Oak Lawn, Illinois: Wikis


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Oak Lawn, Illinois
County: Cook
Township: Worth
President: Dave Heilmann
ZIP code(s): 60453, 60454, 60455, 60456,60457, 60458, 60459
Area code(s): 708
Population (2000): 55,245
Density: 6,427.3/mi² (2,480.3/km²)
Area: 8.6 mi² (22.3 km²)
Per capita income: $23,877
(median: $47,585)
Home value: $157,000 (2000)
(median: $147,600)
Website: www.oaklawn-il.gov
White Black Hispanic Asian
93.35% 1.22% 5.33% 1.73%
Islander Native Other
0.01% 0.17% 1.64%

Oak Lawn is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 55,245 at the 2000 census.

Oak Lawn is a suburb of the city of Chicago, located southwest of the city. It shares borders with the city in two areas, but is surrounded mostly by other suburbs independent of Chicago.



Oak Lawn is located at 41°42′54″N 87°45′12″W / 41.715°N 87.75333°W / 41.715; -87.75333Coordinates: 41°42′54″N 87°45′12″W / 41.715°N 87.75333°W / 41.715; -87.75333 (41.715082, -87.753401).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 8.6 square miles (22.3 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 55,245 people, 22,220 households, and 14,554 families residing in the village. The population density was 6,427.3 people per square mile (2,480.3/km²). There were 22,846 housing units at an average density of 2,657.9/sq mi (1,025.7/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 93.35% White, 1.22% Black, 0.17% Native American, 1.73% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.64% from other races, and 1.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.33% of the population, including 4.3% of Mexican descent.

The top five ancestries reported in Oak Lawn as of the 2000 census were Irish (30.4%), German (19.5%), Polish (19.3%), Italian (9.7%) and English (4.4%).[4] One of the town's streets pays tribute to its Polish American heritage through its name of Deblin Lane after Dęblin, Poland.

There were 22,220 households out of which 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.0% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.5% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the village the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 21.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 88.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $47,585, and the median income for a family was $60,057. Males had a median income of $44,954 versus $30,646 for females. The per capita income for the village was $23,877. About 3.9% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.7% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.


The village government consists of a village president and six village trustees. The six trustees represent the six districts within the village and are elected to four-year terms by the voters in each of their respective districts. The current village president of Oak Lawn is Dave Heilmann, elected in 2005 with the Unity Party, which he led. He defeated members of the Village Vision Party, which held a majority on the village board for nearly 40 years. Heilmann is an Oak Lawn native who attended St. Linus Elementary School in Oak Lawn and Brother Rice High School in Chicago.

Oak Lawn is in Illinois' 3rd congressional district.

Heilmann claims to be town mayor and serves as a traffic court judge on the truTV show Speeders Fight Back.


1967 tornado

On April 21, 1967, a devastating tornado struck Oak Lawn. [1] At 5:30 p.m., an F4-estimated tornado touched down near Palos Hills.[2] It strengthened and, in the space of six minutes, tore a 16.2-mile (65 mph ground speed) swath of destruction through Oak Lawn, Hometown and Evergreen Park, and devastated the south side of Chicago before moving offshore to Lake Michigan as people were stuck in traffic during Friday rush hour. For that reason, this tornado ended up being the deadliest in the outbreak. It was also, at that time, the deadliest tornado to hit a U.S. urban area. Thirty-three people were killed and there were 1000 injuries. There were 16 deaths alone at the intersection of Southwest Highway and W. 95th Street in Oak Lawn. It destroyed 152 homes and damaged 900, causing $50 million in damage.

The lasting damage was to Oak Lawn Community High School, which saw the majority of the building torn away. Inside the rebuilt high school, there are pictures of the devastation from the tornado.

Healthcare, Education and Churches Oak Lawn is known for its community hospital, which serves the residents of Chicago and its suburbs. Christ Community Hospital (now known as Advocate Christ Medical Center) was built in Oak Lawn in 1960 and has expanded with the development of Hope Children's Hospital, along with becoming a part of Advocate Health Care. Christ Hospital also has a state-of-the-art Level 1 trauma center, providing trauma patients with advanced emergency medical care. The emergency department treats more patients than any other hospital in Illinois.

