Learn more about Oak Park
Oak Park is a village located in Cook County adjacent to Chicago, best known for its association with famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright— who designed many homes and community structures in the village and also made his residence in the area.
Residents of the Oak Park cherish its history and value the community’s vintage and classical style. The area boasts plenty to see, do, and experience— Oak Park is home to a thriving art and culture scene, an array of unique dining selections, and the best in retail shopping. The village boasts a pleasant atmosphere, surrounded by beautiful homes, gardens, parks, and a safe environment.
The Oak Park community has preserved some of its residences built in the early 1900s and has mixed vintage style with modern amenities that please both style and comfort. Many homes in Oak Park were built with distinction and vary from their neighbors, unlike most suburbs who repeat architectural style and layout. Click here for more
Oak Park is located in Cook County, directly west of Chicago, and the first west suburb bordering Chicago. The location so close to Chicago gives Oak Park the advantage of city transportation including the CTA Green line and CTA Blue line trains.
About 10 miles from the Chicago loop, the commute from Oak Park into the city is by car is fast and convenient which offers an advantage to residents who enjoy the city’s entertainment and nightlife.
Bordering Oak Park is the affluent town of River Forest, as well as Forest Park, Berwyn and, Cicero, as well as Chicago neighborhoods Austin and Galewood.
Oak Park’s nearest expressway is Interstate 290 which goes east into Chicago and also west to northwestern suburbs.
Total 52,265 White: 68.6%
American Indian: 0.0%
Dan Castellaneta was born in Oak Park, and is now an actor and voice of Homer Simpson from The Simpsons.
Author Ernest Hemingway was born and raised in Oak Park and graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School.
Betty White, long time actress from TV shows like the Golden Girls, was born in Oak Park.
Iman Shumpert, shooting guard for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association.
Cecily Strong, American Actress and comedian with Saturday Night Live since 2012.
Oak Park was founded in 1835 when Joseph and Betty Kettlestrings established a farm near the center of what is now downtown Oak Park. Being one of few settlements nearby, the Kettlestrings began using their home as a tavern and allowed travelers to dine and sleep in their home for a fair price.
Although more settlers began to move into the area in 1844, it wasn’t until 1902 that the area became formerly known as Oak Park. A good deal of the residents in the area arrived after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 as many city residents began to migrate to the suburbs.
Frank Lloyd Wright built about 30 homes and structures in Oak Park and even made Oak Park his residence from 1879 to 1909.
Many homes in Oak Park are 19th century Victorian style mansions but can neighbor smaller and homes. In fact, 66% of homes were built before 1939 but many include modern renovations and the comforts of new construction.
Other types of homes in Oak Park include prairie, bungalows, stucco, and frame and brick homes. Property in Oak Park never gives the inhabitants a cookie-cutter feel and each block is a mixture of style.
Oak Park rentals include modern tall buildings with underground parking and brick buildings with porches and hardwood floors.
For residents who own cars, Oak Park parking can be a difficulty in some neighborhoods. Overnight parking on streets require permits and residents of Oak Park can purchase guest parking passes. Most homes in Oak Park include driveways for private, off street parking. Private paid lots are also available.
Downtown Oak Park parking uses metered parking ($1.00/hour and free on Sundays) for those wishing to visit all the restaurants, shopping, and other attraction in the central area of Oak Park. There is not any overnight parking in Downtown Oak Park.
Many people in Oak Park do not own cars because Oak Park walking is one of the best modes of transportation. When weather conditions are too adverse for walking, many buses operate to make travel within Oak Park convenient.
If looking for an alternative train into the city from the CTA Green line and CTA Blue line trains, a Metra station is located within Oak Park and connect the Chicago Oglivie Station with far west suburb Elburn, IL.
Both CTA and Pace Buses operate in and to Oak Park. The CTA routes include CTA Route 72 – North, CTA Route 86 – Narragansett/Ridgeland, CTA Route 91 – Austin, and CTA Route 20 Madison OWL. Additional CTA bus services serve the neighboring Austin neighborhood.
Pace bus routes include the following:
Route 305 Cicero-River Forest
Route 307 Harlem Avenue
Route 309 Lake Street
Route 311 Oak Park Avenue
Route 313 St. Charles Road
Route 315 Austin-Ridgeland
Route 318 West North Avenue
Route 320 Madison Street
For convenience, the CTA Chicago Transit Card can be used to pay train fares and bus fares for both CTA and Pace bus. The card can also be reloaded with funds online and lost cards can be replaced..
Blue Cab taxi services offer 24-hour services all over chicagoland and Oak Park. If looking for the more unconventional way around town, Rickshaw Rick’s Tours and Taxi will take you around town and provide children’s transportation to and from day care and so forth.
Oak Park Schools are excellent and draw people to live in Oak Park. There are ten public elementary/middle schools, ten private elementary/middles school, one private high school, and one public high school in Oak Park.
