River Forest, Illinois

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River Forest, Illinois
Village of River Forest
Country United States
State Illinois
County Cook
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
Area 2.48 sq mi (6 km2)
 - land 2.48 sq mi (6 km2)
 - water 0.00 sq mi (0 km2)
Population 11,172 (2010)
Density 4,504.8/sq mi (1,739/km2)
Government Village
Timezone CST (UTC−6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC−5)
Area code 708
Cook County Illinois incorporated and unincorporated areas River Forest highlighted.svg
Location in Cook County and the state of Illinois.
Illinois in United States (US48).svg
Location of Illinois in the United States
Wikimedia Commons: River Forest, Illinois
Website: www.river-forest.us

River Forest is an affluent suburban village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. 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. The population of the village was 11,172 at the 2010 census.[1]

River Forest has a railroad station with service to Chicago on Metra's Union Pacific/West Line.


River Forest is located at 41°53′35″N 87°49′2″W / 41.89306°N 87.81722°W / 41.89306; -87.81722 (41.893031, -87.817182).[2]

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]


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. There is 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. In the Catholic schools, St. Luke parish school & St. Vincent Ferrer, 63% of the enrollments are River Forest residents. Grace Lutheran School enrolls children from 3 years old through eighth grade [1]. River Forest has one all-girls' secondary school, Trinity High School.

River Forest also has another private school, 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 Dr. 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.
1900 1,539
1910 2,456 59.6%
1920 4,358 77.4%
1930 8,829 102.6%
1940 9,487 7.5%
1950 10,823 14.1%
1960 12,695 17.3%
1970 13,402 5.6%
1980 12,392 −7.5%
1990 11,669 −5.8%
2000 11,635 −0.3%
2010 11,172 −4.0%
Est. 2015 11,199 [7] 0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

As of the census[9] 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%).[10]

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.[11]

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.[12]

Notable residents[edit]

River Forest has been home to many notorious Italian organized crime families since the early-20th century, including Tony Accardo (boss from about 1945 to 1992) and Joseph Andriacchi.[13] Former Mystery Science Theater 3000 actor Kevin Murphy grew up in River Forest. Famed radio commentator Paul Harvey resided in River Forest until his death in 2009,[14] as did Nello Ferrara, founder of Ferrara Pan Candy Company (Lemonheads, Red Hots, Original Boston Baked Beans).[15] Anne Smedinghoff, the first State Department Foreign Service Officer to be killed in Afghanistan, also grew up there.[16] Director of the first and second Harry Potter movies Chris Columbus kept a home in River Forest due to his wife's family ties, and former Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano once lived in River Forest.[17] Kathryn McGee, a resident of River Forest since 1956, has been recognized for founding two of the first organizations for the benefit of those with Down syndrome. Cook County state's attorney Anita Alvarez lives in River Forest.[18] Several junk food inventors resided in River Forest, including Edwin Perkins, who invented Kool-Aid, James Dewar, who invented the Twinkie, and Franklin Clarence Mars, who invented the Mars Bar.[19] The winner of MasterChef Junior (U.S. season 4) was Addison Osta Smith, a 9-year-old from River Forest. [20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): River Forest village, Illinois". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ "G001 – Geographic Identifiers – 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-25. 
  4. ^ http://www.oprfhs.org/
  5. ^ http://www.ksmontessori.org/
  6. ^ "Post Office Location – RIVER FOREST." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on April 17, 2009.
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_DP_DPDP1
  11. ^ http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_SF1_QTP11
  12. ^ http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml
  13. ^ http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1998-05-03/business/9805020048_1_mansion-tennis-court-and-pool-palm-springs
  14. ^ http://www.oprfhistory.org/explore_local_history/hometown_legends/entertainment/harvey/default.aspx
  15. ^ http://www.npr.org/2012/02/10/146709353/lemonheads-creator-prosecuted-nazis-loved-singing
  16. ^ http://www.npr.org/2013/04/08/176543510/smedinghoff-died-doing-what-she-loved
  17. ^ http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-03-28/business/chi-carlos-zambrano-takes-large-loss-on-river-forest-home-20130327_1_river-forest-west-lakeview-13-room-house
  18. ^ http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/2-6-2008/It's-River-Forest-versus-Riverside-for-State's-Attorney/
  19. ^ "Wttw". Chicago's Western Suburbs: From Prairie Soil to Prairie Style. Wttw.com. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  20. ^ http://www.chicagotribune.com/ct-young-river-forest-chef-wins-masterchef-junior-20161223-photo.html

External links[edit]