New Lenox, Illinois

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New Lenox
Village of New Lenox
Nickname(s): Home of Proud Americans
Location of New Lenox in Will County, Illinois.
Location of New Lenox in Will County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°30′30″N 87°58′14″W / 41.508251°N 87.970597°W / 41.508251; -87.970597Coordinates: 41°30′30″N 87°58′14″W / 41.508251°N 87.970597°W / 41.508251; -87.970597
Country United States
State Illinois
County Will
Incorporated 1946
 • Mayor Tim Baldermann
 • Total 16.05 sq mi (41.58 km2)
 • Land 16.03 sq mi (41.52 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.06 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 24,394
 • Estimate (2016)[2] 26,217
 • Density 1,635.39/sq mi (631.45/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 815 and 779
FIPS code 17-52584

New Lenox is a village in Will County, Illinois, United States. The village population was 24,394 as of 2010.


New Lenox is located approximately 36 miles southwest of downtown Chicago at 41°30′30″N 87°58′14″W / 41.50833°N 87.97056°W / 41.50833; -87.97056 (41.508251, -87.970597).[3] According to the 2010 census, New Lenox has a total area of 15.683 square miles (40.62 km2), of which 15.66 square miles (40.56 km2) (or 99.85%) is land and 0.023 square miles (0.06 km2) (or 0.15%) is water.[4]


What is now the Village of New Lenox was first settled in the late 1820s, in the area of Gougar crossing (Route 30 and Gougar Road) and it was called VanHorne Point. New Lenox Township was established when Will County was created in 1852 with the building of the Rock Island Railroad between Chicago and Rock Island, Illinois. Originally named Tracey in honor of the general superintendent of the Rock Island Railroad. Mr. Tracy later requested that the community be renamed. The first supervisor of the Rock Island Railway for New Lenox Township, John Van Duser, named the Township New Lenox from the town Lenox, New York, which was Van Duser's hometown. In 1863, the name for the new settlement officially became New Lenox Township.

New Lenox was not officially created until October 4, 1946. In 1945, 46 community leaders, F. Carlton Cole, Walter Baers and others reasoned that the community should be incorporated. Recognizing the benefits and the potential growth of the area, a community vote in the spring of 1946 resulted in the authorization for the creation of the Village of New Lenox. On October 4, 1946, the State of Illinois officially certified that New Lenox was legally organized and incorporated as a Village in the State of Illinois.[5]

New Lenox is known as "The Home of Proud Americans" which exemplifies the quality of life in the community.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 1,235
1960 1,750 41.7%
1970 2,855 63.1%
1980 5,792 102.9%
1990 9,627 66.2%
2000 17,771 84.6%
2010 24,394 37.3%
Est. 2016 26,217 [2] 7.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the census[8] of 2010, there were 24,394 people, 8,000 households, and 6,547 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,424.9 people per square mile (936.3/km²). There were 8,244 housing units at an average density of 819.5 per square mile (316.4/km²).

The racial makeup of the village was 96.2% White, 0.8% Asian, 0.7% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 1.0% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.7% of the population.

There were 8,000 households out of which 45.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.8% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 8.2 were non-families. 15.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.04 and the average family size was 3.41.

The median income for a household in the village was $88,778 and the median income for a family was $97,752 [9]

The median home value in the village as of the first quarter of 2011 is $245,100.[10]

According to a 2011 forecast the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning estimated New Lenox will have a population of 90,652 in 2030.[11] However, due to a substantial slow down in area growth, a 2015 forecast estimates the population of New Lenox will grow to about 68,000 residents by 2040.[12]

Local government[edit]

The village operates under the Village form of local government. The Council-Trustees/Mayor form of government is followed and utilizes a village administrator to perform chief administrative duties. The current mayor is Tim Baldermann and the current village administrator is Kurt Carroll. The six member board of trustees and mayor are elected in an election at large on a four-year staggered basis, with the mayor elected to that specific office by the voters. The current board:

Annette Bowden, David Butterfield, Douglas Finnegan, Emily Johnson, Keith Madsen, and David Smith.

The New Lenox Village Hall

The village's board of trustees is responsible for setting village policy, enacting ordinances and resolutions for the proper governing of the village, as well as for overseeing the proper planning of the village. The village clerk is an appointed position and is responsible for the proper keeping of all official documents of the village. As well, the position is the local election official, and is responsible for in-person absentee voting, as well as the duties of setting the ballot for all local elections. As chief administrative officer, the village administrator is responsible for the enforcement of all village codes and ordinances, as well as recommending employee hiring to the mayor and board of trustees. The village administrator also supervises all village departmental operations.

