The quiet, scenic community of Northlake is located in Cook County in northeastern Illinois, just west of the Chicago metropolitan area. The “City of Friendly People” was established on the 19th of July 1949, and celebrates over a half-century of progress. The city has a strong business heritage and is widely regarded as a comfortable commuter city for those who work in and around Chicago. Quiet neighborhoods and wooded streets make up a large part of the town, which also has a thriving commercial district that offers many advantages to businesses.
Northlake offers a high quality of life for residents and an excellent place to work. Outstanding educational institutions, first class health care and endless recreational activities throughout the year are just part of the story. A strong community spirit and cooperative effort by business and civic leaders ensure that Northlake is ready to face new challenges with the same optimism that has made it one of Illinois’ premier communities.
Located less than 15 miles directly west of Chicago’s Loop in Cook County, Northlake is only minutes from major interstates that lead to everywhere in the greater Chicago metropolitan area. Interstates I-290 and I-294 form a network that encircles the Northlake area and connect travelers directly to Chicago. State route 64 (North Avenue) runs east and west through the heart of the City. Lake Street, (U.S. Route 20) works its way along the city’s southern edge while Illinois Route 12/45 connects travelers north and south. The community’s central location gives businesses here a great advantage; the entire Chicagoland region is in close proximity. Additionally, Northlake is less than a day’s travel for overland freight hauling to markets in Kansas City, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Memphis, St. Louis and Detroit.
Northlake grew up along the railroads, which are as important today as in years past and rail lines still service the city. Northlake also has taxi and limousine services that operate throughout the community. For air travel, Northlake is the envy of many. O’Hare International, the world’s busiest airport where more than 40 commercial airlines serve over 65 million passengers annually, is located just 10 minutes to the north. Midway Airport is approximately 20 minutes to the southeast of Northlake, and is Illinois’s second busiest airport, which offers many convenient flights as an alternative to O’Hare. National and international shipping uses the Illinois International Port, located on the south side of Chicago at 130th Street, approximately 20 miles from town. Access to the St. Lawrence Seaway is available from April 1st to December 15th. The shipping season from Chicago to New Orleans through the Inland Waterway lasts twelve months.
Northlake has a long and storied past. The City earned its charter on July 19th, 1949, and in its more than 50 years this leader in Chicago’s western suburbs has earned a reputation for hard work and good living. The City was originally developed on a 2-1/2 mile tract of what used to be soggy farmland. Its beginnings are closely tied to the development of the Buick defense plant, which provided war machinery during the Second World War. Many workers and families relocated from Chicago and surrounding communities to new homes in an 800-unit development just to the west of the plant. Two large railroad yards to the north and south made Northlake an attractive site for postwar industries. When the City was incorporated in 1949, there were approximately 4,500 residents. By 1953, just four short years later, that population had doubled to over 9,000.
Today, Northlake’s over 12,500 residents have the best of small town living in a progressive, serene environment, where the local tax rate is one of the lowest in the western suburbs and where business and industry thrive.