The Village of Oak Park, a community of about 54,000 people, located about 10 miles from downtown Chicago. The village has a proud history of actively pursuing racial integration and diversity over the last 30 years. It is an older suburb, famous for its architecture, its former residents (Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemingway, to name two), and, not surprisingly, its parks, large and small, which are scattered throughout the village.
The median age of the population is 34 and the median price of a home is $165,000. Slightly more than half of the housing stock is comprised of single-family homes, most of which are over 50 years old.
The village's highly regarded public education system includes eight elementary schools, two public junior high schools, and a high school . Village residents are also offered the choice of several private kindergartens and grade schools both in Oak Park and in neighboring communities. The schools, the Park District, and private organizations sponsor a variety of athletic and cultural activities for both children and adults. The Park District also operates two outdoor swimming pools and an indoor skating rink.
The village calendar (see Oak Park Tourist) is filled with events throughout the year; some highlights include the weekly Farmer's Market which runs from late spring until early fall and draws farmers from around the area; the Shakespeare in the Park festival, which runs each summer; the annual Art in the Park festival; a full schedule of concerts by the Oak Park-River Forest Symphony, and the annual housewalk sponsored by the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation. A major expressway, two rapid transit lines, and a commuter rail service traverse the village, connecting it with downtown Chicago to the east (a 10-minute trip when it isn't rush hour) and with the suburbs that spread out to the west. The merits of living near Chicago don't need to be detailed here. The city provides a wealth of cultural opportunities-museums, a variety of musical and theatrical offerings, professional and collegiate sports teams, and the colors, sounds, and cuisines of its many ethnic neighborhoods. Oak Park is also only a short car or train ride away from major universities, including the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, DePaul University, Loyola University, and Northwestern University. Perhaps more significantly, Oak Park is also only a short distance from the Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.