Living in Batavia, ILFounded in 1833, Batavia, IL is the oldest city in Kane County. Batavia is known as the City of Energy, for both its storied history as the largest producer of windmills during the Industrial Revolution, and its current proximity to Fermi Lab, a major federal research institution specializing in high energy physics.
Batavia was on the frontlines of the Black Hawk War in the 1830s, became an important stop on the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad in the 1850s, and later became famous for being the largest producer of windmills during the Industrial Revolution. The Batavia Institute was founded in 1853 as an important secondary educational institution, and was converted into the sanitarium Bellevue Place in 1867, which was famous for being the home of Mary Todd Lincoln for a brief period in 1875. In 1906, famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright built the Prairie-style Ravine House in Batavia, while the state-of-the-art Campana Factory was built in 1936, which produced various cosmetic supplies. The Fermilab federal scientific research facility came to the area in 1967.
Batavia, IL has grown steadily over the years and today, Batavia is a thriving suburb of 26,045 people. Batavia is one of the “Tri-Cities” (the others being St. Charles and Geneva), and includes a historic downtown along the Fox River, with many historic churches and several charming shops, restaurants, and bars. Batavia also has a thriving cultural scene. Albright Theater Company features productions year-round. The new Water Street Studios features the work of many local artists, and the annual Art in Your Eye fine arts festival features award-winning artists from around the country, musical entertainment, children’s art activities and gourmet food.
Batavia contains many diverse neighborhoods, including homes from the mid 19th Century up until today. Located on Batavia’s western edge, the Randall Road corridor is a major shopping and dining area for residents of the Fox Valley area, while on the eastern side, the Kirk Road corridor is a major employment center, containing many industrial buildings, as well as Fermi Lab, which employs 2,000 people alone, including many scientists from around the world.
Batavia students consistently score higher than national norms in basic skills testing, and most score above the national average in all areas tested: vocabulary, reading, language, and math. More than 80% of the graduates of Batavia School District 101 continue their education at a college or university. GreatSchools.org rated Batavia public schools a 9 out of 10 based on public school test results.
Batavia offers abundant recreational opportunities. Batavia Park District maintains several parks within the city and offers a variety of recreational programs. Braeburn Park & Preserve and Clark Island Recreational Area both include ball fields and picnic shelters as well as extensive open space. The Park District also maintains a Riverwalk with breathtaking views of the Fox River, as well as Harold Hall Quarry Beach, which includes an award-winning swimming facility. The Mid-American Canoe Race, which is one of the oldest canoeing events in the country, is held on the Fox River every year, while Settler’s Hill Golf Course provides golfers with 18 holes of golf and a driving range. Funway Ultimate Entertainment Center provides both indoor and outdoor family entertainment, including miniature golf, bumper boats, batting cages, bowling, arcade games, roller skating, and go karts.
CNN Money ranked Batavia, IL at #56 on its list of Top 100 Small Towns, while Business Week ranked Batavia as #21 of the 50 Best Places to Raise Kids.