Living in Bolingbrook, ILWith a population of 73,366, Bolingbrook is the 17th largest municipality in Illinois. Known as “A Place to Grow”, the village is relatively new, having first been incorporated in 1965, and saw tremendous growth in the late 1960s and 1970s and again in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Bolingbrook is located primarily in northern Will County, with a small portion in DuPage County. The village is located near the intersection of Interstates 55 and 355, providing great access to the metropolitan Chicago area, and is located only 25 miles southwest of Chicago’s Loop.
Settlers began farming in the Bolingbrook area in the 1830s. In the 1920s, the famous Route 66 was formed and ran just south of the area. With the arrival of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s, Route 66 was upgraded and became Interstate 55, and the quick access to downtown Chicago made the area attractive to housing developers. In 1961, Dover Homes constructed the area’s first subdivision, Westbury, just west of Route 53. This was followed by Colonial Village and King’s Park. Homeowners in these neighborhoods joined together and formed the Village of Bolingbrook in 1965.
Residential growth continued in earnest throughout the 1970s, and by 1980, Bolingbrook’s population was 37,000. In the late 1970s, Bolingbrook was home to Old Chicago, a combination indoor amusement park and shopping mall. Growth slowed down in the 1980s, and Bolingbrook grew to only 41,000 by 1990. However, growth picked up again in the 1990s and early 2000s, which pushed Bolingbrook’s population past 70,000 today.
Tremendous retail and industrial growth accompanied the most recent residential boom in the 1990s and early 2000s. On the west side of town, the intersection of Boughton and Weber Roads became a major regional shopping and dining hub. On the east side of town, the open-air mall “the Promenade Bolingbrook” opened at the intersection of Boughton Road and Interstate 355 in 2007. The Promenade is anchored by Bass Pro Shops, Gold Class Cinemas, and Macy’s, and includes many fashion stores and upscale eateries. IKEA also opened its second Illinois location nearby. The Interstate 55 corridor, which includes Bolingbrook and other nearby communities, saw immense industrial development during this time period as well. The corridor is now home to approximately 70 million square feet worth of industrial uses.
Bolingbrook is also the location of Clow International Airport, a general aviation facility that sees 70,000 takeoffs and landings annually. It is a very popular flight training facility and is also the site of the Illinois Aviation Museum.
Bolingbrook is served primarily by Valley View School District U365. Western parts of Bolingbrook are served by Plainfield School District 202 and Indian Prairie School District 204. Far northern parts of the village are served by schools in Naperville, Woodridge, and Downers Grove. The Valley View School District includes eight elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school (Bolingbrook High School) within Bolingbrook, with additional schools located in neighboring Romeoville.
Bolingbrook’s Park District is consistently rated as one of the best in the nation, having twice won the National Gold Medal Award for Best in Nation (in 1980 and 1999), and recently placed as one of four finalists for the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park Management, Facilities, and Programs in 2005 and 2006. The Park District includes several picturesque parks and woodlands, and operates a number of facilities including the 9-hole Boughton Ridge Golf Course, the Bolingbrook Recreation and Aquatic Complex (which includes the Pelican Harbor indoor/outdoor aquatic facility), and several community centers. In addition, the village operates the 18-hole Bolingbrook Golf Club. Bolingbrook has been a Tree City USA for 20 years and was named a Sterling Community for its excellence in urban forestry in 2002.
Money magazine rated Bolingbrook as #43 of its “Best Places to Live in the United States” and the 8th “Most Affordable Community” in the nation.