Elk Grove Village is a municipality located in northeastern Illinois adjacent to O'Hare International Airport and the City of Chicago. Elk Grove Village encompasses in land area with located in Cook County and located in DuPage County, Illinois. The population was 34,727 at the 2000 census. As the name suggests, Elk Grove Village is home to a small herd of elk kept in a grove at the eastern edge of the Busse Woods forest preserve.
Elk Grove Village is home to the largest consolidated business park in North America. Over 3,800 businesses are located in its business park adjacent to O'Hare International Airport. The community is served by several Interstate highways including I-90, I-290/I-355/Route 53 combination, and the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway.
Elk Grove Village is home to the Alexian Brother Medical Center (ABMC) hospital which was constructed in 1966. ABMC is the largest employer in the community with over 2,200 workers. Elk Grove Village is also home to a number of well known corporations including Apple Vacations, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Illinois Tool Works (ITW), ADP, CitiGroup, Symons, and Pepsi Cola Distribution. The headquarters of United Airlines were in the unincorporated area of Elk Grove Township until it moved to downtown Chicago; the Elk Grove office is still in use as United's Operations Center.
Elk Grove Village is a planned suburban community; Village leaders, in conjunction with Centex Corporation (who purchased most of the nearby farmland) thoughtfully planned the entire community during the 1950s and worked to see the plan unfold. This planned community concept included locations for major highways, commercial areas, the largest consolidated industrial park in North America, and residential subdivisions complete with parks, schools, churches, and shopping centers. The first residential Centex subdivision was located near what was then "downtown" Elk Grove, at the intersection of State (now Arlington Heights Road) and Higgins Road (IL-72) behind the Park 'n' Shop plaza and Elk Grove Bowl (now known as the Elk Grove Woods Plaza). The Elk Grove Public Library's first location was inside a home within this first subdivision. Among the first tenants in the Park 'n' Shop plaza was Jarosch Bakery, which has been family owned since its opening and continues to serve residents to this day.
The village easily doubled in size during the 1960s. By the end of the decade, most of the land between O'Hare International Airport and I-290/IL-53 was developed. As the village expanded to the south and west, new roads, schools, and parks were added to the community. Rupley Elementary was the first school to be constructed in Elk Grove Village and it was named after the president of Centex. The Grove Mall was built on the southwest corner of Arlington Heights and Biesterfield Roads to serve residents in that area. Initially, plans for Grove Mall included banks, retail stores, a post office, a theater, and other specialty stores; however, these plans were never fully realized. Land for "phase II" and "phase III" of Grove Mall were sold to Centex when Schaumburg announced the groundbreaking of the 200+ acre site for Woodfield Mall. Still, Grove Mall thrived for decades with Jewel Foods, Ace Hardware, Ben Franklin's, the Elk Grove Lounge, a pet store, a barber shop, clothing stores, and, later, Walgreens.
The 1960s also saw the opening of Elk Grove High School, part of District 214. The Robert E. Haskell Memorial Stadium is named after the first principal who ran the school until 1974 when he suddenly died of a heart attack. Since its opening, EGHS has seen continuous increases in enrollment, expansions of its facilities, and award-winning faculty. In 1996, EGHS received the Blue Ribbon for Excellence in Education. EGHS is also home to award-winning athletics and academic teams alike.
In the 1970s, the village developed land west of the expressway in Schaumburg Township along with industrial development into Addison Township. New apartment communities were also constructed in Elk Grove along Tonne Road and Ridge Avenue. These developments have since been sectioned, and some converted to condominium homes. The village saw continuous residential, commercial, and industrial growth during the 1980s. However, Lively Junior High School was no longer needed. It was shut down and remodeled to become the new Park District Recreation Center.
