The brainchild of Chicago developer and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Official Philip M. Klutznick, the Chicago suburb of Park Forest was the first post-World War II planned community in the United States. Incorporated in 1948, the village has received two All-America City awards, two Governor Home Town Awards, and most recently... Show all »
The brainchild of Chicago developer and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Official Philip M. Klutznick, the Chicago suburb of Park Forest was the first post-World War II planned community in the United States. Incorporated in 1948, the village has received two All-America City awards, two Governor Home Town Awards, and most recently the Burnham Award for excellence for the redevelopment of its downtown district. An ethnically and culturally diverse community, which boasts distinct housing styles, beautiful winding, tree-lined streets, plentiful shopping, and abundant cultural activities, Park Forest lies 35 miles south of Chicago's Loop, 24 miles from Midway Airport, and close to Interstate 57, Interstate 80, the Calumet Expressway, and the Tri-State Tollway. A part of both Cook and Will Counties, the suburb is bordered by Chicago Heights, Matteson, Olympia Fields, Richton Park, and University Park. The town's population is 23, 462 (2005). Park Forest features many starter and medium-priced homes as well as upscale residences. Housing styles include split levels, Cape Cods, Queen Annes, and ranch-style homes. Many smaller, starter homes that were built in the 1950s have been enlarged over the years to meet the needs of today's homeowners. Recreation enthusiasts can take advantage of the village's abundant leisure-time activities. The Park District's Tennis and Health Club features six newly-resurfaced, lit indoor tennis courts, tennis instruction, a fitness area with treadmills and other machines, and numerous other amenities. Other recreational activities and facilities include three miles of hiking trails in the Thorn Creek Nature Preserve and Nature Center, the Hidden Meadows Golf Club on Crawford Avenue and Stuenkel Road, and the Park Forest Recreation and Park Department's Aqua Center, which boasts two large pools, a 160-foot water slide, a sand play area and volleyball court, a full schedule of swim lessons, and more. In their spare time, residents can also do some shopping at Park Forest Centre, the first regional shopping mall in the United States, do some hiking and biking along the Old Plank Road trails, see a play at the town's new Cultural Arts Center or at the Nathan Manilow Theatre in Freedom Hall, spend an afternoon at the town's skateboard park, or picnic in one of Park Forest's numerous parks. « Show less
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