- Riverside, Illinois
muni-name = Riverside
muni = Village
date = 1875
state = Illinois
county = Cook
township = Riverside
Board of Trustees and Village President
head_label = President
gov_head = Harold J. Wiaduck, Jr.
pop = 8,895
density-km = 1.743.3
density-mi = 4,509.1
status = up
percent = 2.46
prevyear = 1990
white = 95.38
black = 0.26
hispanic = 5.50
asian = 1.60
islander = 0.01
native = 0.08
other = 2.7
zips = 60546
acode = 708
area-km = 5.1
area-mi = 2.0
pci = 34,712
geocode = 54820
mhi = 64,931
mnhv = 521,586
mhv = 510,094 (2000)
website = www.riverside.il.us
Riverside is an affluent suburban village in Cook County,
Illinois, a significant portion of which is included in Riverside Landscape Architecture District. The population was 8,895 at the 2000 census. It is a suburbof Chicago, located roughly 9 miles west of downtown Chicago and 2 miles outside city limits.
Infobox_nrhp | name =Riverside Landscape Architecture District
location= Bounded by 26th St., Harlem and Ogden Aves., the Des Plaines River, and Forbes Rd.,
Frederick Law Olmsted; Calvert Vaux
September 15 1969
governing_body = Local
refnum=69000055 cite web|url=http://www.nr.nps.gov/|title=National Register Information System|date=2006-03-15|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]
Riverside is arguably one of the first planned communities in the United States, designed in 1869 by
Frederick Law Olmsted. The village was incorporated in 1875. The Riverside Landscape Architecture District, an area bounded by 26th St., Harlem and Ogden Aves., the Des Plaines River, and Forbes Rd., was designated a National Historic Landmarkin 1970.
In 1863 the
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroadwas built heading southwest from downtown Chicago to Quincy, Illinois, passing through what is now the Near West Suburban area of Chicago in a western-southwestern direction. This new access to transportation and commerce brought about a significant housing and construction boom in what was once farmland far from the bustle of the city of Chicago.
In 1868, an eastern businessman named Emery E. Childs brought together a group of associates to form the Riverside Improvement Company with the intent of purchasing and investing in land in the form of residential development. They turned to the economically booming Chicago area where they purchased a convert|1600|acre|km2|sing=on tract of property along the
Des Plaines Riverand the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad line. The site was highly desirable due to its natural oak-hickory forest and its mere 11 mile distance from the Chicago Loop. Further, its position along the winding Des Plaines River cooled the area, and due to good drainage, the land was mosquito free.
The Riverside Improvement Company commissioned well-known landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and his partner,
Calvert Vaux, to design a "rural" bedroom community. Olmsted and Vaux had already received widespread acclaim and fame for their design of New York City's Central Park. The Improvement Company wanted Riverside to combine the pleasures of suburban living with urban conveniences such as community-provided gas, water services, and maintained streets. Olmsted and Vaux went one step further in that regard. Instead of planning the community's streets in a grid fashion as Chicago and most of its suburbs at the time were, they planned the streets to follow the area's natural contours. Streets follow the Des Plaines River, and continue from there to wind all through the Village. The town's plan, which was completed in 1869, also accorded for a Grand Park system that uses several large parks as a foundation, with 41 smaller triangular parks and plazas located at intersections throughout town to provide for additional green spaces.
Olmsted's reputation, plus the lovely curvilinear streets, open spaces, and attractive village center they designed for Riverside, attracted Chicago's elite. By the fall of 1871 a number of large, expensive houses were occupied or under construction and an elegant hotel had opened. Unfortunately for the developers, the
Great Chicago Fireof 1871 drained away both construction crews and capital from the village. The financial Panic of 1873compounded the company's troubles and it went bankrupt.
The demise of the improvement company brought new construction nearly to a halt for some time. A village government was established in September 1875 and Olmsted's original development plan remained in force. In 1893 several wealthy local residents formed an association and opened the Riverside Golf Club, one of the oldest golf clubs in the Chicago area.
Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, William Le Baron Jenney, and several other prominent local architects drew the plans for houses that still stand in the village. A striking Chateauesque Village Hall was built in 1895, and in 1901 the Burlington line constructed a charming brick railroad station.
A major period of residential development came in the 1920s and late 1930s, when many modest houses were constructed on smaller parcels. The population grew to 7,935 by 1940 and comprised primarily small proprietors, managers, and professionals who were predominantly of Anglo-American and German American background. The remaining residential areas were developed during the post–World War II boom and by 1960 no space was left. Population peaked at 10,357 in 1970 and dropped below 8,500 by the mid-1990s.
Riverside, much like Chicago, has become an architectural museum. Architects flocked to build their masterpieces in Chicago after the Great Fire, and they did the same in Riverside.
Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, William Le Baron Jenney, and E.E. Roberts all left their mark on the village, which is recognized by the village's National Historic Landmark designation. The village housing stock varies from well-maintained 1920s bungalows and huge Victorian and early-twentieth-century mansions that attract architectural tours. The charming village center houses several reasonable restaurants as well as coffee shops, and hosts stores selling antiques and Victorian house fixtures, reflective of the village's older affluent population. Riverside is among the most acclaimed architectural treasures of suburban Chicago, along with Oak Park and Evanston, among others.
