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Oak Forest, Illinois is a suburban city that is located just 22 miles south of downtown Chicago. The town's name came from the lush oak forests in the area, a portion of which remains today as a forest preserve. Oak Forest began primarily as a milk stop at the train station by farmers of Bremen Township in Cook County. A turning point came in 1894 when the DuPont family purchased property on the east side of the tracks, where they built what was billed as the “world's largest gunpowder magazine and factory.” The entire complex blew up in 1906. A more lasting development came when the Oak Forest Infirmary was completed in 1910. This hospital accommodated nearly 2,000 persons who were destitute due to mental illness, alcoholism, poverty and other problems. By 1932, there were more than 4,000 patients at the infirmary, including 500 with tuberculosis. The Oak Forest Hospital continues to be an important part of the town today and one of the best health care systems in the country. By the 1920s, several residential subdivisions were built in Oak Forest, and in 1947, the community was incorporated as the Village of Oak Forest. The population slowly grew and in the 1960s, Oak Forest saw a dramatic growth in population. Today, approximately 28,000 residents call Oak Forest home.

Oak Forest has a great location less than a half mile from Interstate 57 just south of Chicago. One of the fastest growing communities in the Chicago metro area, Oak Forest has access to three major expressways within three miles of the city and a Metra station at the town's Gateway entrance which gives commuters easy access to the railway system. It's also less than an hour from the Chicago O'Hare Airport. The Central Avenue Corridor in Oak Forest is fundamental to the recreational and civic life of the city. The Corridor is where you will find City Hall, the Civic Center, the Oak Forest High School and the Oak Forest Central Park District. The George W. Dunne National Golf Course is also located along the Central Avenue Corridor and is considered one of the best golf courses in the nation. Recreational opportunities abound in Oak Forest. The city maintains several lovely parks and the Cook County Forest Preserve provides nature programs and hiking trails, as well as interpretive displays. Visitors can take their time along a self-guided hike at the Preserve and professional naturalists are on hand to answer questions. It's the perfect place to explore the beauty of the outdoors and connect to nature.

Oak Forest's close proximity to Chicago, of course, provides endless opportunities for entertainment, fine dining, shopping and attractions. There is so much to see and do in the city of Chicago – from historic landmarks to architectural wonders and everything in between. Just a few of the attractions include the Navy Pier, the John Hancock Observatory, Sears Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Amazing Chicago Funhouse Tour and Six Flags Great America. Oak Forest allows you to enjoy all the region has to offer – the big city amenities and excitement of Chicago along with the peace and natural beauty of a small town atmosphere.


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