Find a Bit of Old England in Westchester
Westchester began in 1924, when a London-born tycoon purchased more than 2,000 acres of farmland to create a model English town. All-English street names and the construction of homes with brick, stucco, and hand-hewn timbers set Westchester apart from many other Chicago suburbs. Construction ground to a halt during the Great Depression.
The village grew rapidly again in the 1950s with the opening of the Eisenhower Expressway at its northern boundary and Interstate 294 to the west. Today, Westchester features commercial office buildings and retail along its major arteries, including Cermak Road and Wolf Road.
Located just 13 miles west of Chicago, Westchester is a quiet residential neighborhood adjacent to green spaces, as well as restaurants, grocery stores, fitness centers, and other retail. It’s also just a short drive to fun attractions ranging from Brookfield Zoo to Oak Brook Center to Graue Mill and Museum. And each August, the village hosts three days of Westchester Fest, featuring live music, food, kid activities and fireworks.
Westchester is also home to Wolf Road Prairie, part of the Illinois State Nature Preserve and a rare remnant of the vast prairies that once covered Illinois. It’s through the efforts of the Save the Prairie Society, active since 1975, that this remnant of Illinois’ original prairie endures today – the largest black soil prairie east of the Mississippi River. Its 82 acres of savanna, teaming with wildflowers and crowned by a magnificent oak tree, are stunning any time of the year with 360 native plant species, including prairie dock, Indian plantain and prairie phlox.
The Prairie is adjacent to other forest preserves along the Salt Creek Trail, so you’ll enjoy hiking, biking, and exploring for days.