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Riverside, Illinois
RiversideWaterTower 250w.jpg
Riverside Centennial Park - 2009
County: Cook
Township: Riverside
President: Michael C. Gorman
ZIP code(s): 60546
Area code(s): 708
Population (2000): 8,895
Density: 4,509.1/mi² (1.743.3/km²)
Area: 2.0 mi² (5.1 km²)
Per capita income: $34,712
(median: $64,931)
Home value: $510,094 (2000)
(median: $521,586)
Website: www.riverside.il.us
Demographics[1]
White Black Hispanic Asian
95.38% 0.26% 5.50% 1.60%
Islander Native Other
0.01% 0.08% 2.7%
Riverside Landscape Architecture District
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. National Historic Landmark
Location: Bounded by 26th St., Harlem and Ogden Aves., the Des Plaines River, and Forbes Rd., Riverside, Illinois
Built/Founded: 1869
Architect: Frederick Law Olmsted; Calvert Vaux
Governing body: Local
Added to NRHP: September 15, 1969
NRHP Reference#: 69000055 [2]

Riverside is an affluent suburban village in Cook County, Illinois, a significant portion of which is included in the Riverside Landscape Architecture District. The population was 8,895 at the 2000 census. It is a suburb of Chicago, located roughly 9 miles west of downtown Chicago and two miles outside city limits. The village was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970. [3]

Contents

History

Riverside is arguably the first planned community in the United States, designed in 1869 by Frederick Law Olmsted. The village was incorporated in 1875. The Riverside Landscape Architecture District, an area bounded by 26th St., Harlem and Ogden Aves., the Des Plaines River, and Forbes Rd., was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970.[4]

In 1863 the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad was built heading southwest from downtown Chicago to Quincy, Illinois, passing through what is now the Near West Suburban area of Chicago in a western-southwestern direction. This new access to transportation and commerce brought about a significant housing and construction boom in what was once farmland far from the bustle of the city of Chicago.

In 1868, an eastern businessman named Emery E. Childs formed the Riverside Improvement Company, and purchased a1,600-acre (6.5 km2) tract of property along the Des Plaines River and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad line. The site was highly desirable due to its natural oak-hickory forest and its proximity to the Chicago Loop. The company commissioned well-known landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and his partner, Calvert Vaux, to design a rural bedroom community. The town's plan, which was completed in 1869, called for curvilinear streets, following the land's contours and the winding Des Plaines River. The plan also accorded for a central village square, located at the main railroad station, and a Grand Park system that uses several large parks as a foundation, with 41 smaller triangular parks and plazas located at intersections throughout town to provide for additional green spaces.[5]

Looking south in downtown Riverside, Illinois toward the Riverside Township Hall

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and the financial Panic of 1873 brought about the demise of the improvement company, bringing new construction nearly to a halt for some time. A village government was established in September 1875 and Olmsted's original development plan remained in force. Building resumed in the following years, with the opening of the Riverside Golf Club in 1893, the striking Chateauesque Riverside Township Hall in 1895, and the Burlington line train station in 1901. Many homes and estates were designed by architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, William Le Baron Jenney, Frederick Clarke Withers, and Calvert Vaux at the time as well.[6]

A major period of residential development came again in the 1920s and late 1930s, when many modest houses were constructed on smaller parcels. The population grew to 7,935 by 1940 and comprised primarily small proprietors, managers, and professionals who were predominantly of Anglo-American and German American background. The remaining residential areas were developed during the post–World War II boom and by 1960 the village was almost entirely developed. The population peaked at 10,357 in 1970 and dropped below 8,500 by the mid-1990s.

Riverside, much like Chicago, has become an architectural museum, which is recognized by the village's National Historic Landmark designation. The village housing stock varies from well-maintained 1920s bungalows and huge Victorian and early-twentieth-century mansions that attract architectural tours. The charming village center houses several restaurants as well as coffee shops, and hosts stores selling antiques and Victorian house fixtures, reflective of the village's older affluent population.[7]

Geography

Riverside is located at 41°49′51″N 87°48′58″W / 41.83083°N 87.81611°W / 41.83083; -87.81611Coordinates: 41°49′51″N 87°48′58″W / 41.83083°N 87.81611°W / 41.83083; -87.81611 (41.830881, -87.815981)[8].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km²), of which, 2.0 square miles (5.1 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (1.00%) is water. Bordering suburbs include North Riverside, Berwyn, Brookfield and Lyons. The Des Plaines River runs through the village.

Demographics

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 8,895 people, 3,552 households, and 2,436 families residing in the village. The population density was 4,509.1 people per square mile (1,743.3/km²). There were 3,668 housing units at an average density of 1,859.4/sq mi (718.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 95.38% White, 0.26% African American, 0.08% Native American, 1.60% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.57% from other races, and 1.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.50% of the population.

The top five ancestries reported in Riverside as of the 2000 census were Irish (20.8%), Polish (18.4%), German (17.7%), Italian (13.8%) and Czech (8.0%).[10]

There were 3,552 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.4% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the village the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 26.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $64,931, and the median income for a family was $80,146. Males had a median income of $56,808 versus $36,349 for females. The per capita income for the village was $34,712. About 1.8% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.2% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Riverside is in Illinois' 3rd congressional district.[11]

The United States Postal Service operates the Riverside Post Office at 45 East Burlington Street and the North Riverside Post Office at 7300 West 25th Street.[12] [13]

Education

Riverside is served by District 96 for public schools. District 96 has 4 elementary schools, and one junior high school. High school District 208 serves Riverside high school students.

Ginkgos along Harlem Avenue in Riverside, Illinois

The elementary schools are:

  • Central Elementary School located at 61 Woodside Rd
  • Ames School located at 86 Southcote Rd
  • Blythe Park School located at 735 Leesley Rd
  • Hollywood School (in Brookfield) located at 3423 Hollywood Avenue

The middle school is:

The high school is:

The private schools are:

  • Riverside Presbyterian Pre-School[1]
  • St. Paul's Pre-School
  • Building Blocks Pre-School
  • St. Mary Catholic Elementary School
  • Singing Winds School located at 82 Woodside Road

Notable People

  • Johnny "Red" Kerr (Chicago Bulls)
  • Judy Barr Topinka (Current Illionis Comptroller and former State Treasure)
  • Larry Wert (President, Central & Western Region NBC)
  • Tony Peracia (Represents the 16th District on the Cook County Board of Commissioners)
  • Frank Nitti (Mafia)
  • Frederick Law Olmsted
  • Harry Lippe (Championship Bowler)
  • Eddie Tancl (Prize Fighter)
  • Claude Maddox "Screwey Moore" (Mafia)

Popular culture

Business

Riverside has a historical feel to it, and very few commercial enterprises.

The Central Business District, located around the Riverside Metra station has a collection of shops, including several cafes, banks, florists, and wealth management offices.

See also

Notes

External links

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