Skokie is situated 16 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, enjoying a connection to the city via a CTA rail system extension. The 1940s and 1950s saw a boom of both residential and commercial development, including the construction of the Old Orchard Shopping Center. Skokie is notable for being the first community in the US to have a nationally accredited Fire, Police, and Public Works Department. Today Skokie is known as an exceptional center of culture, education, and community management.
The Skokie suburb is located 16 miles northwest of downtown Chicago and is connected to the city by an extension of the CTA’s train system. Originally incorporated in 1888 as Niles Centre, the village was renamed by referendum in 1940 to alleviate postal service confusion with neighboring Niles. Residents chose the Potawatomi word “Skokie”—meaning “marsh”—for the land upon which the settlement had originally been built. The 1920s real estate boom saw the Skokie suburb engage in extensive development and restructuring, with new subdivisions and newly constructed homes, including apartment buildings and bungalows. The Great Depression halted this progress, however, and growth was stagnant until after the end of World War II, when the “baby boom” generation moved out of Chicago in search of new homes. The 1940s and 1950s subsequently saw great development both residentially and commercially, including the advent of the Old Orchard Shopping Center. Skokie was also notable for being the first community in the United States to have nationally accredited Fire, Police and Public Works Departments. Today, the Skokie suburb is known as an exceptional center of culture, education, and community management.
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