The Village of Evergreen Park is a city in Illinois located on the Southwestern boarder of the city of Chicago. It is the “small town” connected to the “big city.” Because of the location it is able to enjoy all the amenities of its “big city” neighbor while continuing to enjoy the wonderful spirit a small town has to offer.
Over one hundred years ago, while other towns surrounding Chicago were requesting annexation to survive, Evergreen Park boldly decided to declare its independence. The population at the time was approximately 500 people. Fifty-one residents turned out on December 20, 1893 when forty of them voted for incorporation and four squared miles of area became the Village of Evergreen Park. Many of the original settlers were hard working farm families.
The Village acquired its name from the park located at 97th Street and Homan Avenue, originally intended to be the center of town. This part of the village was laid out to resemble Paris, with its wagon wheel appearance, but development in other directions has since caused it to be a residential section. The center of Evergreen Park is now 95th Street and Kedzie Avenue. From those few early settlers in the 1800's through the pre-war years of truck gardens, the post–war years and population boom of the 1950’s, to its present stature as one of the leading southwest suburbs of Cook County, Evergreen Park continues to progress and flourish.
The 75th Anniversary was celebrated in 1968 and the 100th Anniversary was celebrated in 1993. Time capsules were buried at each of these ceremonies and will be opened in the year 2018. Evergreen Park is a residential suburb located astride 95th Street (U.S. Route 12 and U.S. Route 20) adjacent to the attractive Beverly Hills section of Chicago and seventeen miles southwest of the Loop. The Village encompasses an area of approximately four square miles and is bordered by the City of Chicago on the north, south and east, and by the Village of Oak Lawn on the west. Evergreen Park is known as the "Village of Churches" as evidenced by the thirteen established religious congregations serving the community.
While Evergreen Park itself does not have an airport, it is located just 7 miles from Midway International Airport.
Take 95th St exit (US-20 E / US-12 E) toward OAK LAWN East to Kedzie (approximately 5.33 miles).
Turn left onto Kedzie
From the South:
Take Bishop Ford Fwy. / I-94 W.
Merge onto I-57 S via EXIT 63 on the left toward Memphis.
Take Exit 357 toward IL-1 / Halsted St.
Turn slight left onto W 98th Pl.
Turn right onto S Halsted St / IL-1 N.
Continue to follow S Halsted St.
Turn left onto W 95th St. / US-20 W / US-12 W.
Turn right onto S Kedzie Ave.
From Midway Airport:
South on S Cicero Ave / IL-50 S toward W 59th St.
Continue to follow IL-50 S.
Turn left onto W 87th St.
Turn right onto S Kedzie Ave.
From O'Hare Airport:
Take I-190 East for 1.5 miles. Take Exit 1D and merge onto I-294 South toward Indiana. Follow I-294 for 23 miles and take second exit for 95th Street East. Follow 95th Street East for approximately 5.5 miles and you will arrive in Evergreen Park.
It is also possible to travel by train from O'Hare. Take the CTA Blue Line from O'Hare to Jackson. Walk out of the subway and walk South to Van Buren St. and turn right. Walk two blocks to LaSalle St. and turn left. From there, walk along the right side the building on the right side of the street. You will come to a set of stairs which is the entrance to LaSalle Street Metra Station. You can take the local Rock Island line to 95th Street where you will have to walk just under one mile West before arriving in Evergreen Park.
Pace runs bus route 381 East and West on 95th Street through Evergreen Park. Monday-Friday the bus runs every 15 minutes from about 5am until about 7pm. After 7pm, buses run approximately every hour until about 11:30pm. Saturday and Sunday the bus runs less frequently. For a full schedule, check out http://www.pacebus.com/sub/schedules/route_detail.asp?RouteNo=381
Evergreen Park is a small community and can easily be navigated by foot or bicycle.
