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Oak Park, Chicago Opinions and Experiences please

Oak Park, Chicago Opinions and Experiences please

Old Sep 8th 2014, 10:01 am
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Default Oak Park, Chicago Opinions and Experiences please

OH has fallen in love with a house in Oak Park. We had been concentrating our search around Barrington and Barrington Hills, but he's had his head turned by a Frank Lloyd Wright house.

Has anyone got any opinions and advice regarding this neighbourhood. To recap for anyone who hasn't read any of my previous posts, we're a famy of 5 (18, 16, 12) coming over on an L1A/L2 in January. We go out a lot (theatre, dining, festivals) as a couple and as a family. Kids are all into sport and live music. OH is setting up office in downtown Chicago now (Willis Tower), but will need to work from the Schaumburg office once or twice a week. Commute time under an hour (train downtown, car to Schaumburg). I'm heading out on a fact finding trip next week

Thanks
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Old Sep 8th 2014, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: Oak Park, Chicago Opinions and Experiences please

Big advantage at Oak Park, depending on exactly where you are, is the choice of two CTA lines (blue and green) and Metra rail service to and from downtown, probably 30-40 minutes to Willis.
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Old Sep 8th 2014, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Oak Park, Chicago Opinions and Experiences please

Originally Posted by loubiblu View Post
OH has fallen in love with a house in Oak Park. We had been concentrating our search around Barrington and Barrington Hills, but he's had his head turned by a Frank Lloyd Wright house.

Has anyone got any opinions and advice regarding this neighbourhood. To recap for anyone who hasn't read any of my previous posts, we're a famy of 5 (18, 16, 12) coming over on an L1A/L2 in January. We go out a lot (theatre, dining, festivals) as a couple and as a family. Kids are all into sport and live music. OH is setting up office in downtown Chicago now (Willis Tower), but will need to work from the Schaumburg office once or twice a week. Commute time under an hour (train downtown, car to Schaumburg). I'm heading out on a fact finding trip next week
Small wonder he's fallen in love with it - if it's really a FLW house.
Is it?

According to the Frank Lloyd Wright Bldg. Conservancy web site - 3 of his houses are for sale now in Chicago - but none of them are in Oak Park!
See here:
https://savewright.org/index.php?page=33

To live in a Frank Lloyd Wright house would be a joyous adventure. Just make sure you check out the roof before buying. His leaky roofs were infamous!

As for Oak Park (if that's indeed where the supposed Wright house is located)...I found this - which may be helpful - tho it's not up-to-date....
Moving advice:Hyde Park vs oak Park/River Forest - Chicago - Illinois (IL) - Page 4 - City-Data Forum (Hyde Park is where 2 of the 3 Wright houses mentioned above, are located)
or:
City-Data Forum - Search Results
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Old Sep 8th 2014, 5:41 pm
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Default Re: Oak Park, Chicago Opinions and Experiences please

It's a rental, not really big enough and definitely not what I had in mind, but hearts and heads don't always play nicely together

1019 Chicago Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302 is For Rent - Zillow

Thanks for the City-Data link, I'll have a read later.
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Old Sep 8th 2014, 5:51 pm
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Default Re: Oak Park, Chicago Opinions and Experiences please

Originally Posted by loubiblu View Post
It's a rental, not really big enough and definitely not what I had in mind, but hearts and heads don't always play nicely together

True!

ps: Maybe the Obamas will rent you theirs while they're living elsewhere

Last edited by MMcD; Sep 8th 2014 at 5:56 pm.
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Old Sep 8th 2014, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: Oak Park, Chicago Opinions and Experiences please

Originally Posted by MMcD View Post
s: Maybe the Obamas will rent you theirs while they're living elsewhere
You got a number, I'll give them a call!
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Old Sep 8th 2014, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: Oak Park, Chicago Opinions and Experiences please

Oak Park is a very close suburb of Chicago. It's much more densely populated than a typical American suburb. Like Evanston or other adjacent suburbs, it's essentially part of the city in all but name. It's upscale and certainly safe. Schools are probably OK, but not as good as Barrington. The commute downtown will be easy. The commute to Schaumburg might be a bit trickier unless the employer offers a shuttle from a nearby station. Of course, driving to Schaumburg is an option but that will expose him to the joy that is 290, the Ike.

I would think carefully about this. By choosing this rental, you're moving into a 100+ year old house with all of the quirks that entails. Also, you're likely paying a sizable premium for the FLW name. Lastly, the climate in Chicago is extreme and not to be underestimated. It's very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. Good HVAC and insulation (perhaps better than offered in a 100+ year old landmark property) should be a priority.

You might also consider the nearby (and even nicer in my opinion) River Forest. Less than five miles further out you've got La Grange, Western Springs and Hinsdale, all of which are great places for families to live (and preferable to Oak Park, at least to me).

Of course as you say, practicallity isn't everything.
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Old Sep 8th 2014, 8:05 pm
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Default Re: Oak Park, Chicago Opinions and Experiences please

Thanks for the post Hiro. Heating (and A/C) is one of my concerns. Right now we live in a big old (150+yr) rambling Victorian Villa with huge rattling sash windows. The kids know when to put an extra jumper on, but Chicago weather is certainly more extreme than we have here in Liverpool. I will look at the other areas you mention when I come out next week, good to know you think these are safe, family areas.
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Old Sep 22nd 2014, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: Oak Park, Chicago Opinions and Experiences please

We've arrived in Chicagoland. I'm solo exploring for the next couple of days whilst OH is in meetings. I'll report back on my thoughts and experiences throughout the week.
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Old Sep 24th 2014, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: Oak Park, Chicago Opinions and Experiences please

You've got good weather for it. Supposed to be mid 70's and dry here all this week.
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Old Sep 24th 2014, 2:57 pm
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Default Re: Oak Park, Chicago Opinions and Experiences please

Yes, it was lovely yesterday and seems set for the same today.
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Old Sep 25th 2014, 9:55 am
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Default Re: Oak Park, Chicago Opinions and Experiences please

I can now give the nightlife a big thumbs up - not sure how I'm going to function later. Good job I'm not visiting any schools today!
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