Oak Brook is a community that offers an excellent location, recreation, and schools. It is conveniently located in the western suburbs of Chicago. Homes are built on rolling hills, next to quiet wooded areas. Many are erected near streams, while others are conveniently positioned on golf courses. The population of the village is less than 8,000, and occupies approximately 11 square miles.
It began as a planned community in 1958, by Paul Butler, who owned a great deal of the land. However, it actually began in 1834, when Ben Fuller built an inn to accommodate the area’s growing number of travelers. The villages of Fullersburg soon grew. By the 1920’s two brothers, Frank 0. and J. Fred Butler bought a small dairy and made it a profitable success by the 1930’s. In 1922, Paul Butler, Frank’s son, founded the Oak Brook Polo Club. His plans did not stop there. Gradually he purchased more land, so that in the 1950’s, family holdings were 3,600 acres.
Butler convinced a number of successful businesses to locate in Oak Brook, which was officially incorporated on February 21, 1958. The national builder, Del Webb, united with Butler in 1964, forming the Oak Brook Development Company to further expand the village.
A “Master Comprehensive Plan” was completed in the 1970’s, to regulate homes, business, landscaping, parking, and other aspects. The ORA rule prohibits the pollution of air, land, water, and esthetics of the village. It permits only Office, Research, and Assembly operations within the village.
Oakbrook Center offers many world famous department stores including Marshall Field’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, and Sears. In addition, there are a multitude of boutiques and specialty shops, service businesses, fine restaurants, and theaters. Also, there are a number of fine hotels in the village.
There are more than a dozen international business corporations and over 2,000 local businesses that are centered in Oak Brook. Corporate notables that call Oak Brook home include: MCDonald’s (world headquarters and Hamburger University), Inland Real Estate, AT&T, Kodak, Xerox, Ace Hardware, Waste Management Inc., CBI Industries, and MTI vacations. More than 125 Fortune 500 companies have offices in the village.
Recreation boasts York Golf Club, Butler National Golf Club, Butterfield Country Club, the 1,800 acre Fullersburg Park, and the 800 acre Oak Brook Sports Core (a private outdoor recreational center offering golf, horseback riding, polo, skeet shooting, tennis, swimming, soccer, and flying). Tennis and racquetball are available through the Oak Brook Park District.
Most students attend district 53 for elementary education. The two schools, Brook Forest and Butler Junior High School serve about two-thirds of village students. The district scores well above state averages in all its tests. The majority of high school students attend Hinsdale Central High School (District 86), while some attend Downers Grove North High School (District 99), and a few attend Willowbrook High School and York High School, all well known and esteemed institutions.
The location of the village makes it convenient for most of Chicago’s major expressways. It is at the junction of the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), the East-West Tollway (I-88), and the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290). The Chicago loop and O’Hare Airport are within twenty to thirty minutes, via highway. Rail commuters can catch the train to Chicago via the Burlington Northern in Hinsdale, or the Chicago & North Western in Elmhurst. The trip is 35 minutes to the loop by local and 25 Minutes by express.