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When in the market for a new home, don't let O'Hare neighborhood fly past your home-seeking radar. Because this northwest side Chicago community is full of lovely homes, friendly neighbors, and acres of wide open green spaces. The properties in O'Hare afford spacious yards just awaiting your landscaping touch, and a variety of architectural designs in both single-family and multi-unit residences. Familiar dining favorites dot the O'Hare neighborhood including Chicago-style stuffed pizza, old-fashioned diner food and those dependable breakfast, lunch and dinner spots. Other businesses are scattered about the neighborhood, as are elementary schools and convenient services.
Today we hear the name 'O’Hare' and immediately think of the ever-expanding O’Hare International Airport, but we tend to forget that it wasn’t always such a center for travel and that there is a separate neighborhood in Chicago that goes by the same name.
Chicago’s O’Hare neighborhood extends into both Cook and DuPage counties and is just fourteen miles northwest of the Loop. The community itself began as two square miles of land near the Des Plaines River. Because of his efforts in the Fort Dearborn Massacre, Alexander Robinson was given a parcel of land by way of the 1829 Treaty of Prairie du Chien. Robinson was a Potawatomie Chief of part-Scottish decent, as well as a government interpreter. The Treaty of Prairie du Chien was an agreement between the Potawatomie, Ojibwe, and Ottawa Indian tribes who had taken charge of lead mining areas in southwest Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Roughly ten years later, local American residents as well as German immigrants began to populate and develop the land, which eventually led to a prosperous community.
Named after a depot of the Wisconsin Central railroad, this area of land was called Orchard Place. Little did people know, the small community of Orchard Place would someday be known as the Midwestern hub of domestic and international air travel—O’Hare Airport.
Orchard Place was taken over in 1942 by Douglas Aircraft who switched gears from producing cargo planes for the war effort to developing Orchard Place into a commercial airport. Five years later, the Chicago City Council deemed the space an official international airport and the sprawling airfield was named after the aviator and World War II hero, Edward H. O’Hare.
After the Kennedy Expressway was constructed in the 1950s, the highway created a direct link from O’Hare to downtown Chicago. In between the two destinations was a large expanse of land that was drawing the attention of developers and Chicagoans who could now easily and quickly reach the northwest area via the new highway. Subdivisions like the O’Hare neighborhood popped up along the stretch of freeway in the 1960s and property values gradually started to increase in the area. High-rise apartment and condominium buildings and commercial businesses were on the rise, as well as single-family homes that sprouted up along planned residential streets that wound back into the subdivision through roundabouts and cul-de-sacs.
Today, with its close proximity to the airport (which is directly west of the neighborhood about five miles) the tiny O’Hare community continues to prosper and provides a great place to live—especially if you’re the jet-setting type that is always off to the airport for the next exotic destination or last minute work trip.
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