Downers Grove, Illinois
Orange Lyman Home, constructed in 1839; purported to be a stop on the Underground Railroad.
|Townships||Downers Grove, Lisle|
|Elevation||705 ft (215 m)|
|- elevation||741 ft (226 m)|
|Area||14.45 sq mi (37 km2)|
|- land||14.30 sq mi (37 km2)|
|- water||0.15 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Population||49,250 (2008 est.)|
|Density||3,420.2 / sq mi (1,321 / km2)|
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|ZIP codes||60515, 60516, 60517|
|Area codes||630 and 331|
Downers Grove is a village in Downers Grove and Lisle Townships, DuPage County, Illinois, United States. The population was 48,724 at the 2000 census, with an official estimated population of 49,250 in 2008.
Downers Grove was founded in 1832 by Pierce Downer, a religious evangelist from New York. Its other early settlers included the Blodgett, Curtiss, and Carpenter families. The original settlers were mostly migrants from the Northeastern United States and Northern Europe. The first schoolhouse was built in 1844.
During the American Civil War, 119 soldiers from Downers Grove served in the Union Army; at least one of these was interred in the cemetery of Richards's. There was an abolitionist presence in the village, and some of the older homes are thought to have been stops on the Underground Railroad.
The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad was extended from Aurora to Chicago through Downers Grove in 1862, boosting its population. The town was incorporated in March 1873. Its somewhat unusual spelling ("Apostrophe-free since 1873") remains a minor historical mystery.
In April 1947 the wreck of a Burlington Railroad Twin Cities Zephyr passenger train killed three people, including the engineer. The streamliner struck a large tractor which had fallen from a freight train and two passenger cars crashed through a wall of the Main Street Station.
The construction of two major toll roads along the village's northern and western boundaries, I-355 in 1989 and what is now referred to as I-88 in 1958, facilitated its access to the rest of Chicago metropolitan area. Downers Grove has developed into a bustling Chicago suburb with many diverse businesses, including the headquarters for Rossi Furniture, Devry University, FTD, Sara Lee, Arrow Gear, Magnetrol, Dover, Heartland Food Corporation, and Abercrombie & Kent.
Top employers 
According to the Village's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital||2,700|
|3||University Subscription Services||1,050|
|7||Florists' Transworld Delivery||500|
|9||HAVI Global Solutions||350|
Downers Grove is located at .
According to the 2010 census, the village has a total area of 14.45 square miles (37.4 km2), of which 14.30 square miles (37.0 km2) (or 98.96%) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.39 km2) (or 1.04%) is water. Only the DuPage County communities of Bartlett, Aurora, Naperville and Bolingbrook have larger land areas. Within the town are two forest preserves: Lyman Woods and Maple Grove Forest Preserve. A small creek runs through Maple Grove forest preserve. Downers Grove has been designated a Tree City USA 28 times by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
Downers Grove is in a humid continental climate zone. On average, January is the coldest month, and July is the warmest month. August typically has the most precipitation, and February the least. The record high for Downers Grove was 105 °F (41 °C) in July 2005, and the record low of −26 °F (−32 °C) was set in January 1985.
|Climate data for Downers Grove, Illinois|
|Record high °F (°C)||65
|Average high °F (°C)||32
|Average low °F (°C)||14
|Record low °F (°C)||−26
|Precipitation inches (mm)||1.85
The housing stock in Downers Grove comprises a mixture; some, generally near the center of town, date from the middle of the 19th century, but housing styles of each succeeding generation are represented. Downers Grove has witnessed one of the highest teardown rates in the Chicago area; small older residences are being demolished and replaced with much larger new houses. Teardowns have been the source of much controversy within the village. Since they occupy much more land than the original houses, rainwater that was originally absorbed by their yards is directed into neighboring yards and streets, resulting in flooding. Concerns have been expressed that teardowns reduce affordable housing in the town.
