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Old 01-08-2007, 09:31 AM
 
12 posts, read 63,006 times
Reputation: 13

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Need some help and real advice, so I will try to be as descriptive of my needs as possible. After living in a SMALL town in the middle of nowhere for fourteen years, my husband is interviewing for a job in Chicago. We have two kids (one in elementary school, and a 9th grader.) If he gets the job, we will have to decide whether to live in Hyde Park (where he will teach) or elsewhere.

My priorities are a good school system, and a welcoming/safe/community. I also care about living in a place with older houses and neighborhoods. No housing developments for me--I would prefer to live in something built more than 70-100 years ago. Having lived in a place where kids can walk/ride bikes anywhere, and where people rarely lock doors, I would like to preserve some sense of that for them. I know there is really no place around Chicago where anyone would leave there doors unlocked, but I would love for my kids to feel safe and secure in their own neighborhood.

As well as Hyde Park, I am looking at Oak Park and River Forest. I know HP fairly well (or did in the 80’s, when I lived there as a grad student…) but have only a vague idea of OP and none of RF. I would love to hear from people who live in any of the three about what it is like to raise kids there, whether there is a sense of community, good activities for kids, an open and welcoming feeling, etc.

Also any info about schools would be great. If we lived in HP I think we would try to get our daughter into Whitney Young—which I guess would mean (ugh) driving her. But OPRF looks so very, very big. Is it welcoming? Very cliquish? Good academics? And any info about OP or RF Middle Schools?

And finally—what about the commute to Hyde Park? Is it bearable if done during non-rush hours?
Thanks in advance for any advice or insight into living in any of these areas!
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:47 AM
NSH
 
284 posts, read 2,292,035 times
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I would recommend adding the Beverly neighborhood to your search list as well
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:08 AM
 
260 posts, read 1,088,474 times
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It's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned- River Forest. You need to go there and have a look around.
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:19 AM
 
12 posts, read 63,006 times
Reputation: 13
Paxtonian
I will go and look (extensively, I hope) when it becomes more of a reality, but I am 800 miles away and can't do so yet. can you give me a couple of details/examples on why it is a no brainer?
I really have no sense of what it is like to live in these places and am hungry for details. Also for ammo with my husband, who will be the one commuting, and who, for now, bikes a 6 minute commute from our house to his office...
Thanks
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Old 01-08-2007, 11:30 AM
 
260 posts, read 1,088,474 times
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Location, quality of life, good schools, any measure you decide is important (except price) River Forest will suit you. It is expensive to buy real estate there, so if you can afford it, buy, it will keep it's value. Hyde Park is much more problematic, personally, I wouldn't think of raising my kids there. Look up the Village of River Forest website. I bet Youtube has some material on it from there too. That may be almost as good as a visit. I'm from the next town over from there originally, but I did have an aunt and uncle who lived in River Forest.
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Old 01-09-2007, 07:15 PM
 
12 posts, read 63,006 times
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Anyone here go to or have kids that attend Oak Park/River Forest HS?
Any feedback?
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Old 01-10-2007, 02:00 PM
mdz
 
Location: Near West Burbs, IL
622 posts, read 2,512,306 times
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Both my sisters went to OPRF. Great facilities, great opportunities, and you will get an outstanding education and write your ticket to college if you want to. Like a lot of big schools you can slide by if desired, but the accelerated/Ap programs are top notch. Fenwick (a Catholic High School) is down the street and is also top notch.

Would give the RF middle schools the edge over OP but both are very good. taxes are high here for a reason, it's rare that the communities vote down tax increases for ths schooling here.
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Old 01-10-2007, 02:17 PM
NSH
 
284 posts, read 2,292,035 times
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I would recommend monitoring the Oak Park newspaper for a few weeks, particularly the police blotter, to find out if Oak Park is the town for you.

http://wjinc.com/main.asp?SectionID=...12&TM=55110.89
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Old 01-10-2007, 02:53 PM
 
25 posts, read 141,459 times
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River Forest is very gorgeous...It looks very North Shore somewhat. It retains an old money character. It is very green and tree lined. The homes are exquisite, a lot of them designed by Wright, Burnham and Maher. It is home to two institutions-Concordia and Dominican University. Both schools tudor/gothic architecture complement the neigborhood greatly with the numerous tudor and stone mansions that scatter River Forest. Very family oriented, excellent park district. The very best of the town is being next to Oak Park. Oak Park has the reputation of being Chicago's ibest suburb. Extremely Diverse, beautiful neighborhoods as well as a one of the best downtown suburban business district in Chicago. As far as I know Oak Park/River Forest High School is still good. I know some people say that it has a drug problem but that is common in all of Chicagos upscale suburbs. I wouldn't think much of it, still a top school.
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Old 01-10-2007, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,705 posts, read 96,362,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NSH View Post
I would recommend monitoring the Oak Park newspaper for a few weeks, particularly the police blotter, to find out if Oak Park is the town for you.
Let's provide some context here. Oak Park borders a rough area of Chicago, and some of the urban problems attendant to that fact cross over into and afflicts a very small area of Oak Park. And yet this doesn't stop plenty of people with the means to live anywhere from choosing to spend millions to live in Oak Park. Most of the city is actually rather shiny and a good section of it is downright stately.

If living in a a community close to urban decay is a concern, then you really shouldn't be looking in Hyde Park or Oak Park. Or Beverly for that matter. For what it's worth I've got no death wish and I still would be comfortable in any of those places.

Last edited by Drover; 01-10-2007 at 09:59 PM..
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