is a village located in both Kane
and McHenry County, Illinois
. A 2007 special census
placed the Village's population at 30,548, growing considerably from the 2000 Census
figure of 23,276.
The village is known as "The Gem of the Fox River Valley", since its downtown is nestled in the heart of Illinois' Fox River Valley. Established in 1890 and long known as a small river community, the village is currently making the transition into a major regional hub, as it has experienced considerable suburban growth over the past 15 years. Now stretching all the way west to the busy Randall Road corridor, Algonquin has become a major center of retail activity and a growing business center. Additionally, the village continues to see considerable residential growth. In wake of the growth, the village has had to deal with challenges such as traffic congestion and overburdened schools. In spite of this, the Village has managed to grow its commercial tax base, preserve its character and history, and substantially increase its recreational offerings.
Algonquin is located at (42.162741, -88.302571).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 10.0 square miles (25.9 km²), of which, 9.8 square miles (25.5 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (1.60%) is water.
The majority of Algonquin is located in McHenry County, with some overhang into neighboring Kane County.
As of the census
of 2004, there were 27,900 people, 8,300 households, and 7,100 families residing in the village. The population density
was 2,367.4 people per square mile (914.2/km²). There were 7,952 housing units at an average density of 808.8/sq mi (312.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 94.26% White
, 0.92% African American
, 0.10% Native American
, 2.35% Asian
, 0.01% Pacific Islander
, 1.20% from other races
, and 1.16% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 4.07% of the population. Within the last decade, the Polish Community has doubled.
There were 8,000 households out of which 50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 74.7% were married couples living together, 5.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.8% were non-families. 14.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.02 and the average family size was 3.38.
In the village the population was spread out with 32.8% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 36.8% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 5.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.2 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $79,730, and the median income for a family was $84,437. Males had a median income of $60,473 versus $36,624 for females. The per capita income for the village was $29,820. About 1.0% of families and 1.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.5% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.
Long before Europeans
settled in Algonquin, the Potawatomi Native Americans
originally inhabited the land. But by 1834, the first settler of Algonquin, Samuel Gillilan, came to the area from Virginia
. Settlers Dr. Cornish, Dr. Plumleigh, Eli Henderson, Alex Dawson, and William Jackson arrived shortly thereafter. There was some dispute regarding the original name of Algonquin, and numerous other names were suggested including Denny's Ferry, Cornish Ferry, Cornishville, and Osceola. But Samuel Edwards suggested the name Algonquin and on December 23
, the name Algonquin became official.
The first signs of economic growth occurred in 1855 when the town saw the construction of the railroad, which enabled farmers in the neighboring area to have other means of getting their products to the markets in Chicago. Finally on February 25, 1890 the Village of Algonquin was officially formed.
The original Village Hall of Algonquin was erected on January 31, 1907 at 2 S. Main Street. and is still standing today, where it currently functions as a historical landmark and community gathering place. It served as the Village Hall of Algonquin until a new Village Hall was built at 2200 Harnish Drive in 1996.
From the years of 1906 to 1913, the automobile companies began to go to the Algonquin Hill Climbs, which was an event where if an automobile was able to make it up a series of steep hills in the Village, it would be given the stamp of approval. And because of that, the Algonquin Cup was formed which received national recognition at the time. The two hills used in the race were the Phillips Hill which extends from Illinois Route 31 to the cemetery and Perry Hill, located south of downtown, and which is currently Lundstrom Lane. The village created a new hill for the race called Huntington Hill, which is currently Huntington Drive. A park now stands in place of the finish line of Huntington Hill at the intersection of Huntington Drive and Circle Drive which is called Hill Climb Park. The festival in recognition of the event continues to be held each year.
