Life in Downers Grove
Downers Grove is a southwest suburb of Chicago that offers great shopping, recreation, and a variety of employment opportunities. Just 20 miles west of the Chicago loop, Downers Grove is a great place to own a home while still enjoying access to a major city.
Founded in 1832 by Pierce Downer and other settlers from the Northeast, the city is now home to approximately 50,000 people. While the town works hard to preserve local history, no one seems to know why the name is without an apostrophe. But the community owns that unique trait — they’ve been “apostrophe free since 1873.”
Education and Employment in Downers Grove
Downers Grove is home to several schools, and many residents have a high level of education. Within the city limits, there are approximately 12 public elementary schools, 2 public middle schools, and 2 public high schools that are comprised of children from multiple other surrounding communities. Midwestern University is also in Downers Grove, offering training in various medical-related professions.
If you’re looking for work in Downers Grove, you’re in luck. Many many U.S. employers have their corporate headquarters in Downers Grove, and there are plenty of employment opportunities. Some of the largest employers in the area include:
- Dover Corporation – An industrial product manufacturer founded in the mid-1900s.
- Univar Solutions – A chemical distribution company founded in the 1920s.
- First Health Group – A nationally recognized company that provides health and workers compensation benefits for insurance companies.
Downers Grove Housing
The housing stock in Downers Grove has changed significantly over the years. While roughly 19%-20% of homes in Downers Grove today are low-cost homes built between 1959 and 1979, the vast majority (roughly 81%) are newer, more upscale homes. In fact, Downers Grove has had one of the highest teardown rates in the entire Chicago area, with many older homes being replaced with modern homes designed to last longer for future generations.
While this has created issues with flooding and affordable housing for some areas of the city, it has also improved the quality of housing stock considerably. Since many of these low-density, single-family homes are new, many are also built with better roofing materials and building techniques than in past generations. This means that new homeowners may not need to replace their roof for many years after moving in. There is also opportunity to invest in luxury roofing materials such as cedar shakes, copper gutters, or synthetic shingles.
Things to Do In Downers Grove
Downers Grove has been named a Tree City USA community (an honorary title among environmentalists) several times by the Arbor Day Foundation. Indeed, the town has over 600 acres of parks and natural areas.
But beyond the gorgeous trees, there are plenty of opportunities for shopping, exercising, and exploring within Downers Grove city limits. Here are a few of the most popular spots:
- Downtown Downers Grove – Main Street and Curtiss Avenue form the lively center of downtown Downers Grove. Here, you’ll find a number of unique local restaurants, shops, bars, and event venues within walking distance of each other.
- Tivoli Theater – This local theater first opened downtown in 1928. While it now utilizes modern film technology, much of the original decor and architecture is still well preserved for modern audiences.
- 1846 Blodgett House – This Maple Avenue house (one of the oldest in the city) was once an active stopover on the Underground Railroad and now functions as a historical museum.
- Lyman Woods – This 150-acre natural area is comprised of oak forests, prairies, and marshes and features over 300 different plant and animal species. The area also features a butterfly garden and a rain garden.
- Mayslake Peabody Estate – This large estate built in the early 1900s is now open to the public, offering tours of the beautiful, historic property. The site is also used to host various art and cultural events throughout the year, and offers the option to rent certain areas for private events.
Downers Grove Weather
Downers Grove has an average humid continental climate. Summers are warm and moderately humid, with July as the hottest month of the year. While humidity typically begins to rise in May and reaches its peak in July, it is only considered muggy about 40% to 50% of the time during this season.
Winters are cold, snowy, windy, and never humid in Downers Grove. January is statistically the coldest month, and there’s almost no humidity from November to February. That said, January has the most amount of snow and the highest winds on average for any month in the entire year. The city gets slightly more snowfall than the national average, and winds may pick up to around 13mph during winter.
This strong combination of snowfall and wind can leave many roofs in Downers Grove vulnerable to wind damage and ice dams. Both can tear shingles and severely damage roof decking if not properly addressed during the winter season. For this reason, it’s incredibly important for homeowners to conduct regular inspections and roof maintenance during colder months.
As for rainfall, Downers Grove has a relatively average amount compared to the rest of the nation. February has the least amount of rain, and it doesn’t really start raining heavily until May. From then on, rainfall is steady until mid-September with the most typically occurring in August.