Downers Grove, Illinois

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Downers Grove, Illinois

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Founded 1832
County DuPage
Population 48,724
Mayor Brian J. Krajewski
Government Type Council-Manager (http://www.downers.us/govt/council/)
Per Capita Income $31,580
Median House Value $205,900 (2000)
Total Area 36.9 km²
Assessed Property Tax Rate 5.2049%
Web site Official Website (http://www.vil.downers-grove.il.us)


Downers Grove is a suburb located 19 miles west of Chicago in DuPage County, Illinois. As of the 2000 census, the village had a total population of 48,724. A 2003 population estimate for Downers Grove saw the population rise slightly to 48,869.

Contents

History

Downers Grove was founded in 1832 by Pierce Downer, a settler from New York. The town was incorporated in March 1873. Downers Grove's original settlers were primarily from the Northeastern states and Northern Europe. Today Downers Grove's population includes an array of backgrounds, including large Filipino and Indian populations.

In April, 1947, a Burlington Railroad Zephyr passenger train wrecked, killing 2, including the engineer. Part of the train crashed through a wall of Main Street Station.

A farming community for much of its existence, Downers Grove has become a bustling suburb with many diverse businesses, including the headquarters for FTD (http://www.ftd.com/home2/), Lovejoy (http://www.lovejoy-inc.com),ServiceMaster (http://www.servicemaster.com/homepage.dsp), Swift-Eckrich (http://www.eckrichbrand.com/), Arrow Gear (http://www.arrowgear.com/), Magnetrol (http://www.magnetrol.com/us/), Spiegel (http://www.spiegel.com/home.asp) and Butterball (http://www.butterball.com/en/index.jsp).

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Lyman Home, constructed in 1839

Downers Grove offers a unique collection of homes that range from well over 100 years of age (primarily around the downtown area of the community) to homes of each generation until today. Although the last large scale housing developments ended in the 1980s, Downers Grove has witnessed one of the highest teardown rates in DuPage County, which has been the source of much controversy within the village.

The main line of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) (also served by Metra commuter rail), and Interstate Highways 355, 88 and 55 all pass through the community. Downers Grove is served by the Pace Bus Service (http://www.pacebus.com/) as a system of suburban public transportation. Downers Grove is also the home of Midwestern University.

Other Notable Facts

Downers Grove is the home to Downers Grove Golf Course, founded in 1892 by Charles Blair Macdonald and the oldest golf course west of the Allegheny Mountains. Downers Grove also prides itself on having one of the largest collections of Sears-Roebuck Catalog Homes which were erected between 1908 and 1940.

Downers Grove is the home of the Tivoli Theater, which opened in 1928 as only the second designed and built for sound motion pictures and which contains an original Wurlitzer organ played regularly.

In 1928, the powerful transmitter and three tower array for radio station WCFL (1000 AM) was relocated from Navy Pier in Chicago to Downers Grove. Originally named for its owner, the Chicago Federation of Labor, and known as the "Voice of Labor," the station became WLUP-AM in 1987, and in 1990 became WMVP-AM. The 1930s era transmitter building still displays the distinctive WCFL lettering.

Famous Downers Grovers

  • Sean Bennett, pianist
  • Nancy Johnson, 2002 Olympic Gold Medalist in the 10-meter Air Rifle competition

Education

Downers Grove is home to 12 public elementary schools, 3 public middle schools and 2 public high schools. 11 of the elementary schools and 2 of the middle schools are part of Downers Grove Grade School District 58 (http://www.dg58.dupage.k12.il.us/). The other elementary school and junior high are part of Center Cass School District 66 (http://www.ccsd66.org/), which includes the extreme southern part of Downers Grove, as well as parts of Darien and Woodridge. The two high schools in Downers Grove, North High and South High, are part of Community High School District 99 (http://www.csd99.org). The high schools not only serve the entire community of Downers Grove but also the entire village of Woodridge and parts of Westmont, Darien Lisle, Bolingbrook, Oak Brook and parts of unincorporated Downers Grove and Lisle Townships. Both high schools perform very well academically, with Downers Grove South posting an average ACT score of 21.7 in 2004 and Downers Grove North averaging at 22.0.

According to the 2000 United States Census, Downers Grove has one of the most educated citizenry of any community in the state of Illinois, with 46.4% of individuals over the age of 25 holding bachelor's degrees. In DuPage County Oak Brook, Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills, Naperville, Lisle, Wayne, Wheaton and Glen Ellyn have higher numbers.

Geography

Downers Grove is located at 41°47'27" North, 88°0'53" West (41.790730, -88.014855)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 36.9 km² (14.3 mi²). 36.9 km² (14.2 mi²) of it is land and 0.07% is water. Only the DuPage County communities of Bartlett, Aurora, Naperville and Bolingbrook have larger land areas.

Downers Grove borders the communities of Oak Brook, Westmont, Darien, Woodridge and Lisle.

Religion

Downers Grove is a community where people of many different faiths and creeds reside. The community is the home to many different houses of worship, all representing the Christian and Baha'i faiths. Further Christian traditions represented include the Assemblies of God, various Baptist traditions, Bible Churches, Churches of Christ, Christian Science, Disciples of Christ, Reformed Church in America, Jehovah's Witnesses, United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church, Friends, Full Gospel church, Lutherans of various synods, United Methodists, Roman Catholics, Orthodox Church in America, United Pentecostals, Presbyterians (both Presbyterian Church USA and Presbyterian Church in America), Unity Church and Seventh-day Adventists. Hindu, Buddhist, Unitarian Universalist, Jewish (Reformed and Reconstructionist) and Muslim houses of worship are found in nearby communities that offer a short commute from Downers Grove.

Demographics

As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 48,724 people, 18,979 households, and 13,019 families residing in the village. The population density is 1,320.2/km² (3,420.2/mi²). There are 19,477 housing units at an average density of 527.7/km² (1,367.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the village is 90.15% White, 1.92% African American, 0.11% Native American, 5.71% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.00% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. 3.59% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 18,979 households out of which 32.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% are married couples living together, 7.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% are non-families. 27.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.53 and the average family size is 3.13.

In the village the population is spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there are 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 87.7 males.

The median income for a household in the village is $65,539, and the median income for a family is $80,604. Males have a median income of $56,422 versus $36,938 for females. The per capita income for the village is $31,580. 2.3% of the population and 1.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 1.6% of those under the age of 18 and 4.4% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

External links

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