Melrose Park, Illinois
"Corporate King of the Suburbs"
|Incorporated||September 11, 1882|
|• Mayor||Ronald M. Serpico|
|• Total||4.35 sq mi (11.27 km2)|
|• Land||4.35 sq mi (11.27 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||630 ft (190 m)|
|• Density||5,696.30/sq mi (2,199.22/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
60160, 60161, 60164 (unincorporated Melrose Park)
|Area codes||708/464, 847/224|
|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. Melrose Park had long been home to a large Italian-American population.
The suburb was the home of Kiddieland Amusement Park from 1929 until 2010 (it closed in September 2009 before it was demolished in 2010 and the sign of Kiddieland was relocated to the Melrose Park Public Library, a Costco store now stands in its place), the Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Stern Pinball, Inc., the Melrose Park Taste home of the famous Melrose Stuffed Peppers, and the now-defunct Maywood Park horse racing track.
There is a Metra railroad station in Melrose Park with daily service to Chicago. Melrose Park is home to 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 11 years later, in 1893, when the "Park" was added and population in the area began to steadily increase. The first Italian-Americans arrived in 1888. On March 28, 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.
At the turn of the 20th 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 (now Navistar) are some examples. Many of these companies are still located in Melrose Park and the local industry remains stable, but Alberto-Culver no longer exists and Zenith continues to exist as a brand only today.
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.
The athletic field next to the village hall is named after the late Ralph "Babe" Serpico, father of the current mayor, Ronald M. Serpico.
Navistar International has a factory and an engine group office in Melrose Park which closed in 2021. This building was formerly a Buick plant that made aircraft engines for WWII. Melrose Park Immediate Care is a medical and dental clinic located in downtown Melrose Park. Melrose Park is also home to WellNow Urgent Care and West Lake Urgent Care.
Lake Book Manufacturing, a book manufacturing company of 200 employees, is taken over in March 2021 by the Italian company Grafica Veneta.
According to the 2010 census, Melrose Park has a total area of 4.24 square miles (10.98 km2), all land.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of 2010, there were 25,411 people living in the village. The racial makeup of the village as of 2019 was 18.1% White, 5.7% African American, 0% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0% from other races, and 0.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 75.2% of the population, making it the second highest Latino population in Illinois, following only Cicero. Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Cuban-Americans are notable Latino ethnic groups of the area.
Elementary school districts serving sections of Melrose Park:
High schools and colleges in Melrose Park:
Proviso Township High Schools District 209 serves Melrose Park students with Proviso East High School in Maywood.
Other private schools in the area are Fenwick High School in Oak Park and St. Patrick High School in Chicago.
The area’s community college is Triton College in River Grove.
In 2012, Melrose Park became home to the Chicago Vipers who play in the Continental Indoor Football League. They played their home games at Sports Zone before being renamed to the Chicago Pythons and moving to Homer Glen.