Deerfield Historic Village
"The community that lives and works together"
Location of Deerfield in Lake and Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
|Township||West Deerfield, Moraine|
|• Mayor||Harriet Rosenthal|
|• Total||5.55 sq mi (14.38 km2)|
|• Land||5.53 sq mi (14.32 km2)|
|• Water||0.02 sq mi (0.06 km2)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||3,371.79/sq mi (1,301.81/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|Area code(s)||847, 224|
|Wikimedia Commons||Deerfield, Illinois|
Deerfield is a north shore suburb of Chicago in Lake County, Illinois, United States, approximately 25 miles north of Chicago with a small portion extending into Cook County, Illinois. The population was 18,225 at the 2010 census, a decline of 175 from 2000. Deerfield is home to the headquarters of Walgreens, Baxter Healthcare, Business Technology Partners, Caterpillar Inc., APAC Customer Services, Fortune Brands Home & Security, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company's US HQ, Consumers Digest, and Mondelēz International. Deerfield is often listed among some of the wealthiest and highest earning places in Illinois and the Midwest. The per capita income of the village is $68,101 and the median household income is $143,729.
Originally populated by the Potawatomi Native Americans, the area was settled by Horace Lamb and Jacob B. Cadwell in 1835 and named Cadwell's Corner. A shopping center located on the site of Cadwell's farm at Waukegan Road and Lake Cook Road still bears that name. The area grew because of the navigable rivers in the area, notably the Des Plaines River and the Chicago River. By 1840, the town's name was changed to "Leclair". Within a decade, settler John Millen proposed a further name change to "Deerfield" in honor of his hometown, Deerfield, Massachusetts and the large number of deer living in the area. At the time, the alternate name for the village on the ballot was "Erin". "Deerfield" won by a vote of 17-13. The village's first school, Wilmot School, was founded in 1847. Originally a one-room schoolhouse, Wilmot is now an elementary school which serves 548 students. It is located on land donated by Lyman Wilmot, whose wife, Clarissa, was the village's first school teacher. The village was incorporated in 1903 with a population in the low 400s.
In a 1917 design by Thomas E. Tallmadge of the American Institute of Architects, Deerfield (and adjacent Highland Park) served as the center for a new proposed capital city of the United States. By that year, all of Deerfield's original farms had been converted either to residential areas or golf courses.
On May 26, 1944, a US Navy plane crashed in Deerfield on the current site of the Deerfield Public Library, killing Ensign Milton C. Pickens. Following World War II, a portion of Waukegan Road (Route 43) that runs through Deerfield has been designated a Blue Star Memorial Highway.
In 1959, when Deerfield officials learned that a developer building a neighborhood of large new homes planned to make houses available to African Americans, they issued a stop-work order. An intense debate began about racial integration, property values, and the good faith of community officials and builders. For a brief time, Deerfield was spotlighted in the national news as "the Little Rock of the North." Supporters of integration were denounced and ostracized by angry residents. Eventually, the village passed a referendum to build parks on the property, thus putting an end to the housing development. Two model homes already partially completed were sold to village officials. The remaining land lay dormant for years before it was developed into what is now Mitchell Pool and Park and Jaycee Park. At the time, Deerfield's black population was 12 people out of a total population of 11,786. This episode in Deerfield's history is described in But Not Next Door by Harry and David Rosen, both residents of Deerfield. On June 18, 2020, the Deerfield park board voted to rename Mitchell Park, stating, "Mr. Mitchell's name is simply a symbol that honors a misguided part of Deerfield's history, on a property that was intended to be integrated housing. It is that segregationist history that we do not believe should be honored."
Since the early 1980s, Deerfield has seen a large influx of Jews, Asians, and Greeks, giving the community a more diverse cultural and ethnic makeup.