Oak Lawn has public education schooling children from K–6 in its many elementary schools, including Kolb, Lieb, Harnew, Columbus Manor, Covington, Hannum, Hometown, Kolmar, and Sward. Oak Lawn has two public middle schools. The first is Oak Lawn–Hometown Middle School, which replaced Douglas A. McGugan Junior High School in 2005 (now leased to South Side Baptist Church and School [3] and Christ Hospital's EMS training program). The second public middle school is Simmons Middle School. There are two public high schools, Oak Lawn Community High School and Harold L. Richards High School. The two high schools enroll students mostly from Oak Lawn, Hometown, Bridgeview, Chicago Ridge, Calumet Park, and Robbins.

Catholic grammar schools include St. Louis de Montfort, St. Germaine, St. Catherine, St. Linus, and St. Gerald.

A Lutheran school is located behind the Hilton on 94th and Cicero is called St. Paul.

There is also a Christian school at 101st and Central named Southwest Chicago Christian School.

There are many quality churches in Oak Lawn some include: Calvin Christian Reformed Church, First Christian Reformed Church of Oak Lawn, First United Methodist Church of Oak Lawn, South Side Baptist Church, St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Germaine, St. Linus, St. Louis de Montfort, The Family of St. Gerald, and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.

Park system

Centennial Park, Winter 2006

Oak Lawn prides itself in its expansive park system. From the small corner play lots to the 38 acre Centennial Park, there are over 300 acres (1.2 km2) of parks, recreational facilities and open land.

These include playgrounds, walking paths, baseball fields, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, plus outdoor swimming pools, an indoor ice arena, two fitness centers, and an 18-hole golf course. Each area in Oak Lawn has its own recreational area, totaling 22 parks.

The 18-hole Stony Creek Golf Course features 5,004 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 65. Designed by Carl Getz, the golf course opened in 1982. The facility features include a miniature golf course, banquet facilities, pro shop, bocce courts, horse shoe pits, PGA instruction, and a 44-station driving range.

Rebirth of downtown Oak Lawn

New downtown development

For over a decade, the downtown area lacked any new building or redevelopment. The corner of 95th Street and 52nd in the heart of downtown Oak Lawn was an eyesore for many years. In the late 1990s construction of a large drive-through car wash facility began but was never completed. Most residents found this new construction at odds with the look of the area. After sitting, apparently abandoned, for over a year, it was demolished. This marked a turning point for the area. A new retail corner featuring a Starbucks, restaurant, bank, and video rental store was built in its place. Soon after, a plan was announced for the modernization and expansion of the Metra train station on 95th Street.

New Oak Lawn Metra station

Starting in 2002, downtown Oak Lawn (95th Street between Tulley and 55th Court) became the target of a massive redevelopment program; properties on the north and south sides of 95th Street were demolished. Eventually several square blocks were leveled, making room for several multistory, high-end condominium complexes with retail space on the main floors. Part of the project was the expansion of the Metra commuter train station that houses a retail/office center and a new children's museum. This complex also includes a multistory parking garage. Downtown Oak Lawn as seen today (2007) bears little resemblance to the downtown from 2002. It now features modern high-rise buildings, new shopping areas, a large contemporary Metra train station, and several new retail and service facilities.

Oak Lawn Stop Sign Program

New Oak Lawn Stop Signs

In mid 2007, Oak Lawn began hanging some additions to the city stop signs in an attempt to have drivers obey the signs. The signs were the idea of the city President, and local residents are encouraged to submit their own ideas. However, many of the signs were poorly made and riddled with misspellings. Found throughout the village, the signs garnished attention with the press. [4]

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and IDOT voiced their concerns about the use of these nonconforming stop signs and as such the Village removed them in April 2008.[5] Initially, the mayor refused to remove the signs, but IDOT threatened to withhold millions of dollars in funding for infrastructure.

Famous residents associated with Oak Lawn, Illinois


External links

Oak Lawn Tornado - 1967



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