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About Oak Park, IL
In 1835, Joseph Kettlestrings bought 173 acres of timber and prairie land just east of the Des Plaines River . Once only a stagecoach route from Galena to Chicago, the area remained sparsely populated until the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad laid tracks parallel to the stagecoach route in 1848. Kettlestrings Grove, as it was known then, slowly grew into the small village of Oak Ridge with a population reaching only about 500. By the end of the Civil War, the village was dotted with a market, a general store, a stationery business, and a small newspaper. However, the name Oak Ridge was already assigned to another post office in Illinois; so the name was changed to Oak Park in 1872.
The town’s population grew dramatically after the Fire of 1871 as people from Chicago migrated to Oak Park. James Scoville bought acreage once owned by Kettlestrings and subdivided the area around the railroad station. At that time, Oak Park was one of eight communities governed by the township of Cicero. The streets of Oak Park were paved; transportation lines were established, and subdivisions extended beyond the old stagecoach route.
However, in 1902, Oak Park seceded from the township and incorporated as its own municipality, but was only about fifty percent developed with the town consisting primarily of single-family residences, some luxurious, but there was a large area of apartment houses and the perimeter of the village was fringed with a few commercial businesses.
Oak Park Homes for Sale
Today, some Oak Park homes for sale feature comfortable Victorian homes sprinkled in among some of the prairie style structures that Frank Lloyd Wright and his contemporaries had designed and more recent construction of neat stucco, frame, or brick homes. You will find vintage apartment buildings amidst cozy bungalows. Such a combination has come to represent a distinctive urban/suburban lifestyle that is an eclectic mix of architecturally significant homes. Enhancing the ambiance are lovely shaded streets, expansive parks, and an excellent school system.
The neighborhoods of Oak Park are filled with people who are different, yet united in spirit; people who take time to shop, or watch fireworks on the Fourth of July, or help shovel their neighbors other after a snowstorm; people who aren't afraid to get their feet wet - literally - at two local swimming pools; people who play games in the streets and barbeque together at block parties each summer; people who, as a whole, form the very essence of the Village; people who are living side by side in diverse neighborhoods where the homes are as varied as the people living within them.
Things to Do in Oak Park
The Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District is located on the North Side of the Village. Tours are offered through several of the internationally known architect’s classic homes.
The Ernest Hemingway Museum , birthplace of the famous author, features his first 20 years in Oak Park. This museum and Victorian home displays memorabilia of Hemingway's childhood, as well as a collection of his earliest writings, photographs, memorabilia, and letters. Tours are available.
Close to Everything
Oak Park is just eight miles west of Downtown Chicago and The Loop. You can reach downtown Chicago by taking the Green Line trains as well as the METRA. The Eisenhower Expressway will get you to The Loop, and the Oak Park Shuttle offers free transportation to popular community sites, attractions, business districts and government facilities. Several of the stops were chosen to offer easy transfer to a host of mass transit options including PACE and CTA buses, and the CTA’s green and blue lines.
Convenience, history, a strong sense of community, and the diversity of neighborhoods and activities make the Oak Park homes for sale exciting options to consider when making your decision on where to live in the greater Chicago area.