About Oak Park
Oak Park, a village located directly west of Chicago, is known best for its cultural and architectural heritage as it is home to many homes designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Joseph and Betty Kettlestrings, of England, built a small home and tavern near what is now Harlem and Lake streets in 1835. The area soon became a common stop for travelers going from Chicago to the Des Plaines river and this, along with the Chicago Fire in 1871, encouraged many Chicago residents to move outward from the city limits. Oak Park was officially incorporated on Jan. 25, 1902. Read more history from the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest.
52,104 (2011 Census Estimate)
Median age: 36 (24.1 percent younger than 18; 10.7 percent older than 65)
- 67.7 percent white
- 21.7 percent black
- 5.8 percent Hispanic
- 5.0 percent Asian, American and Alaskan Indians
23,723 housing units (10,029 single-family; 759 two-flats; 116 three-flats; 375 townhomes)
23,079 occupied housing units (10,093 rented; 12,986 owned)
12,980 families (2 or more related persons)
Average 2.26 persons per household
441 rental buildings (6,400 units)
251 condo buildings (2,373 units)
Village President: Anan Abu-Taleb
- Village Trustee Peter Barber
- Village Trustee Glenn Brewer
- Village Trustee Andrea Ott
- Village Trustee Colette Lueck
- Village Trustee Adam Salzman
- Village Trustee Bob Tucker
- Village Clerk Teresa Powell
Local recreation and entertainment:
- Park District of Oak Park
- Oak Park Public Library
- Visit Oak Park
- Downtown Oak Park
- Oak Park Arts District
- Pleasant District
- Hemingway Foundation
- Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust
- Ernst Hemingway, writer. Author of “A Farewell to Arms” and “The Sun Also Rises”.
- Betty White, actress. Most known for “The Golden Girls”, currently stars in “Hot in Cleveland” and “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers.”
- Mike Shanahan, NFL coach. Most known for his career as head coach of the Denver Broncos, currently coaches the Washington Redskins.
- Iman Shumpert, NBA player. Currently plays for the New York Knicks.
- Kathy Griffin, comedian. Most known for her stand-up comedy, she stars in the TV show “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.”
- Chris Ware, author. Contributor to The New Yorker, author of “Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth”.
- Cecily Strong, comedian. Has performed with Chicago’s Second City program, but is most known for her role on “Saturday Night Live.”
- Peter Sagal, author and public radio show host. Currently the host NPR’s “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” and author of “The Book of Vice: Naughty Things and How to Do Them.”
- Tavi Gevinson, teen fashion icon. Founder and editor-in-chief of Rookie, an online teen fashion magazine.
- Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s.
- Dan Castellaneta, actor. Most known as the voice of Homer on “The Simpsons”, but also has appeared in “Futurama” and “The Mindy Project.”
- Robert “Bob” Newhart, actor. Most known as host of “The Bob Newhart Show”, but has recently appeared in some episodes of “The Big Bang Theory.”
- Thomas Lennon, actor and screenwriter. Most known for his role on “Reno 911!” as Jim Dangle.
- Johnny Galecki, actor. Most known for his role on “The Big Bang Theory” as Leonard Hofstadter.
- John Mahoney, actor. Most known for his role on “Frasier” as Martin Crane.
- Steve James, director. Directed documentary “Hoop Dreams”.
- John Avildson, director. Most known for directing the “Rocky” and “Karate Kid” series.
- John Sturges, director. Most known for directing “The Great Escape”.
- Bruce Davidson, photographer.
- Steve Levitt, author and professor at University of Chicago. Author of “Freakonomics”.
- Edgar Rice Burroughs, author. Most known for creating the character Tarzan, also wrote the “John Carter of Mars” series.
- Alex Kotlowitz, author. Author of “Never a City So Real”, “The Other Side of the River” and “There Are No Children Here”. Recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.
- Carol Shields, author. Most known for winning the Pulitzer Prize for “The Stone Diaries” in 1993.
- Elizabeth Berg, author. Most known for “Open House”, an Oprah’s Book Club selection, as well as “Durable Goods” and “Joy School”, which were named ALA Best Books of the Year.
Movies filmed in Oak Park:
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