On June 27, 1962, ground was broken by Kitchens of Sara Lee (now Sara Lee Corporation) for construction of the world's largest bakery. The plant, located on the current site of Coromandel Condominiums on Kates Road, began production in 1964 using state-of-the-art materials handling and production equipment. It was billed as the world's first industrial plant with a fully automated production control system and was designed by Stanley Winton. President Ronald Reagan visited the plant in 1985. The plant closed in 1990 as Sara Lee consolidated production in Tarboro, North Carolina. By 1991, headquarters employees had moved to downtown Chicago. In 2007, Sara Lee severed its final tie to its former home town with the closure of the Sara Lee Bakery Outlet Store.
In 1982, Deerfield began an experiment with a community farm. Two hundred residents applied for plots on a 3-acre (12,000 m2) community garden. The project had such a strong initial success that the village opened additional community farms on vacant land in the village.
As of 1987 Deerfield was mostly made up of single-family houses. As of that year the resale prices of Deerfield houses ranged from $100,000 to $300,000. 43.5% of the town's land consisted of single-family houses, while 1.1% contained multi-family housing. As of that year little of the remaining land was available for further residential development.
On December 19, 2005, the village board passed a strict anti-smoking ordinance. The law bans smoking in all public places, including businesses, bars, restaurants, parks, parade routes, public assemblies, and within 25 feet (7.6 m) from any of the above.
In November 2007, BusinessWeek.com listed Deerfield third in a list of the 50 best places to raise children. The rankings were based on five factors: school test scores, cost of living, recreational and cultural activities, number of schools and risk of crime. Deerfield ranked behind Groesbeck, Ohio, and Western Springs, Illinois.
In 2015, a plan to rezone a parcel of land originally zoned for single-family homes, in order to allow the construction of a 48-unit affordable apartment building complex, was proposed. Some Deerfield residents were opposed to the proposition.
In 2018, The Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved a ban on certain types of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, amending a 2013 ordinance that regulated the storage of those items. This is despite an Illinois State Preemption on any further municipal firearms restrictions, and the fact that amendments to city ordinances have to pass said amendments as separate ordinances. At least one lawsuit is challenging the Ordinance that bypasses the US Constitution. However, the ban was blocked by Lake County Circuit Court Judge Luis Berrones until the two lawsuits challenging the ban are heard. One of the lawsuits is based on a state preemption statute regarding local bans enacted after 2013.
Deerfield Historic Village
Located in front of Kipling Elementary School is the Deerfield Historic Village, founded and maintained by the Deerfield Area Historical Society, this outdoor museum consists of five historic buildings and includes the headquarters for the Deerfield Historical Society.
The Historic Village includes the Caspar Ott House, where the Ott family assisted in the passage of slaves in the Underground Railroad, considered to be the oldest building in Lake County, built in 1837. It was restored by Bob Przewlocki. The George Luther House (1847) now includes the Society's offices and Visitor Center. The Bartle Sacker Farmhouse (1854) is a typical 19th century home. While those buildings are all original (although relocated from their original sites), the carriage house and little red school house are replicas. Each year, all fourth graders in district 109 spend a day learning in the school house.
According to the 2010 census, Deerfield has a total area of 5.62 square miles (14.56 km2), of which 5.58 square miles (14.45 km2) (or 99.29%) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (or 0.71%) is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 18,420 people, 6,420 households, and 5,161 families residing in the village. The population density was 3,359.4 people per square mile (1,297.8/km2). There were 6,518 housing units at an average density of 1,188.7 per square mile (459.2/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 95.88% White, 0.33% African American, 0.04% Native American, 2.52% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.69% of the population.
There were 6,420 households, out of which 43.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.0% were married couples living together, 6.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.6% were non-families. 17.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81, and the average family size was 3.21.
In the village, the population was spread out, with 30.6% under the age of 18, 3.7% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 26.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $107,194, and the median income for a family was $118,683. Males had a median income of $90,226 versus $48,450 for females. The per capita income for the village was $50,664. About 1.3% of families and 1.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.1% of those under age 18 and 1.8% of those age 65 or over.
