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Over less than one-half century, Dynamic DuPage County transmogrified from sleepy agricultural countryside villages into the most sublimely superb suburban living available anywhere in the world thanks to residents achieving some of the highest national average incomes (per capita) thus furnishing families with not only superlative schools but those exquisite utopian amenities this here found epicurean lifestyle affords resplendently.
Extraordinary Elmhurst first attracted wealthy refugees fleeing Chicago's great 1871 fire making this DuPage County's largest municipality through the roaring 1920's. Today Elmhurst maintains the nationally ranked "York Community High School" (top 250), where circa 1900 that present campus had previously served as both the former "Elmhurst Golf Club" gathering grounds for graciously well-heeled socialites as well also the original Hawthorne racetrack (relocated to Cicero.) Today local outdoor enthusiasts exercise the bucolic Illinois Prairie Path ("IPP"), now meandering through Elmhurst as linked by sixty-one miles of largely DuPage County bicycle trails converted from the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin Railroad's long dormant rights of way; in process achieving status as America's first and leading exemplar in successful implementation of the transformative "rails to trails" program!
Auspicous Addison advantageously maintains two dozen public parks hosting a bounty of recreational facilities among which "Centennial" Park may be locals' perennial favorite as well seasonal "Family Aquatic Center" where exciting "splash pad" water features for small children meet fifty yard L-shaped pool adjoining diving boards for the mature set. The DuPage community's long awaited, "Salt Creek" Greenway Trail was recently completed to rave reviews from nature lovers now delightfully connected between Elk Grove Village and the Brookfield Zoo: running directly through Addison. The trail displays native flora and fauna on phenomenally pastoral display along tranquil tributary watershed creeks and fantastic forest preserves treasured for today's recreational value as too the promise of posterity's cultural enrichment.
Nearby, Benevolent Bloomingdale has carefully cultivated the community's commercial and retail developments thus preserving the village's "comfortable ambiance" and "exceptional quality of life." Bloomingdale not only boasts the locally popular Stratford Square Mall where Kohl's, Macy's, Sears and Burlington Coat Factory furnish retail revelers requisitely but also the municipally operated "Oasis" water park soaking youth with three awesome attractions including 'Cuda Cove (large pool), Mango Bay (zero-depth "leisure pool" with adjacent geysers, spilling buckets, sprayers & water slides) and Otter Island (interactive aquatic features.)
Complementary Carol Stream offers an excellent schools system promoting community involvement, a large park district maintaining three dozen plus public open spaces sporting modern playgrounds including a skate park, outdoor water park, mini-golf course and an indoor pool amid two recreation centers! The village additionally caters to families with a voluminous library as well nearby access to religious congregations of all faiths.
Wonderful Wheaton celebrates a fantastic parks district magnificently manicuring almost fifty public open spaces with local favorites including the Northside Park Family Aquatic Center, Rice Pool & Water Park, Arrowhead Golf Club as well the Danada Forest Preserve & Equestrian Center covering nearly eight hundred rolling acres conserving wetlands, woodlands and restored prairie here displayed! Nearby the Cosley Zoo offers an closer look at domestic farm animals and native Illinois wildlife including red foxes, three-toed box turtles, white-tailed deer, and a black-crowned night heron exhibited adjacent pens with wooly llamas and playful goats conveniently playing about a bevy of barnyard animals frolicking about pristine ponds dotting five acres.
Gracious Glen Ellyn beautifully bestrides leisurely Lake Ellyn, the community's gorgeous centerpiece attraction playing host to several annual summer civic rites including concerts, fourth of July festivities as well the fine arts festival. Open to the public, the legendary "Village Links of Glen Ellyn" is this region's exclusive 18-hole four season championship golf course featuring an elite remodeled seven thousand yard layout, having hosted forty plus USGA and PGA Tour qualifications over its almost fifty year history! Circa 1889, a former local stream was dammed here creating Lake Ellyn adjacent mineral springs that would enable this village to be billed as Chicago's closest health resort suburb!
