Hinsdale, Illinois: A Must to Visit (105 Photos) Updated:12/11/2009
One of the Nicest Suburbs of Chicago
Hinsdale is a well-to-do village located 21 miles west of Chicago. It is one of the most affluent villages or cities in the entire state of Illinois. While its borders are scattered beyond these borders, the village is primarily from Interstate 294 on the east to State Route 83 on the west, and from Ogden Avenue (Route 34) on the north to Plainfield Road on the south. Within minutes, locals can be headed anywhere as all of the major expressways and toll-ways are nearby: Toll-ways I-294 and I-88 (the Ronald Reagan Toll Road), I-55 (the Stevenson Expressway) and I-290 (the Eisenhower). A very small portion of Hinsdale is in Cook County, from I-294 on the east to County Line Road on the west - probably less than a half-mile across. The remaining part of Hinsdale, from County Line Road on the east to Illinois Route 83 on the west is in DuPage County.
There are approximately 18,000 people in the village of which over 90% are Caucasian. Most residents are families with children aged from infancy through the teenage years. The average family income and home values are well above the norm for Chicago, its suburbs, and the state of Illinois. Famous people from Hinsdale include: Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois; Judy Biggert, Representative of the U.S. House of Representatives; Chuck Comiskey, co-owner of the Chicago White Sox baseball team; Floyd Kalber, Rob Stafford, and Dick Johnson, newscasters; Bill Veeck, baseball executive; and, Morris the Cat, the famed advertising cat in commercials. Additionally, many business owners whose names are not commonly known to the masses reside in Hinsdale.
Personally, when I was younger, I thought of Hinsdale as no more than a speed trap along Route 34 when I was passing through the western suburbs. Other than that, I didn't give the place much thought. Now, I know that the speed traps are on every route from one end of the state to the other. It's one of those things one learns with age. Fearing the town’s speed traps less in recent years, I venture through the village from time to time and enjoy seeing the quaint downtown area with its abundance of independently-owned stores, shops, and restaurants like one doesn't see very often anymore in other areas.
The necessities in the downtown area include the train station for locals to travel to and from Chicago’s downtown within 20 minutes by the Metra train, several banks, a branch of the U.S. Post Office, the Hinsdale Fire and Police Departments which are side by side, and a park where artsy-type fairs are held during the summer right in the center of town near the train station. Within a short distance of the downtown area, one finds churches of most every faith, the large Hinsdale Hospital, and many public schools including several elementary schools, Hinsdale Junior High, and Hinsdale High School. All of the schools consistently rank among the very best in the state, academically. Hinsdale also prides itself in having one of the lowest crime rates anywhere.
When I travel through the village, I am mostly awestruck by the homes. They are primarily magnificent structures not found anywhere else in the area except perhaps in affluent Burr Ridge, the town to the immediate south of Hinsdale. Hinsdale is an old town and makes it their business to keep the town’s heritage for the most part. However, since the 1980s, some 25% of the homes have been torn down and rebuilt by the wealthy land owners in the area. These are the wealthiest homes in the area and, more often than not, the most remarkable structures with value easily reaching into millions of dollars.
I often think – or is it dream – of which home I’ll buy when I finally sell an irresistible novel that will be turned into a hit movie (or three) and a television series – after all, that’s when the money will start pouring in. Actually, for me to want a house that big, I’d have to be able to afford a full staff of housekeepers and lawn keepers as keeping up with the chores would be a full-time job. Until I can afford the house, the hired help, and the taxes,
It seems with every article I'm writing that takes some outside travel, there is an incident worth sharing. The most unusual event that happened when gathering information and pics in Hinsdale was during my visit to the Katherine Legge Memorial Park. Being a huge park and over 80 degrees out, I wanted to use my car instead of my feet to get the pictures of the park. After entering the park and taking several pictures of the lacrosse game, I forged ahead in my car and found a one lane path to continue on my journey through the beautiful park. Soon, I came across a narrow bridge and crossed over a small waterway and continued on. As I drove on, a young couple walking a dog got over on the grass to let me pass, then a few walkers did the same a short distance further. Then, I saw a group of maybe a dozen walkers in a group all going down the center of the path. On a bench, there was an elderly man just looking at me in my car. I stopped and, as it suddenly dawned on me, I asked the obvious question: Are cars allowed on this road? Immediately and expressionless, he said, "No." With the entire group of walkers now upon me and my car, they stood back while I did an awkward turnabout in the grass and headed back - needing to excuse myself past the walkers I'd already disturbed. After that, I stayed on the main roads for cars and off the walking paths. What I won't (or will) do to get a picture, I guess!
On a final note, I should explain the lack of people in the photos of Hinsdale. Truth be told, of all the areas I've photographed to accompany articles, I found the locals in Hinsdale to be the least receptive - perhaps most suspicious - of an unknown stopping to take photographs of their beautiful village.
I hope you enjoy this article about Hinsdale and the pictures with descriptions offered below.