Downers Grove prides itself on the presence of a large collection of Sears-Roebuck Catalog Homes, built using purchased kits between 1908 and 1940. During 2006 and 2007, a movement arose to establish the 1846 Blodgett House as a museum of the Underground Railroad. The house has now been moved onto the Downers Grove Museum Campus.
In 2012, the mean value of all owner-occupied housing units was $150,050 and the median value was $100,000.
The main line of the BNSF Railway Line, the line is also used by Metra commuter rail. Metra's BNSF Railway Line has three stops in Downers Grove at Belmont Road, Main Street, and Fairview Avenue. Interstate Highways 355 and 88 all pass through the community as well as the major surface street US 34-Ogden Avenue. Downers Grove is served by the Pace Bus Service, a system of suburban public transportation.
The Grove Commuter Shuttle runs four routes throughout the community to two of the three train station that are in the village. The shuttle also operates for the RotaryGrove Fest from remote parking lots on the north and south sides of the village located at the respective north and south high schools.
Community events 
Downers Grove is home to many unique boutique shops, dining establishments, and community events. Downtown Downers Grove has quickly become a shopping and dining destination due to its location and variety. The Tivoli Theatre and over 140 community events and festivals, which attract thousands of visitors each year, has helped to earn Downtown Downers Grove a spot on Chicago Tribune’s “Top 10 List of Downtowns.” Over 600 acres (2.4 km2) of parks for recreational use are available with 450 recreational activities are available throughout the year. On Friday nights throughout the summer, antique and specialty cars park downtown in an informal car show. The Indian Boundary YMCA sponsors a Saturday morning farmer's market from June to October, and an ice sculpture festival is held in January.
The Downers Grove Park district offers multiple events throughout the year for individuals and families. These events include sport, community and recreational activities.
The high school sporting events and local band concerts draw large crowds, especially the annual football game between Downers Grove North High School and Downers Grove South High School, the annual competition between the Hinsdale Central High School and the Downers Grove North football teams for the Old Oaken Bucket, and the football game for the Cannon between Hinsdale South High School and Downers Grove South.
Downers Grove is home to twelve public elementary schools, two public middle schools and two public high schools, Downers Grove North High School and Downers Grove South High School. Eleven of the elementary schools, including Hillcrest, Belle Aire, El Sierra, Kingsley, Fairmount, Highland, Whittier, Pierce Downer, Henry Puffer, Lester, and Indian Trail Schools and two of the middle schools-Herrick and O'Neill Middle School, are part of Downers Grove Grade School District 58. The other elementary schools, Prairieview and Elizabeth Ide and Lakeview Jr. High School, are part of Center Cass School District 66. The two high schools in Downers Grove, North and South, are part of Community High School District 99. They serve the entire community of Downers Grove, the majority of the village of Woodridge, and parts of Westmont, Darien, Lisle, Bolingbrook, Oak Brook and unincorporated Downers Grove and Lisle Townships.
Both high schools perform very well academically, with District 99 posting an average ACT score of 22.6 in the 2006 administration, 2.3 points above the state average. The 2004 Illinois School Report Card gave North High School an overall achievement rating of 73.4/100, while South High School received a score of 66.3, ranking them 7th and 13th respectively out of 22 DuPage County high schools.
Downers Grove is home to the Avery Coonley School. Founded in 1906 and in its present location in Downers Grove since 1929, it is a highly prestigious private K-8 school, known for its math and science-oriented teaching as well as its focus on the arts and foreign language.
Downers Grove is also the home of Midwestern University, which trains osteopathic physicians and surgeons, physician's assistants, pharmacists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and dentists.
According to the American Community Survey 2010, Downers Grove has one of the nation's most educated citizenry, with 50.7% of individuals over the age of 25 holding bachelor's or advanced degrees; the national average is 27.9%.
The Village of Downers Grove operates under a council-manager form of government. The Village Council is the policy-making body that authorizes a professional manager to oversee the daily operations of the village. In addition to the Municipal Code, which establishes many of the rules and regulations by which the Village operates, the Council has also adopted separate council policies on several matters related to municipal activities.
