Situated just 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop, Brookfield, formerly known as Grossdale, is a historic community located in suburban Cook County.
Originally covered by prairie grasses, forest and swamplands, today’s Brookfield was originally inhabited by the Potawatomi Native Americans. In 1889, Samuel Eberly Gross, a Chicago lawyer, began selling plots of land in the area. It is from Mr. Gross that the area got its original name of “Grossdale.” As Gross built more and more train stations in the area, the population skyrocketed, and by the 1920s was a fully-connected suburb of Chicago. After residents grew disillusioned with Mr. Gross, they motioned to change the name of the town, and it was officially named Brookfield in 1905. In 1919, Edith Rockefeller McCormick donated land at the Chicago Zoological Park to the Forest Preserve District, and it is on that land where Brookfield Zoo presently sits.
The average sales price of a single-family home in Brookfield in 2014 was $217,760.
Elementary education is provided by the Brookfield-LaGrange Elementary School District 95, which is comprised of one elementary and one middle school. District 208 operates the Riverside Brookfield High School, which serves grades 9-12. Metra service to Aurora and downtown Chicago is available at the Brookfield Station on the Burlington Northern Line. National and international air travel is available at the nearby O’Hare International Airport, as well as Chicago’s Midway Airport.
One of the most popular attractions in the town is undoubtedly Brookfield Zoo, which is notable for being open 365 days a year. One of only two zoos in the Chicagoland area, it is operated by the Chicago Zoological Society, and is widely regarded as one of the premier zoos in the nation. Brookfield is also home to the Galloping Ghost Arcade, the largest video arcade in the United States. Brookfield is also known for its beautiful oak savannas, which occupy a large part of land on the north end of the town. These savannas, along with Salt Creek, highlight the beauty of the community and are a popular year-round destination for residents and naturalists alike.