The tradition-rich Village of Kenilworth is the newest, smallest (in both land area and population) and most affluent of Chicago's North Shore suburbs. Just shy of 2,400 residents, with a median household income well above $200,000, inhabit Kenilworth's six-tenths of a square mile.
Kenilworth was undeveloped farmland bounded by Wilmette and Winnetka when Joseph Sears set out in the late 1880s to carve a vision of the English countryside from pastures, wetlands and woods on the shore of Lake Michigan.
With flags flying from antique lampposts on the 4th of July, bingo nights, bowling league, scout troops, and a modest number of smaller homes, Kenilworth is very much a friendly, welcoming small town that belies its reputation as an exclusive bastion of wealth.
City services, park district
Village government provides a limited range of basic services, but residents have access to surprising amenities and extras.
The Park District maintains a public beach, a small park and playing fields just north of the train station, and a Village House available for rent for parties and other events.
Membership in the Prairie-style Kenilworth Club, in the heart of the village, is available for a modest annual fee.
The Kenilworth Police Department will keep a special watch on your home if you plan to be away for more than 24 hours, keep a copy of your house key on file in case you're locked out, check in on senior citizens on an alert program, do a security review of your home, an allow you no-fee access to the department shooting range if you qualify – and promptly drive home any child who's ventured out after curfew.
No two homes in Kenilworth are identical.
East of Green Bay Road the homes are set on large lots. Many of the homes were designed by noted architects, including nearly 40 by Kenilworth resident George W. Maher. Architectural styles include homes influenced by the Tudor revival movement, the English Arts and Crafts movement, and the Prairie School. Homes typically range in price from $1 million to $5 million, although a number of homes are in excess of that range.
West of Green Bay many of the homes are newer, on smaller lots, and more modest in size. A number of homes have been available recently in the $500,000 to $1 million range.
Metra's Union Pacific North Line makes a single stop in Kenilworth, at a limestone and timber station that appears unchanged from the day it was built more than 100 years ago. Trains take just over minutes to reach downtown Chicago.
The train station is within walking distance of the entire village.
The Edens Expressway is approximately 2 miles west of Kenilworth.
Shopping, dining, nightlife
Kenilworth is almost entirely a residential community.
Major upscale malls, including Old Orchard, and Northbrook Court, are a few minutes drive, and the Spanish-style Plaza del Lago borders Kenilworth. Neighboring Winnetka has many locally-owned shops and restaurants.
Except for their freshman year at New Trier High School's Northfield campus, Kenilworth students can walk to the Joseph Sears School and New Trier's Winnetka campus from any point in the village. Sears and New Trier have long ranked among the very best schools in the nation.
The junior kindergarten through 8th grade program at Sears generally has about 60 students per grade. The school has a number of unique traditions that are the fabric of legends among its graduates.
Neighboring Winnetka and Wilmette have a number of private school options available.