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Northbrook is an affluent suburb of Chicago, located at the northern edge of Cook County, Illinois, United States.
When incorporated in 1901, the village was known as Shermerville in honor of Frederick Schermer, who donated the land for its first train station. The village changed its name to Northbrook in 1923 as an effort to improve its public image. The name was chosen because the West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River runs through the Village.
Glenbrook North High School, founded in 1952 as Glenbrook High School, is located in Northbrook. The village is also home to the Northbrook Park District, founded in 1927, Northbrook Court shopping mall, the Ed Rudolph Velodrome, the Chicago Curling Club, and the Northbrook Public Library.
Members of the Potawatomi tribe were the earliest recorded residents of the Northbrook area. In 1833 the Potawatomi ceded their Illinois lands and moved to a place near Council Bluffs, Iowa. Afterwards Joel Sterling Sherman and his family bought 159 acres (64 ha) of land in the northwest quarter of Section 10 for $1.25 per acre; as of 2010 Northbrook's downtown is located on this site. A man named Frederick Schermer donated the land used for the first railroad station, named Schermer Station and later Shermer Station; the community was named Shermerville after him. By the 1870s Shermerville was a farming community. In 1901 the community was incorporated as the Village of Shermerville after a close referendum for incorporation. At the time of incorporation it had 311 residents and 60 houses. In these early years, Shermerville became notorious for rowdy gatherings at its five saloons; by 1921, therefore, residents believed that the name "Shermerville" had a negative reputation and sought to change it. A renaming contest was held, and the name "Northbrook" was submitted by the US postmaster (and then President of the Rural Letter Carriers Association) Edward Landwehr. Edward Landwehr was the son of Herman and Anna Helene Landwehr, both German immigrants and early settlers in the community and for whose family Landwehr Road in Northbrook is named. They are now buried in the Northfield Union Cemetery. In 1923 "Northbrook", the winning name, was adopted; at the time Northbrook had 500 residents. After the end of World War II, Northbrook's population began to rapidly increase. In 1997, President Bill Clinton visited Northbrook to congratulate the 8th grade students of Northfield township (which is mainly Northbrook) for getting the highest score on a world science test, and for getting the second highest score on a world math test. Between 1950 and 1980, the town's population rose from 3,319 to 30,735. Northbrook was the first community not bordering Lake Michigan to filter Lake Michigan water for public use. The last working farm (called the Wayside Farm) in Northbrook was sold in 1987.
Northbrook is located at 42°7′45″N 87°50′27″W (42.129226, −87.840715).
According to the 2010 census, Northbrook has a total area of 13.255 square miles (34.33 km2), of which 13.19 square miles (34.16 km2) (or 99.51%) is land and 0.065 square miles (0.17 km2) (or 0.49%) is water.
Althought it is debated, many people consider Northbrook to be a part of the towns in the North Shore (Chicago).
As of the census of 2010, there were 33,170 people, 12,642 households, and 9,522 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,514.8 people per square mile (971.0/km²). There were 13,434 housing units at an average density of 1,018.5 per square mile (392.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 86.1% White, 0.6% African American, 0.04% Native American, 11.7% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.4% some other race, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.5% of the population.
There were 12,642 households, out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.3% were headed by married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.7% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.6% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57, and the average family size was 3.03.
In the village, the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 17.0% from 25 to 44, 32.2% from 45 to 64, and 22.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48.0 years. For every 100 females there were 91.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.0 males.
For the period 2009–11, the estimated median annual income for a household in the village was $103,053, and the median income for a family was $166,083. Male full-time workers had a median income of $97,459 versus $54,970 for females. The per capita income for the village was $51,719. About 4.1% of families and 4.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.
The Village of Northbrook adopted a council manager form of government after a 1953 referendum. The village's board of trustees includes six trustees and the president; all of them must be residents of Northbrook. The board establishes policies and hires a village manager to operate the day-to-day business.
As of 2016 Sandra E. Frum is the president, and the trustees are A.C. Buehler III, Kathryn L. Ciesla, Todd A. Heller, James A. Karagianis, Michael W. Scolaro, and Robert Israel. As of the same year Richard M. Nahrstadt is the village manager and Debra J. Ford is the village clerk.
The United States Postal Service operates the Northbrook Post Office, the Northbrook Downtown Post Office, and the Techny Post Office.
Northbrook had 15,613 employed civilians as of the 2006–2008 census estimate, including 6,841 females. Of the civilian workers, 12,458 were private for profit wage and salary workers.
The corporate headquarters of Underwriters Laboratories and Crate & Barrel are located in Northbrook, as are the North American headquarters of Astellas, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, and Bell Flavors & Fragrances, an international flavor and fragrance company.