The Village Council commissioners are Geoff Neustadt, William Waldack, Marilyn Schnell, Robert Barnett, Sean Durkin, and Becky Rheintgen. Martin Tully is mayor. The terms for Schnell, Waldack, and Barnett expire in May 2013. The mayor and other commissioners serve until 2015.
The elections for village positions in the village have traditionally been non-partisan; the candidates' party affiliations do not appear on the ballot, and direct party funding was not practiced. The local Republican Party and Democratic Party organizations have not, in the past, openly issued endorsements of the candidates.
State and national 
The majority of Downers Grove is within the 6th US Congressional District of Illinois. As of 2013 this district is represented by Peter Roskam (Republican). Portions of southwest Downers Grove are within 11th US Congressional District. This district is represented by Bill Foster (Democrat).
In the November 2004 general election, George W. Bush received 39,966 votes in Downers Grove Township, John Kerry received 32,155 votes, and the Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik received 438 votes. By contrast, in the same election, the Illinois Democratic senatorial candidate Barack Obama received 45,721 votes, while his Republican opponent Alan Keyes received 22,167 votes. In 2006, the July 4 parade in Downers Grove featured both of the major Illinois gubernatorial candidates at the time, Judy Baar Topinka (R) and Rod Blagojevich (D).
Downers Grove drinking water comes from Lake Michigan, via the DuPage Water Commission pipeline, which purchases the water from the City of Chicago Department of Water Management. Its electricity infrastructure is largely maintained by Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd); its natural gas infrastructure was built by Northern Illinois Gas.
Household waste pickup is contracted out by the village to Republic Services, as is yard waste pickup; these are paid for by either household-purchased stickers or rented carts. Curbside recycling is free.
Waste water is treated by the Downers Grove Sanitary District.
As of the census of 2000, there were 48,724 people, 18,979 households and 13,019 families residing in the village. The population density was 3,420.2 people per square mile (1,320.2/km²). There were 19,477 housing units at an average density of 1,367.2 per square mile (527.7/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 90.15% White/Euro American, 1.92% African American, 0.11% Native American, 5.71% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.00% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.59% of the population.
There were 18,979 households out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, and 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the village, the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64 and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males.
According to the 2010 American Community Survey, the median income for a household in the village was $78,523, and the median income for a family was $104,653. The mean income for a family was $132,623. Males had a median income of $73,553 versus $53,353 for females. The per capita income for the village was $42,022. About 1.7% of families and 3.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.2% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.
Notable people 
- Muriel Anderson (b.1960), composer and guitarist
- Henry Williams Blodgett (1821-1905), United States federal judge and Illinois state representative
- Bob Bryar (b. 1979), drummer for My Chemical Romance
- Lauren Frost (b. 1985), actress in Even Stevens
- Cammi Granato (b. 1971), Olympic ice hockey champion
- Tony Granato (b. 1964), retired left winger and former head coach of the Colorado Avalanche (NHL)
- Miles Harvey (b. 1960), journalist and author
- F. Kenneth Iverson (1925–2002) CEO of Nucor Steel
- Nancy Johnson (b. 1974), 2000 Summer Olympics gold medalist in the 10 metre air rifle
- Matt Jones (b. 1983), professional hockey player formerly with the Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)
- Dan LeFevour (b. 1987), professional quarterback for Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League
- Eric Lichaj (b. 1988), professional soccer player, currently with Aston Villa and also a member of the US national team
- Jim McDermott (b. 1936), U.S. representative representing Washington's 7th congressional district since 1988
- Sherrill Milnes (b. 1935), baritone, formerly with the Metropolitan Opera
- Bill Novey (1948–1991), head of special effects at Walt Disney Imagineering
- Emo Philips (b. 1956), comedian
- Lanny Poffo (b. 1954), professional wrestler
- "Shorty" Powers (1922–1979), NASA spokesman for Project Mercury
- Denise Richards (b. 1971), actress and former model
- John Ridgely (1909–1968), actor
- Randy Savage (1953–2011), Randall Mario Poffo, ring name "Macho Man", former professional wrestler and actor
- Luther Ely Smith (1873–1951), founder of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
- Matthew West (b. 1977), contemporary Christian musician
See also 
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Village of Downers Grove, Illinois
- "American FactFinder". Census 2000 Fact Sheet. United States Census Bureau. 2000. Retrieved 4 January 2009.[dead link]
- "Downers Grove village, Illinois – Population Finder". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2010.[dead link]
- "Arrow Gear Company - General information". arrowgear.com. Arrow Gear Company. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- "Magnetrol - Contact Us". magnetrol.com. Magnetrol International. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- "Career Opportunities". www.abercrombiekent.com. Abercrombie & Kent. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- Village of Downers Grove 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
- "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files for Places – Illinois". United States Census. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Lyman Woods
- Maple Grove Forest Preserve
- "2011 Tree Cities USA Communities in Illinois Updated May, 2012". www.arborday.org. Arbor Day Foundation. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "Average Weather for Downers Grove, IL – Temperature and Precipitation". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 8 August 2007.
