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Villa Park is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States, within the Chicago metropolitan area. The current population is 21,800. The Village of Villa Park is an inner western suburb of Chicago near the hub of eastern DuPage County’s busiest transportation corridor, just five miles from O’Hare International Airport and within 25 miles of Midway International Airport.
Villa Park lays 19.7 miles directly west of Chicago’s Loop (Downtown), Villa Park provides direct access to downtown Chicago by car or Metra train and is very convenient to both O’Hare and Midway Airports and the rest of the western suburbs due to its proximity to Interstate 290 (Illinois), Interstate 355, Interstate 294, Illinois Route 53, Illinois Route 83, Interstate 88 (Illinois), Illinois Route 38, and famous North Avenue (Chicago)
When Ovaltine established its factory, it needed a way to make sure that its employees could get to and from work safely regardless of the weather, terrain or other issues. Villa Park was built originally for that reason.
Following the construction of a subdivision called Villa Park in 1908 and another called Ardmore in 1910 by the real estate firm Ballard & Pottinger, Villa Park was incorporated in 1914 by uniting the two subdivisions of 300 people. The first village president, William H. Calhoun, was elected on September 12, 1914. Although the merged town was originally named after the Ardmore subdivision, the community changed its name to Villa Park in 1917. Villa Park was one of a number of suburbs directly west of downtown Chicago that flourished as a result of the electric interurban line, the Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railroad. The railroad ran from the Chicago Loop, directly west to Wheaton, Illinois, where it then split into two lines, one traveling southwest to Aurora and the other northwest to Elgin. Two small commercial areas developed, one around the Villa Avenue station and the other around the Ardmore Avenue station. In 1957, the CA&E ceased to carry passengers because of a dramatic drop in ridership from the loss of a one-seat ride by the construction of the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) and the general increase in use of personal automobiles. The right-of-way was eventually cleaned up and developed into a hiking and bicycling trail known as the Illinois Prairie Path. The Ardmore Station is now home to the Chamber of Commerce, and the Villa Avenue Station houses the Villa Park Historical Society.
Villa Park was home to the Ovaltine chocolate factory until it closed in 1988. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 as building #86003781. It has since been converted into loft apartments.
Many of the residents are of Eastern European heritage, including Polish, Czech, and Russian. There is also a significant Hispanic heritage.
A sizeable Muslim immigrant community began to gather in the area in the 1980s and 1990s and established the Islamic Foundation School in 1986.
In September 2017, Villa Park was ranked #28 in Money Magazine's Best Places to Live in America. In October of 2017, the Village was named by Money Magazine as the 8th Best Place in America to Raise a Family Now . The Daily Herald and NBC Chicago also published stories on these distinctions.
Villa Park has a manager-council government. The village manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the town. The manager position is appointed by the Village Board of Trustees. The village is governed by the Village President and six trustees, comprising the Village Board. The six trustees and the village clerk are elected on a rotating basis every two years so that not all the trustees are up for re-election at the same time. A list of elected officials currently holding office can be found on the Village's website at invillapark.com.
Advising the Village Board on various issues are numerous commissions, composed of local residents appointed to the posts.
Villa Park is located at 41°53′19″N 87°58′40″W (41.888650, -87.977884).
According to the 2010 census, Villa Park has a total area of 4.759 square miles (12.33 km2), of which 4.71 square miles (12.20 km2) (or 98.97%) is land and 0.049 square miles (0.13 km2) (or 1.03%) is water.
As of the census of 2015, there were 21,800 people, 7,737 households, and 5,748 families residing in the village. The population density was 4469 people per square mile (7206.58/km²). There were 8,199 housing units at an average density of 1060 per square mile . The racial makeup of the village was 66% (14,822) White, 5% (1,089) Asian, 6% (1,308) African American, 0% Native American, 0% Pacific Islander, 0% from other races, and 1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22% of the population (4,796). 15.9% of the population is foreign born US Census with 16% coming from Europe, 27% from Asia (Mainly Pakistan and Northern India), 1% from Africa, and 56% from Latin America.
There were 7,810 households out of which 36.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.30.
In the village, the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 32.4% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.2 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $70,176 and the median income for a family was $52,055 ^
Males had a median income of $81,429 versus $62,170 for females. The per capita income for the village was $29,538 About 2.6% of families and 9.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.8% of those under age 18 and 8% of those age 65 or over.
Villa Park has a commuter railroad station on Metra's Union Pacific/West Line with service west to Elburn, Illinois and east to downtown Chicago. The Ardmore Avenue Train Station and the Villa Avenue Train Station are also nationally registered historical places. The Ardmore Avenue Train Station is currently serving as the home for the Villa Park Chamber of Commerce, while the Villa Avenue Train Station is home to the Villa Park Historical Museum. There have been several train-pedestrian deaths in Villa Park.
Both of these former train stations lie along the Illinois Prairie Path. The Illinois Prairie Path is a regional bicycle path linking Chicago's Western Suburbs which is popular with bicyclists and pedestrians during the warmer months, and is used for cross country skiing during winter months.
MORE Brewing is an award winning craft brewery located in downtown Villa Park. The brewery opened in 2017. MORE specializes in IPAs and stouts, and won Best in Show at the Festival of Barrel Aged Beers in Chicago in November 2017. MORE has a full menu, featuring a wide array of food options, including sandwiches, burgers, pub-grub, and indian-inspired fare.
Villa Park Skate Park provides a unique skate park for skateboarders, bmx riders, rollerblading, and scooters. A Villa Park skate park committee was formed in 2007 to help fund-raise the project. The committee received multiple grants of money including one from the Tony Hawk foundation. The skate park was built January 2013 located on the property of Iowa Community center at 338 N. Iowa ave. The skate park is located closest to Addison Rd to prevent vandalism and gang activity.
Motiv8 skate shop located at 415 N. Ardmore, about a two blocks from the skate park. Motiv8 made huge donations to the new skate park as well as open up a shop. The local skate shop provides most the equipment and products for consumers who use the skate park.
Iowa Community Center located at 338 N. Iowa ave. provides mass amount of programs that range from preschool, dance lessons, swimming lessons, gymnastics, and etc. Located on the property is the skate park, a soccer field, and a community playground.
Villa Park Historical Society and Visitors Center which was formally known as Villa Avenue Train Station. Now is a small history museum as well as an information bureau for visitors of Villa Park.
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