In 1982 a 324-acre (131 ha) tax-increment-financing district opened along Lake-Cook Road, spurring business development. As of 1987 the office leasing activity in Deerfield increased tremendously, and throughout the 1980s office buildings were developed along Lake-Cook Road, between Interstate 294 and Waukegan Road. Two hotels, an Embassy Suites and a Hyatt, opened during the era to accommodate the increased business traffic. Factors augmenting the establishment of businesses along the corridor included the opening of the district, the abundance of vacant land, and the corridor's proximity to the Chicago Loop and O'Hare International Airport.
Deerfield is home to the headquarters of Baxter Healthcare, Beam, Big Apple Bagels, CF Industries, Consumers Digest, Caterpillar, Così, Fortune Brands Home & Security, Mondelēz International, United Stationers, and Walgreens Boots Alliance, As of 2009 Walgreens employed 5,200 people at its headquarters. As of 2003 Baxter employed a total of 1,000 employees in its headquarters and in other offices in Deerfield.
Deerfield was at one time the bakery division headquarters of the Sara Lee Corporation. In 1987 Sara Lee had about 1,200 employees in Deerfield. In 1990, the Deerfield Sara Lee plant and bakery headquarters was closed, and the land was sold to developers. During 1987, Baxter Travenol (later Baxter International) had about 1,500 employees and Walgreens, then in an unincorporated area near Deerfield, had about 1,100 employees. In 1985, President Ronald Reagan visited the Sara Lee factory in Deerfield.
Offices of foreign companies
Deerfield houses the headquarters of some U.S. subsidiaries of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, including Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., Takeda Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., and Takeda Global Research & Development Center, Inc.
According to Deerfield's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Walgreens Boots Alliance||6,500|
|3||Baxter International Inc||1,700|
|4||Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA Inc||1,700|
|5||Baxter Healthcare Corp||800|
|8||Deerfield Park District||500|
|9||Deerfield School District 109||500|
|10||Siemens Healthcare Solutions USA Inc||310|
In 1998, a significant portion of the Deerfield downtown area (comprising a then-outdated shopping center called the Deerfield Commons and the former Deerfield Savings and Loan) was demolished and replaced with a new outdoor shopping district, Deerfield Square, sometimes called "The Square" or "The Commons" by some Deerfield residents. This district is composed of shopping stores, restaurants, and workout facilities, such as Barnes & Noble, Cafe Zupas, Footloose, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, CorePower Yoga, Whole Foods Market, and Pure Barre. In addition to merchandising space, Deerfield Square includes office space and an outdoor plaza which is used during the summer for free outdoor concerts.
Along the border with Northbrook, Deerbrook Mall opened in 1971. It includes both an indoor and outdoor shopping area- the last store located inside the mall was TJ Maxx which moved to Northbrook in 2014, finally allowing the interior of the mall to close. Near Deerbrook Mall is Cadwell's Corners, a small outdoor mall that carries the village's original name. Cadwell's Corners was mostly empty of stores by 2011, and the Deerfield Public Library selected the location for a temporary library during renovation of their original building. Since Fresh Thyme moved in in June 2014, Cadwell's Corners has filled in.
The village hall is called the Bernard Forrest Deerfield Village Hall.
Deerfield is represented by the 10th Congressional District of Illinois (Democrat Brad Schneider), 29th District of the Illinois Senate (Democrat Julie Morrison) and the 58th District of the Illinois House of Representatives (Democrat Bob Morgan).
Deerfield is served by Deerfield Public Schools School District 109, which operates four public elementary schools (Kipling, South Park, Walden, and Wilmot) and two public middle schools (Caruso and Shepard). The majority of Deerfield's children go on to attend Deerfield High School; however, a small portion attend Highland Park High School (both of which comprise School District 113). Deerfield High School was one of the top high schools in the state, ranking #5 in 2012.
At one time, District 109 contained as many as eight elementary schools. However, Maplewood, Woodland Park, Briarwood, and Cadwell, (the original Deerfield Grammar School located on Deerfield Road was torn down to build the District Offices) were all closed beginning in the 1970s through the 1980s and their students absorbed by the four larger, remaining elementary schools. A very small part of the far western side of the village is Lincolnshire District 103 and Stevenson High School's area. However, there are no residents officially living there.
