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Oak Park Village

Cook County, Illinois

Oak Park Village Hall is located at 123 Madison Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60302.
Phone: 708‑383‑6400.


Thomas H. Gale House

Photo: Thomas H. Gale House, circa. 1909, located at 6 Elizabeth Court, Oak Park, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. Photographed by user:IvoShandor (own work), 2007 [cc-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed January, 2023.


The Village of Oak Park [†] evolved from the purchase of land of early settler Joseph Kettlestrings. In 1837, Kettlestrings, a native of England, paid $215.98 for 172.78 acres of land in the area now bordered by Chicago Avenue and Lake Street, and Oak Park and Harlem Avenues. Kettlestrings' residence became a haven for worn and weary travelers, going to and from the Chicago market.

In the 1850s, Kettlestrings began to subdivide his land of "Oak Ridge," as it had become known, selling it to "good people who were against saloons and for good schools and churches." By 1871, the population had grown to 500 and the settlement continued to boom as a result of the Great Chicago Fire. At this time, Oak Ridge was renamed Oak Park to match the name of the Post Office serving the area. The name was reinforced further in 1872 when the railroad station serving the area was named Oak Park.

In July of 1901, petitions from citizens were submitted to Judge Orrin N. Carter, sole presiding judge of the County Court of Cook County, in the effort to organize the "Village of Oak Park." In September of that same year, Judge Carter decreed that, in light of the petitions submitted, a special election was to be held on November 5, 1901, regarding the organization of the Village. Based on a majority of affirmative votes in the election, Judge Carter declared the Village of Oak Park as established. In December of 1901, another election was held to elect Village officers. On January 2, 1902, the first meeting of Village officials occurred and on January 25, 1902, Judge Carter ordered, declared and decreed the "Village of Oak Park" duly organized as a village. Oak Park's population was 9889 at the time of incorporation. At the time, Oak Park was approximately half developed, predominantly by single-family residences mixed with large areas of apartment houses and fringed with commercial development.

Neighborhoods

Originally part of the Chicago suburb of Cicero, Oak Park was established in 1902.

Oak Park is the site of Ernest Hemingway's birthplace and boyhood home.

Oak Park is arguably best-known for its collection of homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, including Wright's own home which he occupied for the first 2 decades of his career. These homes include: the Wright Home and Workshop, ca, 1889, 428 Forest Avenue and 951 Chicago Avenue; the Isidore Heller House, ca. 1897, 5132 South Woodlawn Avenue; the William Martin House, ca. 1903, 636 North East Avenue; the Oscar Steffens House, ca. 1909 (demolished), 7631 North Sheridan Road; Thomas S. Gale House, ca. 1892, 1027 Chicago Avenue; Harry S. Adams House, ca. 1913, 710 Augusta Boulevard; Edward H. Cheney House, ca. 1903, 520 North East Avenue; and the Nathan G. Moore House, ca. 1895, 333 Forest Avenue, among others.

Village Board Handbook, 2016, www.oak-park.us, accessed July, 2021.

Nearby Towns: Berwyn City • La Grange Park Vlg • Maywood Vlg • Riverside Vlg •



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