Anna May "Babe" Ahern putts on the practice green behind the club house at Evergreen Country Club
Evergreen Park Country Club, 9140 S. Western Ave., Evergreen Park, IL 60805, ☎ (773) 238-6680. In 1921 Anna and Owen Ahern turned their farm into a golf course named for the village in which it was located. In Evergreen's early years, there were tournaments with leading amateurs and exhibitions by big-name players, including Horton Smith, first winner of the Masters. In addition to the course, there was a restaurant called Beverly Gardens located on the grounds. Beverly Gardens operated as a speakeasy and in 1921 there was a Prohibition-era raid that netted 20 arrests, including Anna Ahern. In 1933, the Ahern's hired Vincent Gebhardi as the head pro. He was better known as Jack “Machine Gun” McGurn, Al Capone’s No. 1 hit man and likely mastermind of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Gebhardi was arrested while playing in the 1933 Western Open at Olympia Fields and spent six months in jail. Later in 1933, the Aherns were awaken by gunfire and discovered that John Dillinger and his henchmen were trying to rob the Gardens. Two of Dillinger's men were shot as well as two country patrolmen, however no one was fatally injured and Dillinger's men all got away. The course eventually passed to Anna and Owen's daughter, Anna May "Babe" Ahern. Babe, as everyone called her, was born in 1907 and recently passed away on December 12, 2010 at the age of 103. She grew up on the grounds of the course and later managed it for decades, although she was always reluctant to speak with reporters, or anyone, about the occurrences at the course. It is believed that she may have met Al Capone and other prominent outlaws of the Prohibition-era.
Circle Park, 3450 West 97th Street, Evergreen Park, IL 60805, ☎ (708) 229-3373. Circle Park is to Evergreen Park what Central Park is to New York. It is the largest park in the village and many community events are set in its grassy fields, recreation facilities, and playground. The park offers one of the more picturesque settings in all the village. ==Buy== ==Eat== Evergreen Park is one of the great restaurant towns in Illinois. It serves as a less expensive, but comparable, alternative to Chicago. It offers excellent bakeries, pizzerias, as well as other ethnic options. ===Bakeries=== * Wolf's Bakery, 3241 W. 95th St, ☎ (708) 422-7429, . Mon-Fri 6a-6p, Sat 6a-5p, Sun Closed. Home of the original Lemon Fluff. Offers Pastries, Cookies, Cakes, Breads, and a variety of other items. ===Chinese=== * Chi Tung, 9560 S. Kedzie Ave., Evergreen Park, IL 60805, ☎ (708) 636-8180, . Mon-Thur 11:30a-9:30p, Sat 11:30a-10:30p, Sun 12:30a-9:30p. This restaurant opened as a single storefront in 1988. Since then, it's owner's, Jinny and Dan Zhao, have turned it into one of the most successful Asian restaurants in all of Chicagoland. It now boasts of an elegant dinning room, seating for 200 people, a sushi bar, and a hibachi grill. Featuring choices such as Chinese, Thai, Japanese and a new Hibachi Steakhouse, this restaurant recently appeared on Yahoo's list of the top ten restaurants in America. $12-$25. ===Pizza=== * Barracco's Pizza, 3701 W. 95th St, ☎ (708) 424-8182, . Mon-Wed 7a-3a, Thur-Fri 7a-4a, Sat 8a-4a, Sun 8a-3a. Has been making pizza since they opened their doors in 1980. Great selection, and they deliver until shortly before close(3-4am)!$10-$20. * Rosangela's Pizza, 2807 W. 95th St, ☎ (708) 422-2041. Mon Wed Thur 11a-10pm, Fri & Sat 11a-11p, Sun 1p-10p, Tues Closed. Serves an excellent thin crust pizza.$8-$15. ==Drink== * Bleekers Bowl, 3447 W. 95th St., Evergreen Park, IL 60805, ☎ (708) 423-4777. This bowling ally offers old stools, a dirty floor, and bar area from the 50's. But the beer is cheep and the people are friendly. In the summer, Friday and Saturday nights offer a somewhat younger crowd.
Hart's Saloon, 9858 S Artesian Avenue, Evergreen Park, IL 60805, ☎ (708) 424-2618. Tucked away in a residential area, Hart's is a typical neighborhood bar. However, there is something charming in its inconspicuous location and homely look. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday you are likely to find live music and a crowd composed of Southsiders hailing from Evergreen Park, Beverly, and other surrounding neighborhoods. On other nights you will have access to the pool and shuffleboard tables.$2-$5.
Hilton Oak Lawn, 9333 S. Cicero Ave., Oak Lawn, IL 60453, ☎ (708) 425-7800, . Although it's not actually located in Evergreen Park, it is probably one of the better options in the area as far as hotels are concerned. The Hilton Oak Lawn is located on 95th and Cicero just a mile North of Evergreen Park.