This week, we take a dive into one of the city’s most beautiful suburbs: the Village of Riverside. We believe this town is an ideal place for families who love the outdoors!
Nestled just 2 miles outside of Chicago city limits, this beautiful village was one of the first planned communities in the United States. Chicago was crowded, smelly and muddy, creating the desire for beautiful suburban communities. This location was ideal because of its position on the railroad and the village would not have thrived without convenient transportation to the city. The land was purchased in 1868 and Frederick Law Olmsted was asked to design the layout. He spent 5 days at the site to survey the land and create a plan that would combine urban living with nature. Instead of using the grid layout common in Chicago, he decided to use circular roads that winded with the Des Plaines river. He submerged roads below grade so that they did not interrupt the view of the landscape and wrote strict building guidelines so that homes did not obstruct the view. For example, homes must be far back from the road and lawns must be well-maintained to preserve the beauty of the community. To this day, you will notice the park-like atmosphere of the village throughout.
Riverside is a National Historic Landmark District. The village is an ArbNet Accredited Arboretum, Level II. This means that the arboretum has a substantial focus on woody plants, having more than 100 species. The emphasis of Riverside’s collection is on native trees and shrubs. There is actually a virtual tree tour on the village site as well as tags to describe trees at Guthrie Park. You love woody plants, this is your place!
Riverside has almost 9,000 inhabitants with just under 3,500 households. The median household income is $86,482. 50% of the population over 25 years has a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. The unemployment rate is 2.4%. The Mean commute time is just under 30 minutes. The crime rate is well below US average.
The beauty of Riverside attracted several well-known architects. Prominent architectural designs include structures by Frank Lloyd Wright, Joseph L Silsbee, and Louis Sullivan. National Landmarks include the Avery Coonley House by Frank Lloyd Wright, the F.F. Tomek House (a prairie style home by Frank Lloyd Wright pictured above), and the Riverside Historic District designed by Olmsted & Vaux which focuses on the fusion of urban living and open park spaces.
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, the last descendant of Abraham Lincoln, was born in Riverside in 1904. Although he had a son with his second wife in 1968, he claimed that he was not the father due to a vasectomy years before. He divorced his second wife and the court ruled that he was not the father. They court ordered his wife to have a paternity test conducted, but she did not comply. Therefore, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith is probably the last descendent of Abraham Lincoln.
Claude Maddox & Frank Nitti were criminal allies of Al Capone and share a connection with Riverside. Maddox was the head of the Circus Cafe Gang, which was the only North Side organization that was allied with Capone’s Chicago Outift. He passed away from a heart attack in Riverside in 1958. Nitti had a bigger role with Capone’s Chicago Outfit, becoming the boss after Capone. He was “The Enforcer” and monitored all cash flow. When he was indicted for extorting the Hollywood film industry, he got drunk and shot himself in Riverside, passing away from his wounds in 1943. Perhaps what drew these 2 men to live in Riverside was its soothing beauty in the light of their violent lives.
Patrick Creadon was born in Riverside in 1967 and grew up to become an American (duh) film director. He specializes in independent documentary films. His accomplishments include the 2006 Golden Tomato Award for Best Documentary for Wordplay, the 2014 Bright Future Award from Film Independent Spirit Awards for If You Build It, and he was nominated for a 2017 Primetime Emmy for Best Documentary for 30 for 30: Catholics vs. Convicts.
On the MLS today, there are 21 single family homes for sale between $100,000 and $500,000. The cheapest home starts just under $200,000, with the first inhabitable home starting at $260,000. The most expensive homes on the market are just under $850,000.
Ready to move to this beautiful village? Give us a call to discuss your dream home. 630.984.4701.