Arlington Heights in Illinois

Tuesday, 29 November 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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Harmony Park in Downtown © panoramio.com - bogdanstepniak/cc-by-3.0

Harmony Park in Downtown © panoramio.com – bogdanstepniak/cc-by-3.0

Arlington Heights is a municipality in Cook County with a small portion in Lake County in the U.S. state of Illinois. A suburb of Chicago, it lies about 25 miles (40 km) northwest of the city’s downtown. Per the 2020 Census, the population was 77,676. Per the 2010 Census, it is the most populous community in the United States that is incorporated as a “village”, and is the 13th most populous municipality in Illinois, although it is not far ahead of its nearby Illinois neighboring villages of Schaumburg and adjacent Palatine. Arlington Heights is known for the former Arlington Park Race Track, home of the Arlington Million, a Breeders’ Cup qualifying event; it also hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships in 2002. The village is also home to the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, which has one of the largest collections of books in the state.

In 1837, Asa Dunton, a settler who built one of the first cabins in what was then known as Deer Grove, registered three land claims for himself and two sons in the land in the west of Wheeling Township. In 1845, Asa’s eldest son, William Dunton, married Almeda Wood and brought her to the house he built beside the Potawatomi trail which then became known as Dunton’s Road (and is now known as Arlington Heights Road). West Wheeling then became known as Dunton. The town’s name changed several times before it officially became known as Arlington Heights in 1874. William Dunton persuaded the Illinois & Wisconsin Railroad company to build track through his property. In 1853, Dunton sold 16 acres of his land to the company for $350. The first Dunton train station was built in 1854. The construction of the railroad helped to expand the population of Dunton, as it was easier for settlers to reach the village. By 1850, the area had largely changed its ethnic composition, as many German farmers from Saxony had arrived during the 1840s. John Klehm might serve as an example; he was at first a potato farmer, supplying the Chicago market, and in 1856 began a nursery for cherry, apple, and pear trees, later moving into spruce, maple, and elm, and then flowers. By the late 1850s the area had become noted for its truck farms, sending dairy products as well as vegetables to Chicago on the railroad. During the Civil War, Chicago experienced a population boom, and many migrants moved to villages surrounding Chicago such as Dunton. Dunton also saw an influx of German immigration By the 1870s, Dunton’s population had surpassed 1200.

Several Dunton residents served in the Civil War, however only three of those residents who left for the war returned. One of the survivors, a recently-naturalized Alsatian named Charles Sigwalt (namesake of Sigwalt Street), fought at the Battle of Chickamauga and the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. Warren Kennicott (namesake of Kennicott Avenue) was killed in action at the Battle of Gettysburg. During the Civil War, Arlington Heights was a stop for many Union soldiers travelling South to fight the Confederacy or traveling North to fight in the Dakota War.

Dunton slowly grew after the Civil War, acquiring a blacksmith, a cheese factory, a hardware store, and a hotel. In 1874, the town’s name was officially changed to Arlington Heights. In 1878, Civil War veteran Charles Sigwalt and his brother John founded the Sigwalt Sewing Machine Company, which made 40,000 machines from the period of 1878 to 1883. The company was destroyed by a fire in 1895. Arlington Heights was an early commuter suburb.

Wheeler-Magnus Round Barn © G LeTourneau/cc-by-sa-3.0 Evergreen Avenue in Downtown © Dennisyerger84/cc-by-sa-4.0 Grandstand at Arlington Park Race Track © panoramio.com - bogdanstepniak/cc-by-3.0 Harmony Park in Downtown © panoramio.com - bogdanstepniak/cc-by-3.0 Muller House © G LeTourneau/cc-by-sa-3.0 Nathaniel Moore House © G LeTourneau/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Grandstand at Arlington Park Race Track © panoramio.com - bogdanstepniak/cc-by-3.0
The town developed religious institutions that reflected the origins of its citizens. The first churches were Presbyterian (1856) and Methodist (1858), with St. Peter Lutheran Church, a German Lutheran church, following in 1860. Today, the village has many Roman Catholics, boasting three very large churches: St. James (founded 1902—now home to 4,600 registered families), St. Edna (2,800 registered families), and Our Lady of the Wayside (3,100 registered households), in addition to several large Lutheran churches, Evangelicals and several other Protestant churches, including two United Churches of Christ, an Episcopal Church and a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

By the start of the 20th century Arlington Heights had about 1,400 inhabitants, and it continued to grow slowly with a good many farms and greenhouses after World War II. By then Arlington Heights was also known for Arlington Park, a racetrack founded in 1927 by the California millionaire Harry D. “Curly” Brown upon land formerly consisting of 12 farms. Camp McDonald and two country clubs were founded in the 1930s. On July 31, 1985, a fire burned down the grandstand. The current six-story grandstand was completed and opened for use June 28, 1989. In February 2021, the track’s owners, Churchill Downs Inc., announced that they would sell the site for redevelopment. In June 2021, the Chicago Bears of the National Football League emerged as prospective buyers of Arlington Park, raising speculation that they would leave Soldier Field (their current home stadium in downtown Chicago) and build a new stadium on the site, either alongside or directly atop the track. On September 29, 2021, the Bears and Churchill Downs reached a $197.2 million purchase and sell agreement for the property where the new stadium would be built.

A population explosion took place in the 1950s and 1960s, when the spread of automobile ownership, together with the expansion of the Chicago-area economy, the baby boom, and white flight from the city, drove the number of people in Arlington Heights—expanded by a series of annexations—up to 64,884 by 1970. By then virtually all the available land had been taken up, and the formerly isolated depot stop found itself part of a continuous built-up area stretching from Lake Michigan to the Fox River.

Arlington Heights has experienced a recent boom in development of condos, restaurants and other businesses in the Central Business District or downtown area of Arlington Heights, with restaurants experiencing the greatest overall success. Although land and space is now limited in Arlington Heights, business and community development along with community design are key concerns. The Village of Arlington Heights is also instrumental in business, residential and community development. The community is served by many fine hotels.

From 1964 to 1970, Arlington Heights served as the home to The Cellar. The club was located in an unused warehouse on Davis Street, along the Chicago and Northwestern railroad tracks. Founded by local record store owner Paul Sampson, The Cellar offered live rock and blues bands for its mostly teenage audience to listen and to dance. It hosted a wealth of regional bands and repeat performers, such as The Shadows of Knight, The Mauds, H. P. Lovecraft, and Ted Nugent. It also hosted a significant array of national and international rock bands as well, including The Who, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Cream, and The Spencer Davis Group. Entertainment venues include the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in downtown Arlington Heights, which opened in 1999. The Metropolis Performing Arts Centre includes live entertainment as well as arts education. The facility includes a 350-seat theatre, ballroom and classrooms for music and theatre. Music venue Hey Nonny opened in 2018.

Read more on Arlington Heights, Wikivoyage Arlington Heights and Wikipedia Arlington Heights (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Johns Hopkins University & Medicine - Coronavirus Resource Center - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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