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River Forest

Learn more about River Forest

River Forest is a unique town, located on the border between Chicago and the western suburbs. Its proximity to the Des Plaines River and Thatcher Woods gives River Forest a natural aspect, while nearby suburb Oak Park provides a variety of cultural, educational and dining experiences.

Known for its elegant homes designed and constructed during the turn of the century by many famous architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, River Forest offers historical aspects and a modern take on suburban living.

History

Ojibwa, Menominee and Potawatomi inhabited the area until the 1830s when settlers constructed a steam-powered sawmill on the river. The area’s fertile land, forests and proximity to the river made it idea for farming and hog raising. Settlers began arriving throughout the 1800s, when the town was originally known as Noyesville.

The temperance movement is what cased River Forest’s incorporation in 1880. Money from local saloons helped pay for various urban amenities, and the area saw its biggest population boom in the early 1900s. Today, the population rises above 10,000 residents.

Transportation

River Forest provides a variety of transportation options. The town’s proximity to Chicago allows access to all of the major Chicagoland expressways, as well as airports.

There is a METRA stop in River Forest on the Union Pacific/West Line, providing a quick trip to downtown Chicago, as well as much of the western suburbs.

The CTA Harlem/Lake Train Station is conveniently located near River Forest and offers affordable and fast transportation to Chicago.

Schools

River Forest has its own school district, District 90. Within the district are two public elementary schools and one public middle school. There are also a number of private schools located within the town, as well as two universities: Concordia University Chicago and Dominican University.

Elementary Schools:
Lincoln Elementary School, 511 Park Ave, River Forest, IL 60305
Willard Elementary School, 1250 Ashland Ave, River Forest, IL 60305

Middle Schools:
Roosevelt Middle School, 7560 Oak Ave, River Forest, IL 60305

Private Schools:
St. Luke Parish School, 519 Ashland Ave, River Forest, IL 60305
Keystone Montessori School, 7415 W North Ave, River Forest, IL 60305

High Schools:
Oak Park and River Forest High School, 201 N Scoville Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302
Trinity High School, 7474 W Division St, River Forest, IL 60305

Restaurants

Bertolli Pizza has been making homemade Italian dishes in River Forest for over 30 years. The restaurant’s menu offers a variety of items with a dine-in, carry-out or delivery option.

For a hearty breakfast and classic lunch items, visit Grandma Sally’s Family Restaurant. The eatery is known for its apple pancakes.

Capri Italian Foods is a family-owned business that has offered imported Italian goods for more than 40 years. Visitors can purchase olive oils, cheeses, Italian ice and gelato, as well as the store’s homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs.

Outdoor Recreation

Found in 1905, the River Forest Tennis Club is a member-based organization that provides tennis facilities, a pool and a variety of club events throughout the year.

The River Forest Park District maintains parks across the area, featuring a number of tennis courts, baseball diamonds, walking paths, play areas and open space to accommodate outdoor activities.

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is based out of River Forest, offering education and events throughout the entire Cook County forest preserve system. River Forest’s own Thacker Woods is a well-known area for events.

General Population Information

Population (2000):

11,635 people
4,092 households
2,909 families

36.7% of households had children under the age of 18 living with them
59.0% of households were married couples living together
10.0% of households had a female householder with no husband present
28.9% of households were non-families
25.6% of households were made up of individuals
11.3% of households had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older

The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.19.

The median income for a household in the village was $89,284 and the median income for a family was $122,155.

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River Forest Schools

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schools
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708-366-7340
Public
PK-4
708-366-6740
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PK-4
Not Available
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Not Available
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PK-8
Not Available
Private
PK-8

The Best in River Forest

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