Public Elementary Schools: Oak Park School District 97Percy Julian Middle School (6-8) 416 S. Ridgeland Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302
Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School (6-8) 325 S. Kenilworth Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302
Abraham Lincoln Elementary School (K-5) 1111 S. Grove, Oak Park, IL 60304
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Elementary School (PK-5) 715 S. Highland Ave., Oak Park, IL
John Greenleaf Whittier School (K-5) 715 N. Harvey, Oak Park, IL 60302
Horace Mann Elementary School (K-5) 921 N. Kenilworth Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302
Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School (K-5) 508 N. Kenilworth Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302
William Beye Elementary School (K-5) 230 N. Cuyler, Oak Park, IL 60302
Washington Irving Elementary School (K-5) 1125 S. Cuyler Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302
William Hatch Elementary School (K-5) 1000 N. Ridgeland Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302
Private Elementary Schools:
Ascension Elementary School (PK-8) 601 Van Buren Sreet, Oak Park, IL 60304
St. Catherine Siena-St. Lucy School (PK-8) 27 W. Washington Blvd., Oak Park, IL
St. Edmund Parish School (PK-8) 200 S. Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60302
Alcuin Montessori School (PK-6) 324 N. Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60302
Intercultural Montessori Language School (PK-2) 301 S. Ridgeland Ave., Oak Park, IL
West Suburban Montessori School (Early Childhood) 1039 S. East Ave., Oak Park, IL
St. Giles School (private PK-8) 1034 Linden Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60302
Fenwick High School (private 9-12) 505 Washington Blvd., Oak Park, IL 60302
Oak Park & River Forest High School is a college prep public school and 90% of graduates go on to four year universities or two year community colleges.
Much of Oak Park nightlife is centered around good dining experiences and fun family-friendly environments. The CTA and public transportation allows residents of Oak Park to travel to downtown Chicago to enjoy the big city nightlife. Neighboring Forest Park bars are also available to Oak Park residents and feature many casual, intimate, and relaxing pubs.
Downtown Oak Park is the perfect place for shopping without the crowd of a big mall. A pedestrian mall was created by using brick pavers on Marion Street giving the area a vintage and old town shopping experience.
Other retail shops in Oak Park include Gap, Geppetto’s Toy Store, Old Navy, The Irish Shop, The Book Table-One of the Best Independent Bookstores in the Chicagoland area, Wonder Works Children’s Museum, Magical Minds Studio and more.
The historic Oak Park Lake Theater is the best place to catch a movie in Oak Park. The Lake Theater originally opened in 1936 and has undergone many renovations to expand the theater and add additional movie screens. 1022 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL 60301 (708) 848-9088.
For live theater, the Madison Street Theatre host plays and comedies year round and also offer classes and summer camp programs. 1010 W. Madison Street, Oak Park, IL 60302 (312) 282-1750.
Oak Park Festival Theater performs classic plays in Austin Gardens every summers for over 35 years. Austin Gardens is located near the corner of Lake and Forest. Because performances are outside, some shows get cancelled and tickets can be exchanged for another day. For more info, call (708) 445-4440 or email Oak Park Festival Theater.
Live classical music in Oak Park is performed by the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest. PO Box 3564, Oak Park, Illinois 60303 708-218-2648.
For more live music performance and an added bonus of historic architecture, Unity Temple Concert Series provides a great artful experience. Unity Temple was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and some critics have labeled the Unity Temple as the first modern architectural building. 875 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL 60303 (708) 445-8955.
Oak Park restaurants offer a variety of dining experiences for visitors and residents.
For fine dining, Hemmingway’s Bistro offers a full breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and desert menu. They combine french dishes with midwest ingredients and fly their fresh seafood from Boston directly. Currently, the head chef is Chef Ala from the historic Allerton hotel in downtown Chicago, and Hemmingway’s Bistro often hosts wine events.
With Oak Park’s convenient location near Chicago, authentic Chicago-style pizza should be not hard to find. The local Giordano’s in Oak Park offers some of the best deep dish pizza in the area with homemade pizza sauce and a flaky buttery crust. 1115 W. Chicago Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302 (708) 386-2223.
If looking for food outside the local palate, Klay Oven Restaurant offers Indian cuisine with many delicious dishes, vegetarian options, and a lunch buffet on weekends. Klay Oven also offers catering and private dining services. 734 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL 60301 (708) 386-3999.
Maya Del Sol, Hip, lively spot featuring Latin American eats, creative cocktails & patio dining. 144 S. Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302 (708) 358-9800
Poor Phil’s, Casual sports bar featuring seafood & Cajun cooking plus craft beers, multiple TVs & outdoor seats. 139 S Marion St, Oak Park, IL 60302 (708) 848-0871
Cooper’s Hawk Winery, Fine New American cuisine is served along with a range of wines that are available to taste & buy. 950 Lake St, Oak Park, IL 60301 (708) 613-2999
Buzz Cafe, Funky, kid-friendly coffeehouse serving organic comfort foods & featuring local art & music. 905 S Lombard Ave, Oak Park, IL 60304 (708) 524-2899
Live Cafe, a creative space that offers seasonally harvested coffee. 163 S. Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302 (708) 434-5479
The Sugar Beet Food Co-op, a community-owned grocery store. 812 Madison St, Oak Park, IL 60302 (708) 948-7656
The Park District of Oak Park maintains 25 parks and facilities that include pools, ice-rinks, sledding hills, baseball fields, gardens, basketball courts, skate parks, playgrounds, picnic areas. and more fun recreational features.
In the summer months, many festivals, farmers markets and local events attract residents to spend time outside. The Oak Park International Film Festival has been held every September since 2005 and features films about locals in the Oak Park area.
For a nearby Oak Park attraction, Brookfield Zoo is only a 15 minutes drive away and is open year round for fun family entertainment and education. Brookfield Zoo adds new exhibits each year and currently have a Dolphin show and a Stingray exhibit that lets you pet a stingray. 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield, IL 60513 (708) 485-2200.
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