Named as one of “America’s Friendliest Towns” by Forbes magazine in 2012, Downers Grove is located in DuPage county, about 20 miles west of the Loop.
Downers Grove was named after Pierce Downer. Railroads followed by expressways helped fuel Downers Grove’s expansion and population growth.
Downers Grove is home to several historical treasures, including homes, a movie theatre, a golf course, cemetery, and nature preserves. A few highlights include:
- Tivoli Theatre, built in 1928 and the second in the nation constructed specifically for sound motion pictures.
- Blodgett House, one of the oldest homes in the village dating back to 1846 that was an active stopover on the Underground Railroad,
- Main Street Cemetery in Downers Grove downtown, ne of two in the nation still located in a central business district, with the earliest graves dating to 1856.
- The largest concentration of Sears, Roebuck & Co. homes in the world. The mail-order housing was sold between 1908 and 1940.
- The Downers Grove Golf Club, established in 1892 with nine holes was the first golf course west of the Allegheny Mountains. Nine more holes added in 1893 made it the first 18-hole golf course in the United States.
Take a tour around Downers Grove through photos.
Photos by Michael Piff, captions by Sara Tieman