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Village of Oak Park

123 Madison Street | Oak Park, IL 60302 | 708-383-6400
The rich history of Oak Park began with the 1839 settlement by Joseph Kettlestrings, a native of England, on a section of land now bounded by Lake Street, Chicago Avenue, Oak Park Avenue, and Harlem Avenue. The home he built on the southwest corner of that tract was the first house in Oak Park. In the mid-1800's, W.H. Scoville and J.W. Scoville acquired 185 acres of land north of Chicago Avenue between Oak Park Avenue and Austin Boulevard. Other settlers moved in slowly. By 1870, the population of the Village was only about 500, but the Chicago Fire of 1871 caused an exodus of Chicagoans into Oak Park, giving the Village its first population boom. By 1902, the year of its incorporation as a Village, Oak Park was approximately 50 percent developed, predominantly by single-family residences mixed with large areas of apartment houses and fringed with commercial development.

Today, comfortable Victorian homes stand in Oak Park alongside Prairie style structures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his contemporaries. The village has come to represent a distinctive urban/suburban lifestyle that is a mix of these architecturally significant homes, lovely shaded streets, expansive parks, an excellent school system, and a concerned and responsive governing body.


 

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