Melrose Park, a Great Place To Call Home
Recently named by Chicago Magazine as one of the best suburbs for first-time home buyers, and recipient of the Governor’s Hometown Award, Melrose Park has much to offer. Only 12 miles west of downtown Chicago, Melrose Park sits just north of Maywood, west of River Forest and Oak Park, and south of Franklin Park. Its major thoroughfares include Chicago Avenue, North Avenue, First Avenue and Fifth Avenue.
Fun events are happening all year long! Taste of Melrose Park Festival is second only to the legendary Taste of Chicago in size and variety. Held at the Melrose Park Village Complex, there are four stages for live entertainment. The 120+ year-old Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel features Italian food, vendors, games and live music. In September, the annual Hispano Fest which features everything from dance to comedy to music to advance the Hispanic community through educational and leadership development. Money from the festival has provided 140 scholarships awarded over 20 years.
Melrose Park’s origins reach back to 1873, when the Melrose Land Company subdivided a large tract of land. The village grew steadily, adding ‘Park’ to its name in 1894. Melrose Park boomed in the years after World War I with a number of manufacturers establishing or greatly expanding operations.
The opening of the huge Proviso freight yards in 1926 reinforced the character of Melrose Park as an industry-friendly suburb. Some of the corporations that had headquarters or major operations in Melrose Park at one time included Zenith, Alberto-Culver, Ford Motor Corporation, Stern Pinball (the world’s largest pinball machine manufacturer), and Jewel Osco.
Chicago Sports Zone, located here, is a huge indoor “soccer and more” facility offering both youth and adult soccer leagues. It is also the winter home for the Chicago Edge Soccer Club.
The family-owned Scudiero’s Italian Bakery and Deli at 2113 W. Lake Street has called the suburb home since 1954. Its fascinating history includes the time singer Frank Sinatra ate there. Tom’s Steak House has been a destination for beef aficianados since 1952.
Melrose Park was also the site of one of the Midwest’s oldest amusement parks, Kiddieland, founded in 1929. While the park no longer exists, you can still view its classic neon sign at the Melrose Park Public Library.