Brookfield, Illinois

Coordinates: 41°49′22″N 87°50′51″W / 41.82278°N 87.84750°W / 41.82278; -87.84750
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Brookfield, Illinois
Grossdale, Illinois
Part of Brookfield and neighboring La Grange Park
Part of Brookfield and neighboring La Grange Park
Location of Brookfield in Cook County, Illinois
Location of Brookfield in Cook County, Illinois
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°49′22″N 87°50′51″W / 41.82278°N 87.84750°W / 41.82278; -87.84750
Country United States
TownshipLyons, Proviso, Riverside
 • TypeVillage-manager
 • PresidentKit P. Ketchmark
 • Total3.07 sq mi (7.95 km2)
 • Land3.06 sq mi (7.93 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)  0.33%
 • Total19,476
 • Density6,356.40/sq mi (2,454.48/km2)
 Down 0.56% from 2000
Standard of living (2007-11)
 • Per capita income$31,651
 • Median home value$263,600
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s)708
FIPS code17-08576

Brookfield (formerly Grossdale) is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States, located 13 miles (21 km) west of downtown Chicago. Per the 2020 census, the population was 19,476.[2] The city is home to the Brookfield Zoo.


Brookfield is located at 41°49′22″N 87°50′51″W / 41.82278°N 87.84750°W / 41.82278; -87.84750 (41.822681, -87.847532).[3]

According to the 2010 census, Brookfield has a total area of 3.067 square miles (7.94 km2), of which 3.06 square miles (7.93 km2) (or 99.77%) is land and 0.007 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.23%) is water.[4]

Most of Brookfield is flat land with various small hills and rises. Along Salt Creek is a steep ravine that is home to many oak savannas. These oak savannas are the primary ecosystem of Brookfield, and sprawl out from large, forested areas into small pockets in the village.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
2010[6] 2020[7]

As of the 2020 census[8] there were 19,476 people, 6,988 households, and 4,692 families residing in the village. The population density was 6,341.91 inhabitants per square mile (2,448.63/km2). There were 7,785 housing units at an average density of 2,535.00 per square mile (978.77/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 70.82% White, 3.30% African American, 0.95% Native American, 1.92% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 9.08% from other races, and 13.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25.78% of the population.

There were 6,988 households, out of which 67.27% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.05% were married couples living together, 9.65% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.86% were non-families. 26.09% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.23% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.23 and the average family size was 2.63.

The village's age distribution consisted of 26.3% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 29.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $84,891, and the median income for a family was $103,072. Males had a median income of $57,343 versus $47,355 for females. The per capita income for the village was $38,222. About 4.3% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.8% of those under age 18 and 9.5% of those age 65 or over.

Brookfield village, Illinois – Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[6] Pop 2020[7] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 14,888 12,791 78.45% 65.68%
Black or African American alone (NH) 456 597 2.40% 3.07%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 11 27 0.06% 0.14%
Asian alone (NH) 285 346 1.50% 1.78%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 0 3 0.00% 0.02%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 11 52 0.06% 0.27%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 258 640 1.36% 3.29%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 3,069 5,020 16.17% 25.78%
Total 18,978 19,476 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.


Nearly all of Brookfield is in Illinois's 3rd congressional district; the northernmost portion, a largely wooded area north of the zoo, is in the 4th district.


Before 1803, the area now called Brookfield was mostly covered by prairie grasses, forests, and farms. Large portions of the area were inhabited by the Native Americans who long ago developed agriculture and corn cultivation, built villages and burial mounds, invented the bow and arrow, and made beautiful pottery.[citation needed]

Samuel Eberly Gross

Settlement of the village dates to 1889 when Samuel Eberly Gross, a Chicago lawyer turned real estate investor, began selling building lots plotted from farms and woodlands he had acquired along both sides of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad line, which provided passenger and freight service between Chicago and Aurora, Illinois. "Grossdale", as his development was originally called, offered suburban living at prices affordable to working-class families.

The first two buildings Gross erected were a train station south of the tracks at what is now Prairie Avenue, and a pavilion across the tracks. The original train station was moved across the tracks and a few hundred feet east in 1981, and is now the home of the village's historical society and museum, as well as listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The pavilion housed the first post office, general store, Gross' real estate office, meeting rooms, and eventually a dance hall. Gross offered free train outings from Chicago to Grossdale where the prospects were met at the station by a band and treated to a picnic lunch, with a sales pitch from Gross. In addition to parcels of land, he had a number of house designs to offer at "cheap" prices.