- Teardowns in the News. National Trust for Historic Preservation. Retrieved 29 October 2007. Archived October 29, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Downers Grove Coalition for Managed Redevelopment
- 7 candidates, 7 visions for future of village. The Downers Grove Sun, 15 February 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2007.[dead link]
- Tracing the History of Your House. Downers Grove Library. Retrieved 29 October 2007. Archived November 18, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- 1846 Blodgett House. Blodgetthouse.org, 13 September 2007. Accessed 10 May 2008.
- Move means homecoming for historic Downers Grove house. Chicago Tribune, 6 May 2008. Accessed 10 May 2008.
- Grove Commuter Shuttle FAQ
- Downers Grove Grade School District 58
- Center Cass School District 66.
- "ILLINOIS DISTRICT REPORT CARD: CHSD 99" (PDF). Archived from the original on 16 February 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2007.
- Illinois School Report Card 2004[dead link]
- The Avery Coonley School Archived 19 July 2007 at WebCite
- "Downers Grove (village) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Mayor & Council". www.downers.us. Village of Downers Grove. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- November 2004 Election results for Downers Grove Township
- Blagojevich and Topinka both make appearances at the Downers Grove 4th of July parade
- "Village of Downers Grove". Downers.us. Archived from the original on 25 June 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2009.
- Village of Downers Grove Utilities FAQ
- Nicor Inc. Home Page – Nicor
- "Downers Grove Sanitary District". Dgsd.org. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2009.
- "American Fact Finder". 2006–2010 American Community Survey. US Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Reinhardt, Haydn (2008). My Chemical Romance: This Band Will Save Your Life. London: Plexus Publishing.
- Thigpen, David (12 July 2008). "Downer's Grove native Miles Harvey is a master of non-fiction storytelling". Chicago Trbune (Chicago, Illinois). Retrieved 25 February 2013.
- Wayne, Leslie (17 April 2002). "F. Kenneth Iverson, 76, Dies; Reshaped the Steel Industry". New York Times. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- Derocher, Robert (26 August 1999). "Dupage Native Shoots For Olympics". Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois). Retrieved 25 February 2013.
- "Player Profile: Eric Lichaj". Aston Villa F. C. 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
- "Player Bio: Eric Lichaj". Men's Soccer. North Carolina Tar Heels. 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
- "National Journal Almanac, Washington District 7, Rep. Jim McDermott". Retrieved 24 February 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Downers Grove, Illinois|
- Village of Downers Grove
- Downers Grove Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry
- Downers Grove Park District
- Downers Grove Public Library
- Downers Grove Visitors Bureau
- Downers Grove Grade School District 58
- Community High School District 99
- Township of Downers Grove
- Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance
- The Downers Grove Heritage Preservation Corporation – 1846 Blodgett House
- The Downers Grove Reporter
- The Grove Foundation