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Oak Park Neighborhood Feature

Published on September 16th, 2014 by

Oak Park Neighborhood Feature #1: Historical Attractions

This week, our Neighborhood Feature heads 10 miles west of downtown Chicago to the Village of Oak Park. Oak Park is a diverse community home to many restaurants, boutiques, local parks, and art galleries. Many of Oak Park’s residents would argue that this neighborhood has found the perfect combination of small town living in a modern-day setting. If you are looking for a starting point while visiting this neighborhood, may we suggest the following historical properties as must-see destinations.

It’s hard for anyone to miss the Pleasant Home traveling around Oak Park. This mansion and surrounding property, located on Home Avenue, is registered with the National Historic Landmark and was designed in 1897 by turn-of-the-century architect George W. Maher. The Pleasant Home is operated by the Pleasant Home Foundation as a living museum, which is open to the public and offers a year-round schedule of educational programs, community events and festivals and cultural performances. It is among the earliest of the Prairie style buildings and is considered the finest surviving example of Maher’s work. House tours are a must see while visiting Oak Park and Wednesdays are free for Illinois residents. If your preference is to enjoy the house from a distance, feel free to claim a bench on the surrounding Park property.

Oak Park is also home to the birthplace and museum of Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning author, Ernest Hemingway. Nestled on Oak Park Avenue–just off of the Village Green–one can visit both Hemingway’s childhood home and a museum dedicated to some of his first writings, original letters, photographs and family artifacts. Tours of the home and museum reflect on the influence and impact that the family and the community had on the early life of this beloved writer, and last approximately 90 minutes. Find more information here.

Looking for more things to do in Oak Park?! Stay tuned for Thursday’s edition of our Neighborhood Feature where we discuss this weekend’s festival, Oaktoberfest, happening in…you guessed it! Oak Park!

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