Over the past 130 years since incorporation, Riverside has matured into a beautiful, vibrant "Village in the Forest". Many of the original elements of Olmsted’s plan, including expansive green parkways, gas-lit street lanterns, and curvilinear streets, are still intact, and as a result, the Village has enjoyed a National Historic Landmark designation since 1968.
Riverside government has also developed over the years. In 1925, the Village created the Village Manager position in an attempt to reduce Village expenses and to address political corruption of professional staff. The meetings leading up to the creation of the position were rather contentious, resulting in the dismissal of the Village Attorney, the Village Superintendent, and the Village Engineer and the firing of the official Village Paper. At the October 26, 1925 Board of Trustees Meeting, an ordinance, creating the position of Village Manager at a salary of $5,000 per year, passed by a four-to-two margin. Mr. John J. O’Brien, raised in Chicago with a strong background in plumbing and contracting, was hired as Riverside’s first Village Manager. A local newspaper of the time commented on his appointment, stating: "John J. O’Brien of Berwyn, who pulled our waterworks out of the hole and set in motion the changes in business management that have resulted in our present efficient handling of city affairs, was appointed to the position. With a wealth of experience gained in battling for improvements and ways to bring them about in Berwyn, Mr. O’Brien is peculiarly fitted to help Riverside in its municipal problems of whatsoever nature."
O’Brien’s service as Village Manager, from 1925-1934, was followed by George L. Opper, an engineer whose expertise served Riverside well in the implementation of several WSA projects from 1934-1957, and Allen Sandberg from 1957-1962. After that time, Riverside Village Managers, including John G. Cartwright (1962-1968), C. Harold Eash (1968-1976), and Chester Kenzior (1976-1998), were professionally schooled in public administration and had prior municipal management experience prior to serving Riverside. The current Village Manager, Kathleen Rush, holds a Masters of Public Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Northern Illinois University and has prior municipal management experience with the Village of Woodridge and City of DeKalb.
Today, Riverside benefits from a professional government, whereby, the Village President and Board of Trustees are chosen by residents to pass laws, ordinances, and resolutions that govern conduct in the community, establish the annual budget, and appoint a Village Manager to direct and oversee the administrative functions of the municipal government. It is by the responsible service of past and current elected and appointed officials that Riverside can mark its 130th Anniversary of incorporation with pride and can look forward to 130 more years of community excellence. For further information on the history of the Village of Riverside, please contact the Riverside Historical Commission at 708-447-2542
Riverside is located at coor dms|41|49|51|N|87|48|58|W|city (41.830881, -87.815981)GR|1.
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km²), of which, 2.0 square miles (5.1 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (1.00%) is water. Bordering suburbs include North Riverside, Berwyn, Stickney, Brookfieldand Lyons. The Des Plaines Riverruns through the village.
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 8,895 people, 3,552 households, and 2,436 families residing in the village. The population densitywas 4,509.1 people per square mile (1,743.3/km²). There were 3,668 housing units at an average density of 1,859.4/sq mi (718.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 95.38% White, 0.26% African American, 0.08% Native American, 1.60% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.57% from other races, and 1.10% from two or more races. Hispanicor Latinoof any race were 5.50% of the population.
The top five ancestries reported in Riverside as of the 2000 census were Irish (20.8%), Polish (18.4%), German (17.7%), Italian (13.8%) and Czech (8.0%). [PDFlink| [http://censtats.census.gov/data/IL/1601764421.pdf Profile of General Demographic Characteristics, Riverside, Illinois] |38.9 KiB . U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed
There were 3,552 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.4% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the village the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 26.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $64,931, and the median income for a family was $80,146. Males had a median income of $56,808 versus $36,349 for females. The
per capita incomefor the village was $34,712. About 1.8% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.2% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.
Riverside is served by District 96 for public schools.District 96 has 4 elementary schools, and one
junior high school. High school District 208 serves Riverside high school students.
The elementary schools are:
* Central Elementary School located at 61 Woodside Rd
* Ames School located at 86 Southcote Rd
* Blythe Park School located at 735 Leesley Rd
* Hollywood School (in Brookfield) located at 3423 Hollywood Avenue
The middle school is:
* Hauser Junior High located at 65 Woodside Rd.
The high school is:
Riverside Brookfield High Schoolmore commonly known as RB, and is located at 160 Ridgewood Rd.
The private schools are:
*Riverside Presbyterian Pre-School
*St. Paul's Presbyterian Pre-School
*Building Blocks Pre-School
*St. Mary Catholic Elementary School
* [http://www.singingwinds.com Singing Winds School] located at 82 Woodside Road
Riverside is in
Illinois' 3rd congressional district.
Frank Nitti, Al Capone's most trusted henchmen and later his successor, lived in Riverside.
* Parts of the movie
The Lake House (film)were filmed in Riverside.
Judy Baar TopinkaFormer Illinoisstate treasurer was born and raised in Riverside, she still lives there today.
Garden city movement
Garden real estate
*Riverside Historic District
* [http://www.riverside.il.us/ Riverside, Illinois Local Government - Home Page]
* [http://www.riverside-illinois.com Riverside, Illinois - Community Web Site]
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