For much of the 20th Century, Algonquin was a quasi-resort town and several people from the Chicago area would visit the town in order to escape urban life. The Fox River offered immense recreational opportunities and several summer homes were constructed. Soon, more people began living in Algonquin year-round. Algonquin remained a small town for much of the 20th Century, growing steadily, until the 1980s, when the Village's population exploded with new residential construction. The development continued in earnest in the 1990s and 2000s. The village's first shopping center, Algonquin Town Center, was constructed in the late 1980s on East Algonquin Road and numerous die & mold industries were established west of downtown. In the 1990s, development shifted to Randall Road, which saw the construction of numerous retailers, restaurants, and services, beginning in 1993. In 2004, the 80-store Algonquin Commons outdoor mall (the largest outdoor mall in Illinois) opened for business, followed by the Algonquin Galleria outdoor mall, which is currently under development and saw its first stores open in 2006. In the mid 2000s, development also began on the Algonquin Corporate Campus, which is slated to include industrial and office development spread over 1,000 acres on the southwest side of the Village, bringing hundreds of high-paying jobs to the area.
The Village of Algonquin includes dozens of distinct neighborhoods, most of which are subdivisions.
The Village's oldest neighborhood is the Old Town District. The Old Town District, a neighborhood established by the Village, includes all those areas that were in the Village when the Village was first incorporated. Major streets in this area include Illinois Route 31
(Main Street), Illinois Route 62
(Algonquin Road), and Harrison Street. Included in this area are old Victorian homes
, small shops, fine restaurants, churches and religious schools, and three of the village's most picturesque parks: Riverfront Park, Cornish Park, and Towne Park. The symobolic Historic Algonquin Village Hall
serves as the centerpiece of this area. The Fox River
and the McHenry County Prairie Path both run through the heart of this area, providing for immense recreational opportunities. Currently under development in this area are the Riverside Square and Main Street Commons luxury condominium developments, which will add to the character of the village.
Located north of the Old Town District along Harrison Street are the Algonquin Hills and Algonquin Shores neighborhoods, which consist of older homes mostly built before World War II, many of them within proximity to the Fox River. Pioneer Park is located in this area. Located on the west side of Route 31 is the Arrowhead subdivision.
Located on the Village's east side, south of Algonquin Road, east of the Fox River, and west of Sandbloom Road is Rattray's Village Green and other subdivisions, consisting mostly of ranch homes built after World War II. Also embedded in this area, at the northwest corner of Sandbloom Road and Souwanas Trail, is the Alta Vista neighborhood. Located in the heart of this area are Eastview Elementary School, Algonquin Middle School, Snapper Field, Lions-Armstrong Memorial Pool, and the Algonquin Library - Eastgate Branch.
Two fairly newer neighborhoods, located along Sandbloom Road, south of Algonquin Road, are Riverwood and Algonquin Lakes. Riverwood was built in the 1980s and 1990s, while Algonquin Lakes was built in the early 2000s. Both include single-family homes and townhomes. Located within Algonquin Lakes is Algonquin Lakes Elementary, Algonquin Lakes Park, and a series of trails and lakes. This neighborhood abuts Jewel-Osco and Walgreens. Glenloch, an age 55+ age-restricted community consisting of single-family and multi-family homes, is pending development, just east of Algonquin Lakes along the south side of Algonquin Road.
On the east side, north of Algonquin Road, are a series of single family home subdivisions with pockets of multi-family homes embedded within. These subdivisions, built mostly in the 1980s and 1990s include Copper Oaks, Cinnamon Creek, Glen Oaks, Glenmoor, Spring Creek, and Old Oak Terrace. Holder Park and Yellowstone Park are both found in this area. These neighborhoods back up to Algonquin Town Center and other retail developments along East Algonquin Road. Located north of this area, along Highland Avenue, is the expansive Presidential Park and the Prairie Path subdivision, which is pending construction.
Located west of the Old Town District are a series of ranch and two-story homes in multiple subdivisions along Huntington Drive. This area is commonly referred to as Highland Glen. Homes in this region were built mostly in the 1970s and 1980s. Hill Climb Park has become the centerpiece of this area, named after the famous auto races of the early 1900s which took place on the Huntington Drive hill. Neubert Elementary School is also located in this area, where Huntington Drive branches off into two streets, Huntington Drive North and Harnish.
South of this area is Gaslight Terrace West and Gaslight Terrace North. These include larger, pricier homes on big lots. Gaslight Park and Braewood Park serve these neighborhoods.