In 2007, the village governmental operations were moved to the new New Lenox Village Hall at 1 Veterans Parkway. Upon occupying this new building of approximately 65,000 square feet (6,000 m2), the old Village Hall which was approximately 14,000 square feet (1,300 m2) was taken over by the New Lenox Police Department [1]. The main level of the building which formerly housed the village operations was remodeled for police use.


On June 8, 2010, the New Lenox was officially designated as the 9th “Safe Community” in the United States.[13] This prestigious designation is bestowed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Safety Council (NSC). The NSC serves as the International Safe Communities Affiliate Support and Certifying Center for the United States.

Local school districts[edit]

New Lenox School District 122

New Lenox School District 122 provides primary education services to students in grades kindergarten through 8. The superintendent is Dr. Michael Sass. The student body is drawn primarily from New Lenox in Will County and surrounding areas.

Elementary schools

  • Tyler Elementary School
  • Bentley Elementary School
  • Haines Elementary School
  • Nelson Prairie Elementary School
  • Nelson Ridge Elementary School
  • Oster-Oakview Elementary School
  • Spencer Crossing Elementary School
  • Spencer Pointe Elementary School
  • Spencer Trail Elementary School
  • St. Jude School (K-8)

Middle schools

  • Alex M. Martino Junior High School
  • Liberty Junior High School
  • St. Jude School

Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210

Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 was organized in 1951. Today, Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 serves the communities of New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, and small portions of Tinley Park and Orland Park. There are three comprehensive high schools within the district: Lincoln-Way Central, Lincoln-Way East,and Lincoln-Way West. Lincoln-Way Central and Lincoln-Way West are located in New Lenox; Lincoln-Way East is located in Frankfort.

Providence Catholic High School

Providence Catholic High School is a Roman Catholic secondary school located in New Lenox. Providence Catholic is a private school run by the Order of Saint Augustine. The president of Providence is Father John Merkalis, OSA, with Dr. John Harper as its principal. Located right on historic Lincoln Highway (also part of U.S. Highway 30), the school is perhaps best known throughout the area for its strong academics, football program, and wrestling program. It is also known as one of the few Catholic schools in Illinois that has a self–imposed enrollment limit.

Joliet Junior College

Joliet Junior College "JJC", the nation’s first public community college, offers pre-baccalaureate programs for students planning to transfer to a four-year university.[14] New Lenox is within the JJC district and residents are eligible for in-district tuition and fees. JJC has a local Satellite Campus at Lincoln-Way Central High School offering courses to local residents.

Health care[edit]

Silver Cross has built a $400 million hospital just off of U.S. Route 6 nearby the new I-355 extension in New Lenox; replacing their Joliet location on February 26, 2012. The replacement hospital brings services from Children’s Memorial Hospital, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) – the #1 Rehabilitation Hospital in the Nation, and the University of Chicago Medical Center.[15]



The railway authority in the Chicago suburbs is Metra. New Lenox has two Metra commuter rail lines. The Main New Lenox Metra Station is located on the corner of U.S. Route 30 and Cedar Road. This rail line services towns on Metra's Rock Island Line between Joliet Union Station and Chicago's LaSalle Street Station. New Lenox also has a Metra Station located on the corner of Cedar Road and Laraway Road. This rail line services towns on Metra's SouthWest Service Line between Manhattan and Chicago's Union Station.

Major roads and highways

New Lenox is located at the junctions of many major roads. U.S. Route 30 is the main East to West road through town. The North South streets are Cedar Road, Gougar Road, and Nelson Road. I-80 and I-355, also known as The Veterans Memorial Tollway, pass through New Lenox. These expressways lend to easy transportation to many other major highways and to Chicago, Joliet, Naperville, Wheaton, Bolingbrook.


New Lenox-Howell Airport, which was located on Laraway Road, is a former airport in town. New Lenox is the second location of Howell Airport, which was originally in Blue Island, Illinois. Howell airport is now the site of housing.[16]

I-355 expansion[edit]

Interstate 355 (I-355), also known as Veterans Memorial Tollway, began construction in late 2005 of a $729.3 million 12.5 mile long southern extension of I-355 from I-55 in Bolingbrook to I-80 in New Lenox.[17] Construction was completed on November 11, 2007. Travel times from New Lenox and the surrounding area to more established northwest suburbs such as Naperville, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Bolingbrook, etc. are expected to decrease significantly.

