Oak Park, IL, (60301, 30302, 30303, 30304 zip codes) has been for decades one of our favorite masonry and tuckpointing service areas. The village is an architectural marvel with many masonry buildings, including those of Frank Lloyd Wright, who spent 20 years of his life in the village, and who’s designs heavily influenced appeal of the numerous buildings.
By: Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) collections — a U.S. National Park Service program . HABS ILL,16-OAKPA,5-2, Public Domain, Link
First settlement in an area of todays Oak Park was registered in history books in 1835. During a couple of the next decades, the area was called various names: Harlem, Oak Ridge, Kettlestrings Grove, and almost got stack with “Oak Ridge”. However, since another village in IL was already using that name, they came up with “Oak Park” and the village was incorporated in 1902, after a referendum that separated it from Cicero.
By 1920, it grew to 39,585 residents, and 64 thousand residents ten years later, becoming one of the larges Chicago suburbs and carried a title of the “World’s Largest Village”. The proximity of Chicago, and major road and rail network expansion always kept stimulating rapid development of this area.
The majority of Oak Park’s houses and buildings you see today, were built between the years 1892 and 1950. Among them, you’ll find a building hosting the Oak Park-River Forest Historical Society, Ernest Hemingway’s home and Museum, the three homes of Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs, Frank Lloyd’s Unity Temple and Pleasant Home. But that’s just a tip of an iceberg, there are 2400 historic sites in Oak Park, with the majority of homes built in the Queen Anne, Prairie School and Craftsman styles of architecture.
The strict alcohol prohibition law lasted in Oak Park until 1973, and was even further relaxed in 2002. Today, you can freely purchase alcohol in local stores and have it served in bars and restaurants.
If you’re looking for arts and entertainment in Oak Park, there’s plenty of it, you’ll find here music, professional dance and theatre companies, fine arts professionals, the arts district with boutique galleries, shops and restaurants, and the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest.
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