West of Hanson Road, south of Algonquin Road, east of Randall Road, and north of County Line Roads are a variety of neighborhoods, mostly built in the late 1980s and the 1990s. These include Fieldcrest Farms, High Hill Farms, Dawson Mill, Falcon Ridge, Arbor Hills, and Tunbridge. The Algonquin Village Hall and Police Department are located in the heart of this area. High Hill Park and Tunbridge Park serve neighborhood residents. Important streets in this area include Huntington Drive, Harnish Drive, and Stonegate Drive. The Golf Club of Illinois abuts this area, as do several retail developments along Randall Road.
Located south of County Line Road, along Sleepy Hollow Road and Longmeadow Parkway, and east of Randall Road is the expansive Willoughby Farms neighborhood, built in a variety of phases throughout the 1990s. Westfield Community School and Willoughby Farms Park serve the area. Also in this area is the Brittany Hills subidivision and the under-construction Creek's Crossing and Aspen Village neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are adjacent to the Algonquin Galleria.
Far west side
West of Randall Road are a variety of townhome developments that serve as a transition between the retail centers along Randall Road and the estate-style developments further west. These developments include Canterbury Place, Millbrook, Creekside, and Winding Creek. Abutting the Ted Spella Park is the age-restricted community, Grand Reserve. These neighborhoods are all located along the picturesque Woods Creek corridor. Also in this area is the main Algonquin Library and Harry D. Jacobs High School
Further west of Woods Creek, and stretching west to Square Barn Road, are pricier homes on larger lots, in the Terrace Hill, Terrace Lakes, Prestwicke, Fairway View Estates, Woods Creek Valley Estates, and The Coves developments. These neighborhoods are adjacent to the private Terrace Hill Golf Course, Ted Spella Park, and James B. Wood Park. Homes in this area were built from the late 1980s up until today. Construction of this area is exepected to be complete by the end of the 2000s. Many of the homes in this area are custom or semi-custom.
West of Square Barn Road is the Manchester Lakes subdivision, a pricey single-family and multi-family home development built over several phases in the 2000s. This neighborhood is adjacent to the Square Barn Commons retail center and Kelliher Park. A variety of lakes and ponds and an extensive trail system can be found within this development. South of Manchester Lakes is the Square Barn Road School Campus, which includes Mackeben Elementary School, Conley Elementary School, Heineman Middle School, and the School District 158 administration building.
Further residential development west of Square Barn Road is expected in the future.
School District 300
Community Unit School District 300
, a large district based out of nearby Carpentersville
, serves the village's eastern two-thirds, generally along and east of Randall Rd. The District 300 schools in Algonquin include:
- Westfield Community School (K-8)
- Neubert Elementary School (K-5)
- Algonquin Lakes Elementary School (K-5)
- Eastview Elementary School (K-5)
- Algonquin Middle School (6-8)
- Harry D. Jacobs High School (9-12)
- Dundee-Crown High School (9-12) in nearby Carpentersville serves high school-aged students residing in the eastern sections of the village.
- Lincoln Prairie Elementary School (K-5) in nearby Lake in the Hills serves elementary-aged students residing in far north-central sections of the village.
School District 158
Consolidated School District 158
is headquartered in Algonquin, and the schools on the Square Barn Road campus serve the village's far western side, as well as portions of neighboring communities Huntley
and Lake in the Hills
. School District 158 schools serving far western Algonquin include:
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran School and St. Margaret Mary Catholic School, both located in the heart of Algonquin, offer private K-8 education.
The nearest community colleges are McHenry County College
and Elgin Community College
The majority of the Village is served by the Algonquin Area Public Library District which includes two facilities, the main branch on Harnish, just west of Randall Road
, and a second branch on Eastgate, south of Algonquin Road
. Both offer exceptional educational and reading programs. Huntley
Public Library, Dundee Township
Library, and the Barrington Area Library
also serve certain sections of the Village.