Future growth[edit]

The crossroads of I-355, Route 6, and Cedar Road is the future site of two major development projects; Cedar Crossings and Spring Creek Outlets. Cedar Crossings will be constructed at southwest corner of Cedar Road and Route 6, adjacent to Silver Cross Hospital.[18] Cedar Crossings is a proposed 970,000-square-foot retail center to be developed by the Zaremba Group. However, development of Cedar Crossings has been delayed because of the economic downturn.[19]

Arts and entertainment[edit]

The Commons

In 2005, the village opened the Commons anchored by the Performing Arts Pavilion. The Commons became the new home to the village’s annual 4 July celebration and quickly developed into a focal point for festivals, Chamber events, and stage performances. The village organizes a Summer Performing Arts Program including a series of free concerts and family movie nights. Each year the village hosts the Triple Play Concert Series featuring national recording artists performing on three different dates each summer. The 2011 Triple Play headline performers were Starship starring Mickey Thomas, Cheap Trick, and REO Speedwagon. Attendance at the concerts has grown each year to a sell-out capacity. Local restaurants feature favorite menu items for sale during the concerts.

Lincoln-Way High Schools

Lincoln-Way High Schools’ state-of-the-art performing arts centers provide yet another opportunity for the community to enjoy the arts in their own back yard. Featuring a full schedule including the Spotlight Series, Senior Series and Children's Series, there promises to be something for everyone. The acclaimed Curtain Call Community Theatre features many local performers and hosts two productions annually at Lincoln-Way.


New Lenox features the Sanctuary Golf Course. Sanctuary has been rated by the Golf Chicago magazine as a "Best Buy" and is considered by many to be the best golfing value in the Chicago area.[20] Bordering the west end of New Lenox and Joliet is Woodruff Golf Course. Opened in 1926, Woodruff is a scenic, well-manicured course with sweeping elevation changes and small greens.[21]

The New Lenox French Market made its debut in 2011. The Market runs late spring through October and offers fresh produce and fruit, hanging baskets, perennials and potted herbs, gourmet cheeses, dips, candies and sauces, bake goods, fresh coffee and much more. Festivals and various other events play an important role in family culture and entertainment. The Park District hosts the annual Proud American Days festival the last weekend in July. This festival includes food vendors, carnival rides, a craft show and live music.[22] The Annual Kids Fest includes a day filled with fun activities just for kids. The Chamber’s Halloween Parade & Costume Contest features frightful fun for hundreds of area families.[23]

During the Summer of 2011 (July 7 and 8), Lincoln-Way Central hosted the New Lenox All-Star Experience presented by Mayor Tim Baldermann which included a Dwyane Wade Skills Academy camp, a Devin Hester football camp, a Jim Peterik band camp, as well as the Annual Kids Fest.

Semi-pro football

The Lincoln-Way Patriots are part of the Mid States Football League and play throughout the Lincoln-Way area.[24]

Nearby entertainment

The Rialto Square Theatre is located just six miles to the west in Joliet. The venue's features include ballet, bridal expos, comedy, cooking classes, travel cinema and tap dance..

Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet with Indy Car, NASCAR and Chicagoland ARCA series races brings thousands of tourists to the region each season. New Lenox dining and retail establishments provide an array of specials and promotions to welcome fans.

Also in nearby Joliet, the Joliet Slammers play amateur league baseball at the state-of-the-art Silver Cross Field, providing clean, family entertainment in a safe environment. Baseball fans may also enjoy attending a Will County CrackerJacks game. The CrackerJacks are a summer collegiate baseball club based in Will County and are members of the Midwest Collegiate League.

Parks and trails[edit]

The New Lenox Community Park District maintains 37 parks and athletic fields comprising 569 acres; while also utilizing 14 facilities throughout New Lenox.[25]

New Lenox also offers a number of paved asphalt and crushed gravel trails. Old Plank Road Trail is a 21-mile asphalt hiking and biking nature trail that travels through the heart of New Lenox with many access points to include access at the Village Hall in the Commons. The Hickory Creek State Nature Preserve provides a 2.8-mile asphalt hiking and biking nature trail as well as access to the historic one-room Schmuhl School Museum on the southeast corner of Route 30 and Schoolhouse Road, which is owned and operated by the New Lenox Historical Society.[26] Additionally, the Hadley Valley Preserve offers a unique 4.85-mile crushed Spring Creek Greenway Trail that welcomes pedestrians and equestrians.[27]

Notable people[edit]

Local media[edit]

Taxing bodies[edit]

Residents in New Lenox receive services from and are generally taxed by the following taxing bodies:


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  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
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  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  9. ^ "SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  10. ^ "New Lenox Home Prices and Home Values in IL - Zillow Local Info". Retrieved 2011-10-07. 
  11. ^ "A Pivotal Moment: GO TO 2040 - Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2011-10-07. 
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  28. ^ Zeitlin, Dave (November 16, 2016). "After hanging up cleats, Ned Grabavoy named Timbers' scouting director". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 22 January 2018. 
  29. ^ Stephenson, Colin. "Portland Timbers' Ned Grabavoy announces he will retire at season's end". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 22 January 2018. 

External links[edit]