In the 1990s, after dedicating 29 years of service to the community as the Executive Director of the Elk Grove Park District, Jack A. Claes' last project before retirement was the design and development of a 'state of the art' community recreation center. As appreciation for Mr. Claes' award-winning years of service, the Board of Commissioners of the Elk Grove Park District dedicated the Pavilion to Claes upon its completion in 1995. Located at 1000 Wellington Avenue, the Jack A. Claes Pavilion is located in the center of the Village. Inside the facility is an indoor playground, fitness center, jungle-themed pool, banquet rooms, arts & craft center, climbing wall, racquetball and basketball courts and more. The Jack A. Claes Pavilion is a popular community center for children, and families. The old Lively Junior High was then used as a storage facility for a few years before being completely demolished in the early 2000s.
In recent years, the village has worked to redevelop and boost its image as an exceptional community. The "downtown" of Elk Grove was relocated to Biesterfield and Arlington Heights during the 1990s. The village created a governmental campus by developing the Charles J. Zettek Municipal Complex, police station, Biesterfield fire station, Elk Grove Public Library, and Park District Pavilion/administrative office/and Pirates Cove theme park in the downtown area. This work was completed at the beginning of the decade; the Elk Grove Village Public Library, the subject of many floods at its second location along the banks of Salt Creek near Morrison Boulevard and Brantwood, relocated next door to the municipal center; and finally, the outdated Grove Mall was condemned and redeveloped into the Elk Grove Town Center. The Town Center--and the renovated/expanded Classic Cinemas Elk Grove Theater (which originally opened in November of 1971 as a single-screen Jerry Lewis Cinema) --were reconstructed with red brick and connected the library, municipal complex, and shops with brick-paved walkways, fountains, bronze statues, and, a few years later, a clock tower.
The Municipal Complex is also currently undergoing a complete renovation. The Police Station was leveled and is being reconstructed in the same location. The new facility will integrate all municipal operations under one roof except for Public Works.
In the 2000s, Elk Grove beautified the residential areas of the village. This effort included the installation of "welcome" signs along major roads, painting the light poles and traffic lights along Biesterfield black, creating landscape beds and landscaped medians throughout the community, installing decorative street lamp posts, installing ornamental, framed road signs, and installing brick-paved crosswalks along high pedestrian areas of the community.
Recently, ABMC expanded to nearly double its offices and parking capacity with a towering four-story garage and six-story office center. Elk Grove is also in the process of creating a second "downtown" at Meacham and Biesterfield. A former Super K-Mart center constructed in 1992 was divided to three new stores including a Home Depot, and vacant land on Meacham Road between the new Steak-n-Shake and Wal-Mart will soon be developed into a shopping center. An older shopping center at Rohlwing and Devon Avenue was completely remodeled in an upscale facade. The center is now home to Charlie's Charhouse, Belvedere Banquets, Country Inn & Suites, and several restaurants.
In the early 1980s, the owners of Elk Grove Theater sold part of its parking lot to Burger King. In 2005, Burger King closed down, and the new theater owners, Classic Cinemas, reacquired the land. The six-screen cinema has since added two new stadium seating auditoriums with new party rooms.
In 2006, Elk Grove became one of the first towns in Illinois to enact a public smoking ban.
Leading up to the anniversary, the village also underwent a major beautification project, with the installation of old-fashioned street lamps, brick-paved crosswalks, a tall clock tower, a war veterans memorial, and renovation of nearly all of the village's parks and public facilities. The Rainbow Falls Water Park was the biggest renovation, with a complete demolition and rebuilding of the park, the addition of a new set of waterslides, and a USA Hockey Inline compliant inline hockey rink. The renovations to Rainbow Falls were paid for using taxpayer funds.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 11.1 square miles (28.7 km²), of which, 11.0 square miles (28.6 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.54%) is water.
Ancestries: German (25.6%), Polish (19.4%), Irish (17.1%), Italian (14.7%), English (6.8%), Swedish (4.6%).
There were 13,278 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.4% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.0% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.17.
In the village the population was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 31.8% from 25 to 44, 24.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $62,132, and the median income for a family was $71,834. Males had a median income of $50,141 versus $34,054 for females. The per capita income for the village was $28,515. About 1.5% of families and 2.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.4% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.