Melrose Park, Illinois
|Melrose Park, Illinois|
|Elevation||630 ft (192 m)|
|Area||4.24 sq mi (11 km2)|
|- land||4.24 sq mi (11 km2)|
|- water||0.00 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Density||5,993.2 / sq mi (2,314 / km2)|
|Date||September 11, 1882|
|Mayor||Ronald M. Serpico|
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Postal code||60160, 60161, 60162|
Melrose Park is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is a suburb of Chicago. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 25,411. Melrose Park has long been home to a large Italian-American population, though now it is majority Mexican-American.
The suburb was the home of Kiddieland Amusement Park from 1929 until 2010, and the current home of Maywood Park Racetrack, the Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and Stern Pinball, Inc., which is now the world's last manufacturer of coin-operated pinball machines.
There is a Metra railroad station in Melrose Park with daily service to Chicago. Melrose Park is home to two hospitals, Westlake Hospital and Gottlieb Memorial Hospital.
According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, in 1882 residents of a then-unincorporated portion of Proviso Township voted to establish their own municipality—called simply "Melrose" until 1893, when the "Park" was added—and population in the area began to steadily increase. The first Italian-Americans arrived in 1888. On April 19, 1920, the F4 Palm Sunday tornado cut a 328-foot-wide (100 m) path over 1,094 yards (1,000 m) through the village and killed ten people. It destroyed the Sacred Heart Church and attached convent.
At the turn of the century, the population surge plateaued and industry began to stagnate. It wasn't until after World War I that the local economy was able to recover, the result of a number of manufacturing companies setting up shop in the village. New industry, coupled with Melrose Park's prime geographic location next to the Proviso freight yards, led to a steady increase in the number of area jobs. This continued after World War II, with still more companies moving to Melrose Park. Zenith Electronics, Alberto-Culver, Jewel, and International Harvester are some examples. Many of these companies are still located in Melrose Park and the local industry remains stable, but Zenith no longer exists.
During the late 1990s, in an effort to attract more commerce, the village underwent major cosmetic improvements, beginning with the redesigning of all village street signs. The wooded area on both sides of Silver Creek, between Broadway and 17th Avenue along North Avenue, was almost completely dug up, the grass replaced, and wood chips were added along the bases of the remaining trees. Many busy streets were repaved and the athletic field next to the village hall was completely redone. This has helped not only to attract new businesses, but also many first-time home buyers.
Melrose Park has been the target of many scandals involving corruption of its public officials. Former police chief Vito Scavo was indicted on federal racketeering charges after a lengthy investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The athletic field next to the village hall is named after the late Ralph "Babe" Serpico, father of the current mayor, Ronald M. Serpico.
Navistar International has a factory and an engine group office in Melrose Park.
According to the 2010 census, the village has a total area of 4.24 square miles (11.0 km2), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 23,171 people, 7,631 households, and 5,448 families residing in the village. The population density was 5,465.7 people per square mile (2,110.0/km²). There were 7,905 housing units at an average density of 1,864.7 per square mile (719.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 71.53% White, 2.92% African American, 0.49% Native American, 1.99% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 20.08% from other races, and 2.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 53.88% of the population.
There were 7,631 households out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.8% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.6% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family size was 3.61.
In the village the population was spread out with 27.4% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 32.6% from 25 to 44, 17.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 100.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.3 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $40,689, and the median income for a family was $46,963. Males had a median income of $31,353 versus $24,961 for females. The per capita income for the village was $16,206. About 8.7% of families and 10.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.0% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.
- Clara Cannucciari, host of the web series Great Depression Cooking with Clara and author of the book Clara's Kitchen
- Tim Costo, outfielder and first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds
- Michael Finley, all-star with the Boston Celtics
- Roy Gleason, outfielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers
- Ken Grundt, middle-relief pitcher for several major league baseball teams
- Carol Lawrence, actress, born in Melrose Park
- Corey Maggette, small forward and shooting guard for several NBA teams
- Caroline Myss, spiritual author
- Vasili Spanos, Minor League third baseman, played for the US Olympic baseball team (2004)
- Mike Woodard, second baseman for the San Francisco Giants and Chicago White Sox
- Glenn (Doc) Rivers Guard for the Atlanta Hawks and now coach of the LA Clippers.
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Melrose Park village, Illinois". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- "Tidbits: Did You Know". American Profile. 2007-07-15.
- Marbella, Fidencio; Margaret Flanagan (2009). Melrose Park, Illinois (Images of America Series). Arcadia Publishing. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-7385-6093-9.
- "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files for Places – Illinois". United States Census. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Village of Melrose Park official website
- Melrose Park Police Department
- Melrose Park history from Encyclopedia of Chicago
- Melrose Park Public Library
- Melrose Park Public Library Historical Collection