The village of Algonquin is a major center for shopping activities, both regionally and locally. The village is known for its chic lifestyle centers, power centers, grocers, and growing variety of restaurants. Most of the village's retail is confined to Randall Road
and, to a lesser extent, Algonquin Road
Randall Road Corridor
Major centers include:
- Algonquin Commons, Illinois' largest lifestyle center, containing 600,000 sq ft (60,000 m²) and over 80 retailers, dominated by fashion and specialty stores and upscale eateries. The center is anchored by Borders Books and Music, Dick's Sporting Goods, Old Navy, DSW Shoe Warehouse, Circuit City, Petsmart, Office Max, Ulta, and Trader Joe's.
- Algonquin Galleria, a multi-phased outdoor mall slated for potentially 1,000,000 sq ft (100,000 m²) of retail. The center will feature a combination of big-box department, furniture, and specialty stores, as well as services and restaurants. The first phase is anchored by Ethan Allen, Best Buy, Dania Furniture, La-Z-Boy, and family entertainment facility Brunswick Zone XL.
- The Esplanade, a multi-phased multi-story mixed use development featuring ground level retail, upper level office and residential units, and outlying restaurants.
- Woods Creek Shopping Center, a 400,000 sq ft (40,000 m²) power center anchored by Super Target, Kohl's, Michael's, Home Goods, Famous Footwear, Pier 1 Imports, Dress Barn, Lane Bryant, Maurice's, Petco, Payless Shoe Source, and Factory Card and Party. The center is fronted by small shops, a bank, and a proposed restaurant.
- River Pointe Shopping Center, a 250,000 sq ft (23,000 m²) power center anchored by grocer Jewel-Osco, Office Depot, Jo-Ann, and Guitar Center. The center also includes smaller shops and is fronted by two fast food restaurants and a bank.
- Randall Rolls, a commercial center which is anchored by the large multi-purpose fitness center Lifetime Fitness, and fronted by four restaurants, an Aldi grocery store, a bank, and small office buildings.
- Grandview Commons, a 130,000 sq ft (12,000 m²) power center anchored by furniture stores Ashley Furniture, Harlem Furniture, and The Great Escape. A small strip center is also located adjacent to the center.
- Oakridge Court, a planned 400,000 sq ft (40,000 m²) power center slated to be anchored by JC Penney, Toys "R" Us/Babies "R" Us, TJ Maxx, David's Bridal, Discovery Clothing, Catherine's, Kay Jewelers, Sally Beauty, and Binny's Beverage Depot.
- Briarwood Center, a 150,000 sq ft (14,000 m²) complex of one-story office and medical buildings, fronted by small retail shops, restaurants, and a gas station.
- Millbrook Marketplace, a shopping center anchored by Wal-Mart, and fronted by restaurants and small shops. The Wal-Mart is proposed to eventually expand to a Wal-Mart Supercenter.
- Meijer Center, a shopping center anchored by Meijer and fronted by small shops and restaurants, a bank, and a gas station.
- Eagle Center, a shopping center anchored by Caputo & Sons supermarket and Home Depot. The center also includes small shops scattered in multi-tenant buildings, a gas station, a bank, and restaurants.
East Algonquin Road Corridor
Major centers include:
- Algonquin Town Center, the Village's first major shopping center, anchored by Butera Market and True Value, also featuring small shops, a bank, and a restaurant.
- A recently-opened second Jewel-Osco location.
- An additional Brunswick Zone, SuitePlay!(Formerly Rec Room Furniture), and Walgreens.
- Strip centers Fountain Square and Glacier Plaza. Fountain Square also includes office buildings.
West Algonquin Road Corridor
Major centers include Square Barn Commons, Prestwicke Plaza, and Winding Creek Center, neighborhood commercial strip centers featuring over a dozen retailers each, all located along West Algonquin Road. Square Barn Commons also includes Walgreens
, a Bank & Trust facility, and a daycare center, Prestwicke Plaza contains a Centegra medical center, and Winding Creek contains a professional office building and private learning academy.
Old Town District
The Village's Old Town District, focused primarily along Main Street/Route 31 includes dozens of independent retailers and franchises, offices, and fine restaurants. Other strip centers can be found nearby including Fox River Center, Eastgate Center, and two un-named centers anchored by 7-Elevens
A growing number of businesses can be found in Algonquin. From a manufacturing corridor along Algonquin Road between Pyott Road and Route 31
to a planned corporate campus on the west side of Randall Road, industry is a significant part of the Algonquin area economy.