Allstate's headquarters are in a nearby area in Northfield Township.
According to Northbrook's 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the village are:
Director John Hughes, a native of Northbrook, used the fictional town of "Shermer" as a setting for several of his films. David Kamp of Vanity Fair said "Hughes's Shermer was partly Northbrook and partly a composite of all the North Shore's towns and neighborhoods—and, by extension, all the different milieus that existed in American suburbia" and that Shermer "was at once an Everytown for every teen and an explicit homage to Hughes's home turf, the North Shore suburbs above Chicago." Hughes and his family moved to Northbrook in 1962, and Hughes attended Glenbrook North High School.
Many parts of Ferris Bueller's Day Off were filmed at Glenbrook North High School in the fall of 1985 with students serving as extras (most of the interior shots, though, were filmed at the shuttered Maine North High School). The water tower upon which is written "Save Ferris" is near the village's public library. The party scene from the film Uncle Buck was filmed at a house in the Highlands neighborhood, on Crabtree Lane. The grocery store scene in She's Having a Baby was filmed at Sunset Foods, and scenes in Ordinary People and Weird Science were shot at the Northbrook Court shopping mall. A small scene from the film Risky Business was shot at a highway ramp off the Edens Expressway.
Some interior shots from the 2005 Harold Ramis-directed film The Ice Harvest were filmed in a revamped commercial building off Commercial Avenue.
Northbrook is served by multiple school districts. The elementary school districts Northbrook School District 27, Northbrook School District 28, Northbrook/Glenview School District 30, and West Northfield School District 31 serve Northbrook and are headquartered in Northbrook. Wheeling Community Consolidated School District 21, headquartered in Wheeling, also serves sections of Northbrook.
District 27 operates three grade level centers in Northbrook, including Hickory Point School (K-2), Shabonee School (3–5), and Wood Oaks Junior High School. David Kroeze is the Superintendent. (6–8).
District 28 operates three (K-5) elementary schools, Meadowbrook Elementary School, Greenbriar Elementary School, and Westmoor Elementary School, in Northbrook. Northbrook Junior High School (6-8) is the district's junior high in Northbrook.
District 30 operates Wescott School (K-5) in Northbrook and Willowbrook School (K-5) in Glenview, both elementary schools serving Northbrook. Maple Middle School (6-8) in Northbrook is District 30's Junior High.
The portion of Northbrook served by District 31 is served by Winkelman School, an elementary school in Glenview, and Field School, a middle school in Northbrook.
Areas within CCSD 21 are served by two schools, including Walt Whitman School, an elementary school in Wheeling, and Holmes Middle School in Wheeling.
Northfield Township High School District 225 is the high school district serving Northbrook. Glenbrook North High School is located in Northbrook, serving primarily most of Northbrook served completely by the first two districts, and some of the next two. Glenbrook South High School is also in District 225, which mainly serves nearby Glenview, the part of District 31 in Northbrook and is Glenbrook North's main rival school. The western area within Wheeling Community Consolidated School District 21 is served by Township High School District 214, as part of Wheeling High School.
Northbrook Public Library is the public library of Northbrook. The library's origins stem from a reading room created by the Citizens' Club of Shermerville. A primary advocate for a library in Northbrook after World War II was Carolyn A. Landwehr, daughter-in-law of Edward Landwehr who had originally suggested the name "Northbrook" for the community. The Northbrook Public Library first opened on June 30, 1952, in space located in the village hall; the first dedicated library building was dedicated in 1954. The northern portion of the current library opened in 1969, and bonds of 1975 and 1997 expanded the current library.
Northbrook is connected to downtown Chicago by Metra's Milwaukee District/North Line, which has two stations: one at Shermer Road and another at Lake Cook Road. Pace buses also serves Northbrook.
Northbrook became sister cities with Diegem, Belgium, in 1966.
Northbrook has many parks and golf courses. These include Wood Oaks Green Park, Crestwood Park, Brees Park, Floral Park, and Greenfield Park. Golf courses in Northbrook include Sportsman's Country Club, Anetsberger Golf Course, and Techny Prairie Park and Fields. Other facilities in the town include the Northbrook Sports Center, the Northbrook Leisure Center, and Meadowhill Aquatic Center,.
The Northbrook Park District, headquartered in Northbrook, operates recreational facilities in Northbrook. The 17.25-square-mile (44.7 km2) park district, formed in June 1927, serves all of Northbrook and some unincorporated areas within Cook County. The park district lies within the townships of Northfield and Wheeling.
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