Gross later added the subdivisions of Hollywood (1893) and West Grossdale (1895), each with its own train station. Residents voted to incorporate as the village of Grossdale in 1893. The name was changed in 1905 after residents became displeased with Gross, whose personal life and fortune had floundered. A contest to choose a new name yielded "Brookfield" in respect for Salt Creek, which runs through the area. Gross also has a school named after him called S.E. Gross.

In 1920, the old Plank Toll Road, now called Ogden Avenue (US Hwy 34), was paved, providing easy automobile access to and from Chicago.

The Chicago Zoological Park, commonly called the Brookfield Zoo, opened in 1934. The zoo is located on land given to the Forest Preserve District by Edith Rockefeller McCormick in 1919.

Newspapers and publications[edit]

Throughout the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, newspapers published in Brookfield included The Suburban Magnet and Brookfield Star. The largest and most successful newspaper printed in Brookfield was the Brookfield Enterprise. It was started in 1932 by Porter Reubendall, then owned and expanded in the 1950s by Elmer C. Johnson, and ceased publication in 1985.

Public education[edit]

Elementary school districts serving sections of Brookfield include: Brookfield School District 95, LaGrange School District 102, Lyons School District 103, and Riverside School District 96.[9]

Brookfield-LaGrange Elementary School District 95 is the primary elementary school district for Brookfield residents, and is made up of one elementary school (Brook-Park Elementary School[10]) and one junior high school (S.E. Gross Middle School[11]). Other Brookfield students may attend schools in Riverside School District 96, LaGrange Elementary School District 102, or Lyons School District 103. District 95 and 96 teens then attend Riverside Brookfield High School in District 208, while students from SD 102 and SD 103 (the southeast portion of Brookfield) attend Lyons Township High School, District 204, which has campuses in La Grange and Western Springs.


Brookfield's connection to the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy lives on with Metra's BNSF Railway Line, which serves three stations in the Brookfield area: Congress Park, Brookfield, and Hollywood. Metra trains operate daily between Chicago and Aurora. Various Pace bus stops exist throughout the village, as well as common trolleys.


  • The Brookfield Zoo, managed by the Chicago Zoological Society, is open every day of the year.
  • The Galloping Ghost Arcade is the largest video arcade in the United States, with over 851 video and pinball games.
  • North Kiwanis Park is a major area for many annual events such as German Fest, Fall Fest, Battle of the Bands, and the Brookfield Fourth of July Parade.
  • The Brookfield oak savannas are a popular nature preserve, with many animal and plant species.
  • The Grossdale Train Station now houses the Brookfield Historical Society. It is the oldest structure in Brookfield, having been built in the 1880s before the city was founded.
  • Salt Creek flows through many suburbs and is a tributary to the Des Plaines River. The creek is wide and long, with gentle, murky water, good fishing, and vast amounts of wildlife.
  • The Festival of Sausages, a celebration of German heritage, is hosted in Brookfield every year by local resident Chad Vandemark.
  • Jaycee Ehlert Park is the largest park in Brookfield. A North American F-86L Sabre is on display as a Korean War memorial.[12] It was home to Brookfield's renowned carnival, "Brookfest", before it was cancelled in the mid-2000s due to various gang fights and firework malfunctions.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  2. ^ "Brookfield village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  4. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2015-08-02.
  5. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  6. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Brookfield village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  7. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Brookfield village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  8. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2022-06-28.
  9. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Cook County, IL" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. p. 6 (PDF p. 7). Retrieved 2021-07-06.
  10. ^ "Home - Brook Park Elementary School". Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  11. ^ "Home - SE. Gross Middle School". Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  12. ^ "F-86 Sabre - Ehlert Park - Brookfield, IL - Static Aircraft Displays". Retrieved 2021-11-08.
  13. ^ 'Illinois Blue Book 1965-1966,' Biographical Sketcgh of William L. Blaser, pg. 198-199
  14. ^ "Brookfield pop star's career a secret no longer". 13 August 2013.
  15. ^ "George Marsh". Archived from the original on June 9, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2014.

External links[edit]