Melrose Park, Illinois

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Melrose Park, Illinois
Country United States
State Illinois
County Cook
Township Proviso
Elevation 630 ft (192 m)
Coordinates 41°54′28″N 87°51′52″W / 41.90778°N 87.86444°W / 41.90778; -87.86444Coordinates: 41°54′28″N 87°51′52″W / 41.90778°N 87.86444°W / 41.90778; -87.86444
Area 4.24 sq mi (11 km2)
 - land 4.24 sq mi (11 km2)
 - water 0.00 sq mi (0 km2)
Population 25,411 (2010)
Density 5,993.2 / sq mi (2,314 / km2)
Founded Incorporated
Date September 11, 1882
Mayor Ronald M. Serpico
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 60160, 60161, 60162
Area code 708
Location in Cook County and the state of Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Wikimedia Commons: Melrose Park, Illinois

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.[1] Melrose Park has long been home to a large Italian-American population.

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.[2]

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.[3]

At the turn of the century, the population surge plateaued and industry began to stagnate; it was only 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.[4] 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 excavated, 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[citation needed] 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.

Unincorporated Leyden township is partially located in Melrose Park, IL and the residents in that part have a Melrose Park adddress.


Navistar International has a factory and an engine group office in Melrose Park. Melrose Park Immediate Care is a medical and dental clinic located in downtown Melrose park.


According to the 2010 census, Melrose Park has a total area of 4.24 square miles (10.98 km2), all land.[5]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 200
1900 2,592
1910 4,806 85.4%
1920 7,147 48.7%
1930 10,741 50.3%
1940 10,933 1.8%
1950 13,366 22.3%
1960 22,291 66.8%
1970 22,716 1.9%
1980 20,735 −8.7%
1990 20,859 0.6%
2000 23,171 11.1%
2010 25,411 9.7%
Est. 2014 25,511 [6] 0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the census[8] 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.


Maywood-Melrose Park-Broadview School District 89 operates elementary and middle schools.

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 operates public high schools. The community is served by Proviso East High School in Maywood and Walther Christian Academy.[9]

Notable people[edit]


In 2012, Melrose Park became home to the Chicago Vipers who play in the Continental Indoor Football League. They play their home games at Sports Zone.


  1. ^ "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. 
  2. ^ "Tidbits: Did You Know". American Profile. 2007-07-15. 
  3. ^ Marbella, Fidencio; Margaret Flanagan (2009). Melrose Park, Illinois (Images of America Series). Arcadia Publishing. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-7385-6093-9. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-10-26. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ "About Proviso Township High Schools District 209." Proviso Township High Schools District 209. Retrieved on February 23, 2014.

External links[edit]