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Oak Park has more than one claim to fame. As a first-ring suburb, it shares a border with the city of Chicago and is known for its blend of vibrant culture and residential streets. It has also been the home of numerous creative types: Oak Park was the birthplace of writer Ernest Hemingway, as well as the primary residence of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Oak Park's aesthetic is one of both urban and suburban design. Numerous Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired creations dot the village's landscape, as do a variety of historic homes. Its three historic districts are alive and well, and Oak Park's downtown area boasts numerous restaurants and shopping locations. Those searching for Oak Park apartments for rent will be happy to discover this thriving village on the border of the U.S.'s third most populous city.
Oak Park's substantial history makes it an incredible area in which to live. Because it has been around for many years and sees a diverse influx of cultures, people from all walks of life flock to Oak Park for a high quality of life. The median age in the village is 38.9 years, and 57.5 percent of households are comprised of families. Singles who long for a community feel flock to the area for its balance of urban and suburban life: 36.2 percent of households are made up of singles.
Oak Park is proud of its accepting and community-oriented vibe. Because of its historic and traditional neighborhood design, the city's neighborhoods are largely interconnected, rather than divided by subdivisions and long distances. As a result, Oak Park is the second most walkable city in Illinois, surpassed only by Chicago itself. The neighborhood structure allows for a family vibe and a diverse community in which families feel encouraged to play in their front yards and get to know their neighbors.
Oak Park is home to West Suburban College of Nursing, but no major colleges or universities are located in Oak Park. However, Dominican University, Triton College, City Colleges of Chicago (Wilbur Wright and Malcom X colleges), DeVry University - Illinois, University of Illinois at Chicago and Northeastern Illinois University are all located less than 10 miles from Oak Park.
Because it is generally a residential community, Oak Park loses about 20 percent of its population during workdays due to commuting. The city is connected to Chicago's Loop via the El train, allowing for an easy commute to the region's central business district. However, many residents live and work in Oak Park. The top employers in the area are West Suburban Hospital, Oak Park Hospital, the Village of Oak Park and School districts #200 and #97.
Oak Park's cost of living index is 106.6 percent, which is 6.6 percent above the U.S. average. However, many residents will save money on commuting costs because Oak Park is so close to downtown Chicago and has public transportation options.
Those searching for Oak Park rentals will also be happy to note that Oak Park has a healthy rental market: According to U.S. Census data, about 39.7 percent of homes in the city are renter-occupied. The median gross rent in Oak Park is $949 per month.
Oak Park's annual A Day in Our Village festival offers insight into its fun and dynamic culture. Those considering Oak Park rentals should make an effort to attend the festival, which is designed to give potential residents insight into the city. The celebration features more than 100 local restaurants, businesses and religious organizations.
Architecture lovers will want to tour Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style designs. Tours of Wright's many architectural contributions are a thrill for visitors and residents alike, while a tour of Wright's personal home and studio is a great option for true Wright enthusiasts.
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