River Forest



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About River Forest


River Forest is a sought-after suburban village in Cook County, just a 20-minute train ride from downtown Chicago. With close ties to neighboring community Oak Park, River Forest is best known for its rich Prairie Style architectural heritage.

River Forest was incorporated in 1880, spurred by the temperance movement when area residents felt threatened by neighboring Harlem's barkeepers. Ironically, community trustees approved licenses for two saloons to help provide revenue for city improvements, enticing more settlers who were attracted to the town's amenities.

Offering an abundance of turn-of-the-century homes, as well as newly-constructed subdivisions and estates, River Forest housing is diverse and includes condominiums and apartments. Winslow House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1893, is one of the town's most notable properties, and showcases the architect's trademark features visible in other Wright-designed properties in the village and around the country. The average sales price for a single-family home in River Forest was $608,532 in 2012, while the average condominium cost $170,593 (source: Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC).

River Forest is home to two public elementary schools, Lincoln Elementary School and Willard Elementary School, as well as Roosevelt Middle School. All three schools are part of River Forest Public Schools District 90. High school students attend Oak Park and River Forest High School, which is located in Oak Park. Its students consistently rank among the top 10 Illinois high schools based on numbers of National Merit and National Achievement honorees. Other schooling options include a number of parochial schools, as well as Keystone Montessori School.

The community is one that prides itself on culture, diversity and sophisticated dining and shopping. The Oak Park-River Forest Performing Arts Center hosts stage productions by Circle Theatre, and other theater troupes including Festival Theatre and Village Players, whose community theater connection dates back a half century. The River Forest Park District offers an abundance programs, activities and classes for all age groups. Residents also enjoy almost a dozen parks within the community, including everything from walking paths to baseball fields.