Algonquin Industrial Park
Just west of the village's Old Town District is the Algonquin Industrial Park, located along Algonquin Road. Several major companies can be found in this area, including tool, die, and mold industries, plastics industries, and transportation-related businesses. Major businesses located in this area include Wauconda Tool & Engineering, Kenmode Tool & Engineering, Schiffmayer Plastics, Crystal Die & Mold, VCP Printing, and Lion Tool.
Algonquin Corporate Campus
Currently under development is the Algonquin Corporate Campus on the Village's west side along Randall Road. Set on over stretching from Randall Road west to Square Barn Road, and north of Huntley Road, the development is aimed at providing more jobs to the greater Algonquin area. As a result, any potential business or building in the park that brings high-paying jobs has the opportunity for incentives and to have the development review process expedited. Currently located in the park is Young Innovations Incorporated, a company that specializes in oral healthcare supplies; and Advantage Moving and Storage, a moving and storage company. Businesses the village is targeting for the park include those specializing in healthcare, technology, and research and development. In addition, a variety of multi-tenant buildings are planned for the business park. Located directly adjacent to the Algonquin Corporate Campus are the village's outdoor malls Algonquin Commons
and Algonquin Galleria
. Also part of the park is the mixed-use Esplanade
Other major industries in Algonquin include Duro-Life, a manufacturer of machine parts located along Randall Road; Meyer Material Service, a mining company located along Route 31; Burnex Corporation; and J&D Mechanical Industries.
There is also over . of small office and medical office space located in various buildings throughout town, most heavily concentrated along Randall Road, Algonquin Road, and Route 31. The largest such series of office buildings is the Briarwood Center at the intersection of Randall Road and County Line Road.
- Coleman Hospitality Campus
- Located at Randall Road and Bunker Hill Drive, this complex features a Holiday Inn Express, local chain restaurant Colonial Cafe, and a proposed Conference Center.
- Victorian Garden Bed and Breakfast
The village is unique in that it does not have an actual park district, as park operations are run by the village itself. Nevertheless, the quality of parks, trails, and programs is nearly unmatched. In addition, the village's scenic waterways remain a regional draw. Some noteworthy recreational opportunities in Algonquin include:
- Downtown Algonquin, a compact downtown featuring several shops and restaurants near the Fox River, as well as features like upscale lighting, planters, and well-kept sidewalks.
- The Fox River, a major tributary in Illinois which runs north-south through the heart of the village's downtown.
- Raging Buffalo Snowboard Ski Park, a snowboarding and ski terrain park located on Route 31 just south of village's limits.
- Fox River Trail/McHenry County Prairie Path, a sub-section of the Grand Illinois Trail
- Golf Club of Illinois, a public golf course on the village's southern end.
- Terrace Hill Golf Course, a private golf course on the village's western side.
- Lifetime Fitness, a chain fitness center with a sizable location in Algonquin.
- Kelliher Park, a park on the village's far western side featuring several ballfields.
- Ted Spella Park, a large park under development on the village's west side.
- Snapper Field and Lions Pool, a recreational complex near Algonquin Middle School featuring ballfields and the municipal pool.
- Towne Park, Cornish Park, and Riverfront Park, three parks located in the village's downtown, significant for the role they play in the popular Founders Days festival and several other downtown events throughout the year
- Presidential Park, an important recreational area for the village's eastside residents, it features several ballfields and open areas, as well as a few picnic shelters.
- Algonquin Lakes, a grouping of natural and man-made lakes and adjacent recreational area in a residential neighborhood by the same name on the village's eastern side.
- Manchester Lakes, a grouping of man-made lakes, recreational areas, and complex bike path system within a neighborhood by the same-name on the village's far western side.
- Woods Creek, a scenic creek which runs south-north through the village's far western side
- Hill Climb Park, a reletively new park on the intersection of Circle and Huntington Drives
- ALITHSA, the Algonquin Lake in the Hills Soccer Association, which provides fall and spring season soccer experiences for children ages four through high school.
