Ranked twenty ninth in Illinois in terms of size Oak Park sits ten miles to downtown Chicago’s west. Oak Park is truly a historic area comprised of three historic nationally acclaimed districts. These are: The Gunderson Historic District, The Ridgeland/Oak Park Historic District and The Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District.
Joseph Kettlestrings bought 172 acres of land within the area and settlers took up residence there in 1837. The number of inhabitants proliferated during the 1870s resulting from the inward migration of individuals affected by the Chicago Fire in 1871. Oak Park attained village status in 1902.
Over the years Oak Park’s residents have diversified. Oak Park was home to such remarkable and famous persons as Ernest Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright who played a major role in shaping how the area looks today. Frank dedicated the opening twenty years in his vocation to constructing more homes in Oak Park than any other place in the world. Resultantly, many of his designs still stand in the community and enhance its character.
Houses of various architectural styles are available in Oak Park, including Victorian Painted Ladies, single family homes and Prairies. Transportation needs are facilitated by the CTA lines and buses, the Eisenhower Expressway and a Metra station.
The Oak Park Elementary School District, comprising two middle schools and eight elementary schools meets the educational needs of the younger population. The community also features two high schools, Fenwick High School and Oak Park and River Forest High School.
The highlight of Oak Park is its vibrant arts activities. Numerous professional theater and dance companies operate in Oak Park. Downtown Oak Park is home to numerous galleries, boutiques, retailers and restaurants. For the enjoyment of all, is the Park District consisting of thirteen public parks, a pool and a conservatory.
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