The village was long home to one Roman Catholic school, Holy Cross School of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago (which closed at the completion of the 2017-2018 school year), one Conservative Jewish school, Rochelle Zell Jewish High School, formerly known as Chicagoland Jewish High School, and two Montessori schools.
Colleges and universities
- Paul Adams, longtime Deerfield High School football coach.
- Robert Bell, Chicago's Bozo the Clown
- Dean Bernardini, rock musician for band Chevelle
- Karl Berning, Illinois state senator, actor, and writer
- Alex Borstein, actor, voice actor, known for voicing Lois Griffin on Family Guy
- Barry Bradford, teacher, author, helped reopen Mississippi Burning and Clyde Kennard cases; National Teacher of The Year, winner of Golden Apple Award for Excellence In Teaching, Presidential Citation for Civilian Service.
- Brian Bram, artist for American Splendor
- Joey Calistri, professional soccer player for Chicago Fire
- Colt Cabana, professional wrestler
- Duje Dukan, NBA basketball player for Chicago Bulls
- Cory Everson, fitness model and bodybuilder, lived in Deerfield as teenager
- Tim Floyd, NBA basketball coach for the Chicago Bulls
- Jason Fried, co-founder of Basecamp, author and thought leader
- T. C. Furlong, guitarist, co-founder of the Jump 'N the Saddle Band, and producer of "The Curly Shuffle"
- Gale Gand, pastry chef, Food Network personality, cookbook author, winner of 2001 James Beard award
- Ross Golan, multi-platinum songwriter, producer, artist, winner of 2016 BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year
- Paul Hamer, company co-founder of Hamer Guitars
- Pete Jones, first winner of HBO's Project Greenlight, writer/director of Stolen Summer
- Bryan Jurewicz, lineman for Wisconsin Badgers
- Lindsay Knapp, offensive lineman for Green Bay Packers, played in Super Bowl XXXI
- Fred Meyer, chairman of Republican Party of Texas, 1988–94, born in Deerfield in 1927
- Aaron Moorehead, receiver for NFL's Indianapolis Colts
- Bruce Rauner, 42nd Governor of Illinois (2015-2019)
- The Redwalls, a four-piece rock band
- Betty Lou Reed, Illinois state representative
- James Saric, National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame inductee
- Art Shay, prolific photojournalist, lived in Deerfield for 50 years
- Curt Teich, 20th-Century postcard photographer and manufacturer
- Fred L. Turner, retired chairman and CEO of McDonald's Corp.
- T. J. Tynan, professional hockey player
- Daniel Walker, 36th Governor of Illinois (1973-1977)
- Edwin F. Weigle, photographer for Chicago Tribune during First World War, lived and died in Deerfield
National Boss's Day was invented by a Deerfield employee.
In 1979, Deerfield created a "No-Kissing Zone" at the local train station in response to complaints about traffic jams at the station caused by couples taking too long to kiss their goodbyes at the drop-off point. The "No-Kissing" signs (patterned after international traffic signs) attracted national attention and were featured in Time magazine and ABC's AM America (precursor to "Good Morning America"). A Deerfield family appearing on the game show Family Feud presented Richard Dawson with replica pins of the signs.
In the 1980s, Deerfield and other North Shore communities inspired the teen films of director/screenwriter John Hughes. The fictional Shermer, Illinois, included elements of Deerfield and neighboring Northbrook and Highland Park.
A number of media properties have been set and/or filmed in Deerfield, including television drama Once and Again, comedy Married... with Children and portions of reality show American High. In film, the Deerfield train station is shown in the film Risky Business, and Stolen Summer used various parts of the village.
Deerfield also figures in the musical Dear Edwina, written by Marcy Heisler, a Deerfield native, and Zina Goldrich. The fictional protagonist lives at 427 Birchwood Avenue. Although the play is set in Paw Paw, Michigan, much of it (including the address) is inspired by Heisler's hometown, Deerfield.
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