, but without the congestion of other major malls. Using brick pavers on Marion Street, the community developed a pedestrian mall, which gives a vintage and old town feel to every shopping experience.
The nearest shopping mall can be found at the North Riverside Mall and is only a ten minute drive. Oak Park residents find it even easier with a great mass transit system to enjoy a wonderful shopping experience easily and conveniently. Residents, for example, enjoy easy access to the Water Tower Place, an amazing shopping mall in downtown Chicago on Michigan Avenue.
The Park District of Oak Park maintains 25 fine parks and family facilities to include splendid public pools, ice-rinks, sledding hills, baseball fields, gardens, basketball courts, skate parks, playgrounds, picnic area, and many more exciting recreational features.
In the summertime many festivals and events are held, uniting the residents in celebration and fun with family. These will allow many to enjoy great activities in an exciting outdoors environment. The Oak Park International Film Festival for example, has occurred every September since 2005 and includes clever and quaint films by and about locals in the immediate area.
Other Information About Oak Park
There are eight elementary schools:
Two Middle Schools:
Two high schools: