River Forest, Illinois

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River Forest, Illinois
Village of River Forest
Official seal of River Forest, Illinois
Location of River Forest in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of River Forest in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°53′35″N 87°49′3″W / 41.89306°N 87.81750°W / 41.89306; -87.81750Coordinates: 41°53′35″N 87°49′3″W / 41.89306°N 87.81750°W / 41.89306; -87.81750
CountryUnited States
TownshipRiver Forest
NicknamesRF, RoFo
 • TypeVillage
 • Total2.48 sq mi (6.43 km2)
 • Land2.48 sq mi (6.42 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
 • Total11,717
 • Density4,724.60/sq mi (1,824.37/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Area code(s)708
FIPS code17-64304
Wikimedia CommonsRiver Forest, Illinois

River Forest is a suburban village adjacent to Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, U.S. Per the 2020 census, the population was 11,717.[2] Two universities make their home in River Forest, Dominican University and Concordia University Chicago. The village is closely tied to the larger neighboring community of Oak Park. There are significant architectural designs located in River Forest such as the Winslow House by Frank Lloyd Wright. River Forest has a railroad station with service to Chicago on Metra's Union Pacific/West Line.


The Des Plaines River seen from the Lake Street bridge in River Forest, Illinois.

The Native American history of the area is closely tied to the Des Plaines River and includes Menominee and Chippewa settlements near what is now the Desplaines Avenue and Roosevelt Road forest preserves of Cook County. The Menominees would eventually be driven out by the Potowatomi Nation in 1810. The establishment of a steam sawmill on the east bank of the Des Plaines River in 1831, and the proximity to Chicago, were some of the reasons that attracted non-indigenous settlers to the area. In 1842, the first planked road in River Forest, now Lake Street (Chicago), was created, and would eventually connect to the Lake Street extending into downtown Chicago. In 1848 the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad completed construction of tracks westward from Chicago, and train service commenced in January, 1849. The G&CU was later absorbed by the Chicago & Northwestern Railway in 1859 and the C&NW was consolidated into the Union Pacific Railroad in 1995. This line, now called the Union Pacific/West Line between Chicago and Elburn, Illinois is a busy commuter service, jointly operated by Union Pacific and Metra.


A trail in the Thatcher Woods forest preserve in River Forest, Illinois

River Forest lies along the Des Plaines River to the west and is bordered by Illinois Route 43 to the east and Illinois Route 64 to the north. Along with the Des Plaines River, much of the western boundary of River Forest consists of the Thatcher Woods forest preserve of Cook County and the Des Plaines River Trail. According to the 2010 census, River Forest has a total area of 2.482 square miles (6.43 km2), of which 2.48 square miles (6.42 km2) (or 99.92%) is land and 0.002 square miles (0.01 km2) (or 0.08%) is water.[3]


Climate data for River Forest, Illinois
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 32
Average low °F (°C) 19.4
[citation needed]


The Dominican University (Illinois) quad along Division Street.

Dominican University and Concordia University Chicago are both located in River Forest.

There are two public elementary schools, Lincoln Elementary School and Willard Elementary School, and one public middle school, Roosevelt Middle School. The elementary and middle schools are in River Forest Public Schools District 90. River Forest shares a high school with Oak Park, known as Oak Park and River Forest High School, located in Oak Park.[4]

River Forest is home to two Catholic grade schools and one Lutheran grade school. St. Luke Parish and St. Vincent Ferrer School are Catholic schools, and Grace Lutheran School is Lutheran. All three enroll children from 3 years old through eighth grade. River Forest has one all-girls' secondary school, Trinity High School.

River Forest also has the Keystone Montessori School, established in 1994. It serves children 9 months of age to 8th grade as an alternative learning style for children.[5] It educates children using the philosophy of Maria Montessori.

The River Forest Public Library is located at 735 Lathrop Avenue.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The United States Postal Service operates the River Forest Post Office at 401 William Street.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
2010[8] 2020[9]

2020 census[edit]

River Forest village, Illinois – Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[8] Pop 2020[9] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 9,050 8,308 81.01% 70.91%
Black or African American alone (NH) 733 869 6.56% 7.42%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 4 9 0.04% 0.08%
Asian alone (NH) 505 932 4.52% 7.95%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 2 0 0.02% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 38 93 0.34% 0.79%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 170 515 1.52% 4.40%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 670 991 6.00% 8.46%
Total 11,172 11,717 100.00% 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.

2010 Census[edit]

As of the census[10] of 2010, there were 11,172 people, 3,961 households, and 2,776 families residing in the village. There were 4,176 housing units. The racial makeup of the village was 84.8% White (down from 86.35% in 2000), 6.7% African American (down from 7.8%), 0.1% Native American, 4.5% Asian (up from 3.13%), 1.8% from other races (up from .98%), and 2% from two or more races (up from 1.59%) Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6% of the population (up from 4.01%).[11]

The average household size was 2.61; the average family size was 3.19 (families constituted 70.1% of households). 51.5% of family households had related children under age 18 living with them. People living alone constituted 26.3% of households. The median age was 41.3, with 14.2% of residents being over age 65.[12]

The median income for a household in the village was $122,854, and the median income for a family was $171,100. Males working full-time had a median income of $124,695 versus $64,250 for females. The per capita income for the village was $66,028. About 3.4% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.8% of those under age 18 and 3.6% of those age 65 or over.[13]


River Forest Tennis Club building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in River Forest, Illinois

River Forest is perhaps best known for the diversity of early 20th century American residential architectural styles including several Frank Lloyd Wright designs and others within the Prairie School. The Winslow House and the River Forest Tennis Club are most notable for Frank Lloyd Wright's early styles.

Winslow House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in River Forest, Illinois

Notable people[edit]

Notable events[edit]

River Forest hosted the 2016 Little League Baseball Illinois State Tournament at Keystone Park.

2019 Little League Illinois Baseball Champions[14]

For 18 years, the neighborhood has hosted a yearly 9/11 Lemon-Aid stand on the 700 block of Bonnie Brae which donates all proceeds are donated to local charities. The first year, the event raised $400 for Hepzibah Children's Association. Last year, $36,000 was raised for Kidz Express. To date, $323,000 has been donated by the event.[15]

Every year, the Rotary Club of Oak Park River Forest hosts the Food Truck Rally in Keystone Park that donates all net proceeds to local charities. The event includes 10 trucks with sweet, savory, and beer trucks; a live music stage; and, a family activities area.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  2. ^ "River Forest village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  3. ^ "G001 – Geographic Identifiers – 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2015-12-25.
  4. ^ "Oak Park and River Forest High School". www.oprfhs.org.
  5. ^ "Keystone Montessori School". www.ksmontessori.org.
  6. ^ "Post Office Location – RIVER FOREST." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on April 17, 2009.
  7. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  8. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – River Forest village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  9. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – River Forest village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  11. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau.
  12. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results". factfinder2.census.gov. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12.
  13. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau.
  14. ^ "Illinois State Little League® Tournament Historical Results".
  15. ^ "LemonAid". LemonAid. Retrieved 2020-02-07.
  16. ^ "River Forest Park District » Food Truck Rally". Retrieved 2020-02-07.

External links[edit]