Winsome West Chicago, celebrates history with Kline Creek Farm where restored farmstead structures feature "historically-costumed interpreters" operating a "living-history farm" using antiquated implements and techniques billed as "activities and events" re-creating those "seasonal rhythms that have governed farm life for centuries." Once called "Turner Junction" for the area's first successful land investor and railroad president, "West Chicago," was ordained circa 1896 to "help prospective industrialists visualize the town's location."
Outstanding Oak Brook gratuitously gifts glee upon resident and visiting outdoor revelers with its renowned twenty acre "Sports Core" featuring aristocratic yet open to the public pool, tennis and golf clubs! Nearby, the exclusively private "Butler National Golf Club" is the nationally ranked (top 100) course enjoyed by members and their invitees only. The expanded "Oak Brook Shopping Center" is the area's premiere shopping destination as well the contiguous United States' largest open air mall, supremely satisfying shoppers with more than one hundred sixty stores such as Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Neiman Marcus and Nordstorm as well restaurants serving sumptuous fare! Commencing circa 1960's several upscale subdivisions were built attracting many nationally prominent corporations embracing unique upscale city amenities including Ace Hardware, Sharpie, Papermate and McDonald's here operating their corporate headquarters called "Hamburger University." Oak Brook's civic history proudly includes the esteemed Graue Mill where circa 1852 founder Frederick Graue not only began ground grain hence seventy years utilizing his famous wooden waterwheel powered by Salt Creek waters, but he also ran an underground railroad "station" surreptitiously housing fugitive bondmen escaping to their freedom from the basement of his gristmill turned museum, today exhibiting "Graue Mill & the Road to Freedom." Today period photographs, documents, and interactive are displayed thus preserving the heritage of this community's prescient struggle eradicating evil.
Heavenly Hinsdale vaunts a variety of venerated and gentrified century old farmhouse manors as well thirty thousand foot custom mega mansions. The city's upscale developments have bestowed outstanding benefits upon the area's public schools with "Newsweek" ordaining Hinsdale Central High School 69th best nationally and the best public secondary school in the entire state of IL!
Captivating Clarendon Hills was originally platted circa 1873 and etched by gently winding streets along this hilly terrain's natural contours inspired by legendary landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted's tenets. The Lions Club, formed here c. 1950, constructed "the Hill's" first public swimming pool at "Lions Park" providing a six lane lap, adjacent zero depth babies', and plunge pools also entertaining youth with water slide and sandy play areas.
Delightful Downers Grove covers thirteen square miles of quintessentially unique hometown charms not duplicated anywhere else in the midst of marvelous metropolitan convenience. This self-contained micro-economy and cosmopolitan suburb boasts plentiful light industry, service, and retail businesses including corporate headquarters bearing such household monikers as Butterball, Sara Lee, Travelers Insurance, Foot Joy & FTD. Downers Grove's devoted denizens annually design dozens of downtown gatherings including informal summertime car shows; Saturday a.m. farmer's markets from June through October as well January's illustrious ice sculpture festival all together landing this entertainment and dining city center on Chicago Tribune's List of Top 10 Downtowns! D.G.'s idyllic public parks and recreational facilities span some six hundred plus acres enjoyed year ‘round! Downers Grove owes much of its ethereal beauty to the gorgeous greenery feed by the eastern DuPage River's offshoot supplying two lakes here surrounded by the nearly four-hundred acres forming Hidden Lake Forest Preserve sustaining the area's most heralded hiking and fabulous fishing. Close by in "King's Grove," the last surviving woodland remnant of formerly ubiquitous red, white, and burr oaks remains protected for future generations. The magnificent "Morton Arboretum" encompasses almost twelve hundred acres of which more than 80% are publicly accessible through "Big Rock Visitor Station" serving as visitors' portal to both the Heritage & Woodland Trails, along which are displayed historically illustrated panels detailing local ecosystems evolutions' over millennia. Downers Grove also boasts the largest preserved collection of Sears, Roebuck & Company mail order catalog houses (originally billed as "Sears Modern Homes" shipped as ready-to-assemble kits) identified in one single place primarily owing to that famous corporation's downtown headquarters and distribution epicenter being merely miles away.
