Life in Oak Brook
Officially considered a village, Oak Brook has a population of 8,163 people as of 2020. It’s located just 19 miles west of downtown Chicago, just out of range of Metra and CTA trains. But a bus service does serve the general vicinity, and citizens are still connected to three major highways (including the Tri-State Tollway).
Oak Brook was first named Fullersburg, after settler Ben Fuller. But the locals began calling it Oak Brook to make sure the town wasn’t confused with nearby towns Elmhurst and Hinsdale. In 1958, the town received a huge boost thanks to the efforts of polo player and civic leader Paul Butler. He instituted the building of a dairy farm in the area, coordinated efforts with the Del E. Webb Corporation to encourage increased construction through the 1960s-70s, built the private Butler National Golf Club, and facilitated the building of the regional sports hub and event venue Oak Brook Sports Core.
This village is an ideal place to invest in a new home in a town focused on being a pleasant place to live. Oak Brook has always been independent by nature, as the community is separated from a lot of the Chicago area’s hustle and bustle. It ranks high for amenities and has won Areavibes awards for being one of the top 10 best small cities for both education and employment. In Oak Brook, you can come to work, then come home to a calm and pleasant town designed to be your retreat from the rest of the world.
School and Home Life in Oak Brook
The village of Oak Brook does feature its own school district, the award-winning Butler School District 53 that services over 500 students. But school attendance was originally very low, with the first multi-room schoolhouse not being built until 1961 (with only seven rooms). Today, Brook Forest Elementary School educates 263 children ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade in addition to Butler Junior High for students in sixth to eighth grade. The district retains an 83% teacher retention rate and an average class size of 20 students.
Oak Brook’s unique location also places it close to multiple other school districts. This means there are multiple options for elementary and high schools within the area. The College of DuPage, a public community college based primarily in Glen Ellyn, also runs a campus within Oak Brook. The Oak Brook Park District works in partnership with the school district to provide multiple programs for pre-school age children, including the ABC Preschool program designed to allow children with special needs to learn alongside their peers.
The average Oak Brook home is 40 years old, with the vast majority of homes (33.3%) being built between 1970 and 1979 and 21.9% of homes built from 1980 to 1989. This means homeowners in this area should plan on working to improve and maintain their investment over time. But home ownership is prevalent all across Oak Brook, and there is very little subsidizing of housing.
98% of homes in Oak Brook are high cost suburban housing stock, which tends to be owned by high-income citizens with high education and a lower than average number of children. There is a mixture of older and newer housing within this group. Low vacancy and low numbers of foreclosures mean that you’ll likely come across lots of Oak brook citizens that love their house and intend to stay. They may be more likely to set up their homes to match their neighbors in pursuit of a unified look.
Just 2% of Oak Brook homes are suburban homes owned by middle-income citizens. This group mainly consists of homeowners with a moderate amount of children and an increasing number of older citizens. Money is tighter for these citizens, mostly thanks to increased costs of transportation and declined incomes. But they’re extremely connected to the rest of Chicagoland and many like living in a location that allows for easy transpiration to a big city. Oak Brook citizens of this group love their homes and want to ensure they’re receiving the best improvements possible for their money.
Things to Do In Oak Brook
Visitors to Oak Brook will be able to enjoy plenty of attractions nearby and around the Chicago area, including:
- Oak Brook Sports Core: Early civic leader Paul Butler was extremely interested in sports, so it’s no wonder that Oak Brook hosts the unique Sports Core as a main attraction of the town. This facility hosts hundreds of acres of land, hosting events around polo, soccer, lacrosse, and more.
- Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art: Guests can take in marvels of polished gemstones and art made from natural materials. This includes the intricate Castle Lizzadro, a unique work of art formed from gemstones and 18K gold.
- Dean Nature Sanctuary: This park puts local nature on display, featuring no sports fields but a wide variety of animal and plant life. Guests can take in sights from wetlands, savannah, and prairie-style environments.
- Graue Mill & Museum: This unique museum was formerly a gristmill constructed from burned ruins in 1849. The site is famous for its role as a “station” retreat on the Underground Railroad. History buffs are sure to love the artifacts from different eras of history.
- First Folio Theater: Catch a Shakespeare play at this classic local theater founded in 1997. It’s cited as one of the “150 Great Places to See a Shakespeare Play” by the Shakespeare Book of Lists. Plays and productions all take place in the Mayslake Estate, a Tudor Revival beauty set in the Mayslake Forest Preserve.
Oak Brook Weather
Oak Brook tends to be cooler than the rest of the state, with a maximum average high of 83.5 degrees Fahrenheit in July. The elevation of the area is 663 feet, so it’s perfect for athletes coming to spend time at the Sports Core who want to breathe easy their whole trip. Humidity fluctuates drastically within the year. July is the muggiest month, with 42% of days that month ranging from “muggy” to “miserable.” But humidity is practically nonexistent from December to February. Wind also fluctuates seasonally, with January winds coming in at an average of 13.2 mph while August winds rank as slow as 8 mph.
Winter is definitely a challenge in Oak Brook. Snow tends to linger from November through March, so it’s important to ensure your home (and roof) are prepared to take on the weather. This Illinois village has an annual snowfall of 31.1 inches, more than most towns in Illinois. Winters are considered snowy, windy, and freezing.
Rain is a consistent visitor, and Oak Brook is partly cloudy for most of the year. There’s also a higher rate of rain, with a total of 120.5 days of rain per year. The rainiest month of the year is June, with 3.6 inches of average rainfall. But sunshine does come around! Oak Brook’s warm season lasts from late May to early September.