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Communities throughout the North Shore
Chicagoland is home to many wonderful communities. This includes both the metropolitan area of Chicago as well as its surrounding suburbs. Below are links to several areas in the North Shore. If you are interested in learning more about a community not listed below, please email me at EllenD@koenigstrey.com or Click Here and enter the name of the area.
Evanston is the first suburb north of Chicago along Lake Michigan, and one of Chicago's sought-after North Shore communities. With a rapidly developing skyline of its own, a densely populated downtown, vibrant commercial districts, outstanding public transportation, a world-famous university, a rich history, museums, live theater, a full calendar of fairs, festivals and cultural events, and a diverse population, Evanston is as much a city as suburb.
Glencoe residents, drawn by their village's small town atmosphere, like to think of it as "the heart of the North shore,". Both for its geographic location and its warm, inviting character. They say that their larger North Shore neighbors comprise many neighborhoods while Glencoe is only one neighborhood. Step off the train and stroll along Park Avenue and Vernon Avenue in downtown Glencoe. Everyone seems to know everyone else seated at the sidewalk cafes and benches – and if they're newcomers they're busy being introduced to longer-term residents. Local shops and restaurants are eerily reminiscent of Cheers, "where everyone knows your name."
Drivers zipping along Lake Avenue in Glenview are often startled by the sight of a herd of grazing cows. The chickens, sheep, pigs and draft horses are usually out of sight, but still a presence at Wagner Farm. It was one of the last working farms in Cook County until it became part of Glenview's extensive Park District. Some of Glenview's prominent features include The Glen, a nearly 2-square mile mixed-use planned development, Wagner Farm and The Grove, a national historic landmark, icons of Glenview's rural and agricultural heritage are now unique educational venues.
The history of The Glen, Wagner Farm and The Grove weaves together threads from Glenview's defining ethos: civic involvement, residents who care about preserving the natural environment, and care even more about education. If there's one thing that ties together Glenview's disparate parts, it's the community's focus on affording its children the very best of educational opportunities.
Highland Park began as a small farming village, grew to a bustling Lake Michigan shipping center known as Port Clinton in the 1850’s and today is considered on of the most sought-after suburbs on the North Shore. Residents can choose from a broad spectrum of civic, cultural and recreational activities. Ravinia, the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a frequent destination for aficionados of world-class jazz, pop and rock music, takes its name from the steeply sloping ravines that punctuate the landscape along Lake Michigan's shore in Highland Park.
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.
For Americans of a certain age, this upscale community 30 miles north of downtown Chicago will always be remembered as Shermer, Illinois, the fictional home of the hapless but good-hearted teens in John Hughes movies of the 1980s, most notably Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Many scenes were filmed at Glenbrook North High School and other Northbrook locations. Hughes was undoubtedly inspired by Northbrook’s original name of Shermerville, selected when the town was incorporated in 1909. Perhaps looking for something more upscale, the town held a contest to select a new name in 1923. Northbrook was chosen as the winner, a reference to the North Branch of the Chicago River which runs through the town.
From its rustic beginnings as a small farming community, Northfield has grown into a stylish suburb known for its charming homes, top schools and beautiful natural setting. Located approximately 17 miles north of Chicago’s Loop and about 3 miles west of Lake Michigan, Northfield is considered part of the elegant North Shore. Bordered on the east by the Skokie Lagoons and Forest Preserve and on the south by Erickson Woods, the Village offers easy access to acres of parks and recreational areas.
The Village of Wilmette is approximately 14 miles north of downtown Chicago. It is bordered on the south by Evanston and Skokie, on the west by Glenview, on the north by Kenilworth and Winnetka. Wilmette is the fifth most affluent North Shore suburb, trailing Kenilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe and Lake Forest. The more affluent parts of Wilmette are east of Green Bay Rd and in the Indian Hill Estates area north of Lake. West Wilmette is more affordable, lending the village a surprising level of economic diversity. Wilmette is a socially liberal, welcoming community. Educational levels are uniformly high, with nearly 40% of over-25 adults having earned a college degree, and a similar percentage having achieved a graduate degree.
Winnetka has often been called the "crown jewel" of Chicago's North Shore suburbs. Much of Winnetka's charm derives from its varied terrain, the size, variety and tastefulness of its architecture, its one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants and services, and the nearly 3 miles of shoreline, with both public and private beaches along Lake Michigan. What's most distinctive about Winnetka, however, is the richness of its civic traditions, the quality of its public and private schools, and the intensity with which its citizens maintain and enhance its character.