Known for its parks, winding tree-lined streets, original gas lamps, and 19th century homes, Riverside is an idyllic setting along the Des Plaines River. It’s also an American original — it was the country’s first planned suburban community.
Riverside was designed in 1869 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, famous for designing urban parks, including Central Park in New York City, and the grounds for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago. The village was incorporated in 1875.
In 1863 the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad was built heading southwest from downtown Chicago to Quincy, Illinois. This new access to transportation and commerce brought about a significant housing and construction boom in what was once farmland far from the bustle of the big city.
Major residential development came again in the 1920s and late 1930s. The village housing varies from bungalows to Victorian and early-twentieth-century mansions that attract architectural tours. Fifty-six homes and buildings in town have been designated local landmarks, including two National Historic Landmark homes designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Today, Riverside is as scenic and patriotic as ever. Our July 4 parade is a slice of Americana right out of a storybook. It’s a community of caring residents and visitors alike, who enjoy Riverside for its nature, history, schools, biking, the arts, classic cars, and of course, great dining with friends and family.
Special thanks to the Chew Chew Restaurant thechewchew.com, Flur flurflavorfirst.com, F.R.E.D (Frederick Law OImsted Riverside Education and Design) fred2013.com, the Frederick Law Olmsted Society of Riverside olmstedsociety.org, Friends Of The Fourth friendsofthefourth.com, Higgins Glass Studio higginsglass.com, Riverside Public Library riversidelibrary.org, the Riverside Swim Club riversideswimclub.net, Salon Elia (formerly Pagani Hair) paganihair.com, Shamrock Garden Florist shamrockgardenflorist.com, the Village of Riverside riverside.il.us, Andy Sitkiewicz (for providing us with the best view of the concert festivities at Guthrie Park in celebration of Independence Day) andrewwealthgroup.com, and Pat and Karen Layng for allowing us to videotape from their beautiful home during the July 4 parade.
Extra special thanks to cinematographer, Aaron Hui. huiaaron.com
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See more at refreshingriverside.com