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Kenilworth is a small village located in Cook County, IL with a population of over 2,500. In 1889, Joseph Sears purchased 223 acres of woodland, pasture, and wetlands located between Wilmette and Winnetka. This area was one of the last undeveloped tracts of farmland lying along Lake Michigan just north of Chicago. Much of the land was covered with native oak, hickory, and butternut trees, as well as overgrown wild blackberry bushes. Its woodland therefore attracted serious botany students from Northwestern University. The village name comes from a town in the midlands of England. Street names, including Abbotsford and Essex were taken from Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Kenilworth. In 1920, the nearby North Shore golf course went out of business. At this time, village residents bought the 40 acres west of the railroad to ensure compatible development, since no additional expansion of village boundaries was possible. Kenilworth contains houses designed by a number of esteemed architects, including George W. Maher, who was a contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright. Maher, himself lived in Kenilworth. Nearly 40 of his designs were constructed between 1893 and 1926. Maher also designed the limestone pillars that mark the entrances to Sheridan Road and the town’s central fountain. Kenilworth’s numerous Tudor revival residences, Old English style street lamps, and Prairie School architecture all contribute to the overall English theme of the village.
The nearest shopping mall to Kenilworth is Plaza del Lago, located in Wilmette. This plaza is the second oldest shopping center in the U.S. The area was once a 22-acre unincorporated plot of land that was unwanted by the neighboring towns of Wilmette, Kenilworth, Evanston, and Winnetka. This Spanish-style complex now has unique boutiques, restaurants, grocery, and services. Located in Plaza del Lago is Convito Café & Market. The Convito Café features a regional European menu with a focus on French & Italian cuisines. If you’re looking to take some fresh goods home, the Convito Food & Wine Market features wonderful prepared foods, fresh pasta and sauces, baked goods, imported groceries, deli meats, cheese, and fine Italian wines. For some great Japanese food, visit Akai Hana Japanese Restaurant and AO Sushi, also located in Wilmette.
40 minutes to Chicago Loop
30 minutes to O’Hare Airport
50 minutes to Midway Airport
Distance to Downtown
Kenilworth borders Lake Michigan to the east, Winnetka to the north, and Wilmette to the south and west. The Metra Union Pacific/North Line goes south to Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago and as far north as Kenosha, Wisconsin. There is also the Pace bus that stops at 213 Green Bay Road.
With Kenilworth being such a small vintage that is mostly residential, you will have to go to nearby suburbs to do things. There is however a small beach for both residents ($7) and non-residents ($17). The beach is located off of Richmond Road. Located in Glencoe, north of Kenilworth is the Chicago Botanic Garden. The Gardens opened more than 40 years ago and has matured into one of the world’s great living museums and conservation science centers with more than one million people visiting last year. Close to the Chicago Botanic Garden is Ravinia Festival, the oldest outdoor music festival in the U.S. with a series of outdoor concerts and performances held every summer from June to September. The Baha’i House of Worship is a temple in Wilmette, just south of Kenilworth. This temple is one of ten dedicated temples of the Baha’i Faith and it is the oldest surviving Baha’i House of Worship in the world.
The Joseph Sears School, named after the founder of the village, is an elite PK-8 public school in Kenilworth. It is the only school in the School District 38 in Cook County. Joseph Sears students consistently rank in the 98th to 99th percentile nationally on standardized tests. There are no private schools in Kenilworth, however some K-8 students attend nearby schools including, St. Faith, Hope and Charity, St. Joseph, and many more. Most high school students in Kenilworth attend New Trier High School, which is in Winnetka. Others looking for private schools, attend Loyola Academy, North Shore Country Day, and Lake Forest Academy.