) is a village in Cook County
, United States
. The population was 15,688 at the 2000 census. The Forest Park
train stop on the CTA Blue Line
is the line's western terminus, located on the Eisenhower Expressway
at Des Plaines Avenue.
Forest Park is located at (41.873031, -87.811155).
As of the census
of 2000, there were 15,688 people, 7,632 households, and 3,480 families residing in the village. The population density
was 6,480.8 people per square mile (2,503.0/km²). There were 7,981 housing units at an average density of 3,297.0/sq mi (1,273.3/km²). The racial makeup
of the village was 56.14% White
, 31.18% African American
, 0.15% Native American
, 6.83% Asian
, 0.07% Pacific Islander
, 2.80% from other races, and 2.82% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 7.84% of the population, including 5.6% Mexican
The top five non-African American, non-Hispanic ethnicities reported in Forest Park as of the 2000 census were German (15.9%), Irish (14.6%), Italian (8.1%), English (5.9%) and Polish (5.3%).
There were 7,632 households out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.9% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 54.4% were non-families. 45.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.03 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the village the population was spread out with 19.8% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 39.8% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $44,103, and the median income for a family was $52,611. Males had a median income of $39,402 versus $32,255 for females. The per capita income for the village was $26,045. About 6.3% of families and 7.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.5% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
Forest Park is divided between three congressional districts. The area east of the Des Plaines River
and south of Harrison Street is in Illinois' 3rd congressional district
, except for the area northeast of Elgin Avenue and 13th Street; the area north of the Eisenhower Expressway and east of Van Buren Street is in the 7th district
; the area in between (primarily consisting of Concordia and Forest Home cemeteries and a city park) is part of the 4th district
The Park District of Forest Park, located near the center of the village, has a 15-acre
park, with an aquatic center. Shopping is mostly located on Madison Street
. Previously known for many taverns, it now also features antique merchants, boutiques, and eating establishments.
Every summer, in the last few days of July and first few of August, Forest Park's Park District plays host to the Forest Park No Glove National Invitational Softball Tournament. This is an invitational to all the best 16-inch softball teams in Chicagoland (and sometimes from other regions). The game is slow-pitch softball played without gloves, a favorite in Chicagoland.
Every autumn the town hosts an Oktoberfest.
The city has several industries, but two of the prominent ones are Mohr Oil and Ferrara Pan Candy Co. The candy factory can be seen and smelled from the Harlem Blue Line stop. Mohr Oil can only be seen from there.
The main street Madison has a bustling downtown with many diverse restaurants and bars. Recently it was voted by the readers of the Chicago Tribune as the "Best Neighborhood Dining" in Chicagoland. Some the restaurants include Cafe DeLuca, Louie's Grill and Jimmy's Place. Nightlife can be fun in Forest Park with some thirty three (33) bars. The largest of which is Doc Ryans, Healy's Westside and Slainte.
The town is served by a weekly newspaper, the Forest Park Review, coming out every Wednesday. It is printed by Wednesday Journal, Inc.
An independent discussion board, Forest Park Forums, serves as a water cooler for residents to gather, discuss issues of general interest, politics, youth activities, education and local services.
For much of its history, Forest Park was known as a "city of cemeteries
," with more dead "residents" than living ones; some figures estimate the ratio at 30:1, dead to alive. Forest Park cemeteries include: Altenheim
, German Waldheim
(now merged into Forest Home), Jewish Waldheim
(including Showmen's Rest
), and Concordia
. Forest Home cemetery is home to the famous Haymarket Riot
Forest Park was also once host to the Forest Park Amusement Park, a small but popular amusement park at the end of the train lines. Prohibition, however, hurt it enough to force it to close. Its former location is now around the Desplaines Avenue Blue Line stop (Forest Park).
Women's professional baseball/softball has roots in Forest Park. Emery Parichy's Bloomer Girls.
The community (formerly part of a larger town called Harlem) officially took the name Forest Park on August 12 1907. In 2007, the town held a summer-long centennial celebration. Forest Park has also held two other centennial celebrations, one in 1956 for when the first settlers came and one in 1984 for when the town of Harlem was created.
Forest Park Public Library
The current Library building opened on October 8, 1995. It covers over two levels and is completely accessible in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
. It is spacious and comfortable, with more seating and study areas, along with a meeting room, a youth activity room and computer room. The total cost of the building was projected to be $3,295,000, including construction, site improvements, furnishings, computer and security systems, professional and financing costs and contingencies. The funding comes from the Imber Fund, now grown to $900,000, a State of Illinois Construction Grant of $250,000, General Obligation Bonds for $2.9 million and interest income.
- KJ (singer and actor) was born and raised in Forest Park, attending both Grant White school and Forest Park Middle School.
- Stephen Euin Cobb (author, futurist and host of the award-winning podcast The Future and You) attended Grant White and Field Stevenson grade schools as well as Forest Park Middle School; graduated from Proviso East High School in the class of 1974; flew model rockets at Miller's Meadow; had summer passes to the Forest Park Public Pool in the 1960s and '70s; marched in the Oktoberfest Parade as a Cub Scout.
- Darius Brooks, a Grammy-winning gospel singer, recently opened a record label, Journey Music Group, in the town on Madison Street.
- William Jefferson Blythe, Jr., biological father of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, briefly resided in Forest Park with his wife, Clinton's mother Virginia Blythe (née Cassidy), shortly before his death.
- Kathy Griffin, a noted comedian, with the Bravo TV show "My Life on the D-List," has grown up in Forest Park, Illinois.
Aaron Atwood, future author and multi-millionaire, was raised in Forest Park, and went through the Forest Park Public School system