Neighbourly Naperville fuses fifty square miles of families who have flocked here uninterrupted for over fifty years recently earning penultimate position as "second best place to live" in the entire nation due in no small part to this affluent community's unmatched suburban amenities. For that privilege, Naperville's population has quintupled over the last twenty years largely thanks to Interstates 88 & 355 receiving requisite upgrades eventually attracting to this municipality those Fortune 1000 research, development, logistics, and technology corporations who have dubbed this area "Illinois Technology & Research Corridor." Large conglomerates with accompanying jobs and wealth now synergistically support medical centers, government facilities, epicurean dining & shopping, luxury lodging, and exclusive entertainment venues shared en sum with neighboring Kane & DeKalb Counties. Downtown Naperville also boasts the revitalized "Riverwalk" developed to honor the 150th anniversary of this city's founding essentially enhancing downtown with acres of waterfront parks and paths complemented by the celebrated Main Street "Promenade." Designated a "White House Millennium Community," Riverwalk also displays downtown's architectural centerpiece "Moser Tower and Millennium Grand Carillon" uniquely constructed of matchlessly beautiful precast concrete assembled on site to support sounds issued from seventy-two bells precisely tuned to play harmoniously in six unison octaves as conducted by console atop the tower! The community annually gathers downtown for festivals including summer's "Ribfest;" Labor Day's " Last Fling" carnival; weekly summer concert series performed by the Naperville Municipal Band as well summer fun at Centennial Beach where bathers deign into the depths of an abandoned double quarry along the DuPage River!
Wonderful Woodridge was recently ranked as the sixty first best place to live nationally for divining exquisite homes, decadent gourmet eateries and resoundingly revered retail stores constellating one of Chicago's premiere suburbs. After WWII, over the course of less than forty years this area evolved from sprawling agricultural fields into today's largely residential profile centered around Seventy-Fifth St.'s commercial center. Circa 1989, the dramatic development of Interstate 355's transportation corridor would fulfill nearby communities' metropolitan access necessities thus achieving residential build out as well an increased industrial economic base. The high ground of Woodridge overlooks the DuPage River's eastern offshoot. Perhaps the area's best, families fantastically rave about Woodridge's municipally operated "Cypress Cove" Family Aquatic Park with several bayou themed rides inspired by the site's adjoining wetlands.
Awesome Aurora snugly bestrides graceful shores hugging the fortuitous Fox River carving beautiful winding lines into impressive Illinois countryside. The recently developed "River Edge Park," will eventually be connected to the former police station now repurposed as the vendors' market promenade with seasonal farmer's market feature via pedestrian bridge! Downtown also features the unique hybrid of Art Deco and French Renaissance "Paramount Theatre," constructed circa 1931 for "talkies" as the first regionally air conditioned building outside Chicago city limits thus remaining preserved over the years for brilliantly beneficial beauty as well those several legendary shows featured here from B.B. King to the Three Stooges! Also downtown is the popular "Hollywood Casino," entertaining riverboat gamblers filling over fifty thousand square feet of gaming space adjoining two restaurants altogether displaying a veritably comprehensive movie memorabilia collection. Upon the industrial exodus of the 1980's when Aurora's unemployment rate approached twenty percent, city leadership gave vigorous responde helping to create tens of thousands of jobs achieving downtown redevelopment, border annexations including mixed-use business parks, riverboat casinos and residential neighborhood build outs. An additional realization of Aurora's commitment to commerce was realized on the outskirts of town, where "Chicago Premium Outlets" offer steep discounts from top-shelf retailers including Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Coach, Cole Haan, Giorgio Armani, J.Crew, Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sony, Theory, Vera Bradley, & Gap Outlet. Progressive Aurora was not only one of the first municipalities in the entire nation to adopt electric street lighting but was also the first to establish a free public school district in the state circa 1851 as well girls' secondary school a few years later!
Circa 1945, more than one century of city planning experience would intersect with our nation's four wheeled love affair cementing suburban accessibility into the minds of families descending upon large lots featuring spacious homes now easily connected in minutes by interstate bliss. Baby boomer Chicagoans were thoroughly familiar with those ideal amenities DuPage County's prolific development would realize and this propitious population shift from Chicago city limits to DuPage's bedroom communities turned 1950's census of 155,000 residents into 650,000 suburbanites by 1980 and over 900,000 citizens spread across nine townships, twelve cities and twenty-seven villages today!
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