Festivals and Traditions
- Hill Climb Race: a very historic tradition in the village in which classic cars are driven up a hill in the southwestern part of downtown. According to tradition, in the infancy of automobile production, a car's worth was judged based upon its ability to climb this particular hill in the town. Held in late spring.
- Conservation Community Day: family-oriented program educating the public and emphasizing the importance of conservation of natural resources. Held along Woods Creek on the village's west side in June.
- Farmers' Markets: held every Thursday, from early June through early October, at the municipal parking lot at the northwest corner of Harrison and Washington Streets in the Old Town District.
- Summer Concert Series: held in the village's downtown parks, it features several outdoor musical performances by local and regional acts on several weekends during the summer.
- Founders' Days: the village's cornerstone festival and tradition, it includes a carnival, parade, fireworks display, and Taste of Algonquin. It is always held on the last full weekend in July.
- National Night Out: The Village participates in this national event designed to promote community spirit and awareness in order to combat crime. Held in early August at Snapper Field and Lions-Armstrong Memorial Pool on the east side of the village.
- Old Time Country Harvest Festival: features a farmers' market, cemetery walk, and other activities, in the Old Town District. Held in October.
- Holiday Carriage Rides: horse-drawn carriage rides offered during the holiday season to visitors and shoppers of Algonquin Commons.
- Holly Days on the Fox: winter festival in downtown Algonquin. Held in December.
- Public Art Displays: pieces of local artwork displayed at prominent public locations in the village throughout the year. The program emphasizes the various styles of artwork and the importance of art in the community. Artwork is rotated annually.
- Polish-American Fest: held at Saint Margaret Mary's Catholic Church. Algonquin has one of the largest Polish communities in the Chicago suburbs.
Algonquin is a center of transportation for McHenry and Kane Counties. Some of the major roadways include:
- Randall Road, a major multi-lane highway serving the village's western side. The road is entirely lined with major outdoor shopping malls, big-box retailers, restaurants, and a major corporate center which serve the region. Near the village's malls, the road is six lanes wide.
- Illinois Route 31, a major north-south road going through the heart of the village's downtown. Most of the downtown shops are located along Route 31. Because of this, widening is not an option to ease traffic congestion, so a western 31 bypass of the village's downtown is planned.
- Illinois Route 25, a north-south road on the village's eastern side which ends at Illinois Route 62. It connects the village to Carpentersville, Elgin, and the rest of the Fox River Valley suburbs to its south.
- Illinois Route 62/Algonquin Road is considered the village's only major east-west artery. As a result it is locally infamous for its westbound backups, particularly at rush hour. A 4-lane road, it connects the village to Huntley on the west and other major northwest suburbs like Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, and Des Plaines on the east.
- Other important roads include Highland Avenue, River Road, Haegers Bend Road, Sandbloom Road, Souwanas Trail, Edgewood Drive, Hanson Road, County Line Road, Sleepy Hollow Road, Longmeadow Parkway, Huntington Drive, Harnish Drive, Square Barn Road, Stonegate Road, Bunker Hill Drive, Boyer Road, and Corporate Parkway.
Churches in Algonquin include:
- St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, a large catholic church complex, which includes a church, ministry, rectory, and a private K-8 school, located just east of Old Town Algonquin, along the south side of East Algonquin Road between South Hubbard Street and Eastgate Drive. The church is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockford.
- St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, a lutheran church affiliated with the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, and located in the Old Town District at the southwest corner of Jefferson and Washington Streets. The church also includes a private K-8 school and a resale shop.
- Congregational Church of Algonquin, a church affiliated with the United Church of Christ, located in the Old Town District at the southwest corner of Washington and Harrison Streets.
- Light of Christ Lutheran Church, a church located on the west side of Hanson Road, just south of Algonquin Road. The church plans to build a new facility at the northeast corner of Sleepy Hollow Road and Longmeadow Parkway.
- Christ United Methodist Church, a church affiliated with the United Methodist Church, located just outside village limits on West Algonquin Road, west of Square Barn Road.