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Skokie began as a farming community that saw development beginning in the early 1900s when the Chicago & North Western Railroad extended a line into the town. In the 1920s, the Chicago Rapid Transit Company opened a rail station on its newly laid tracks that connected nearby communities together. After World War II, the population grew rapidly to the point where Skokie billed itself as the "World's Largest Village.” Today, it's noted for being the first community in the country to have nationally accredited police, fire, and public works departments. It is home to the Illinois Holocaust Museum, which is dedicated to not only remembering and honoring those who suffered but also to promoting human rights.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Skokie is somewhat higher than the U.S. average and the biggest driver of the cost is housing and transportation. Skokie is located in Cook County, which has higher taxes on gasoline and sales taxes than surrounding counties. Property taxes in Cook County are also high due to legacy issues stemming from pensions. The housing stock in Skokie includes Chicago-style brick bungalows and multi-family buildings from the 1920s during the first wave of construction prior to the Depression. Another wave of housing construction hit after World War II that ushered in the era of the midcentury ranch and split-level homes. Many streets in Skokie will feature both styles of homes on the same street, demonstrating the two different eras of construction styles.
Skokie is amply served by all forms of public and private transportation. There is no Metra rail service that runs in Skokie, but the Skokie Swift/Yellow Line terminal at Dempster connects commuters with stations further south along the line to the Howard Street CTA "L" station, where commuters can transfer trains to head further south into Chicago and eventually reach the Loop. Route 41 travels north and south on the western edge of Skokie and McCormick Avenue runs north-south between Evanston and Skokie. Dempster is a major east-west street. The Edens Expressway (I-94) is located on the western edge of town. Multiple Pace bus routes transport passengers to major destinations in Skokie and surrounding communities.
Students who live in Skokie attend school in one of eight school districts. Skokie Public Schools include districts 65, 68, 69, 72, 73, 73 1/2, 202, and 219. High school-aged students attend the school that's closest to their homes. The high schools include Niles North High School, Niles West High School, and Evanston Township High School. Colleges in Skokie include Oakton Community College, National Louis University, and Hebrew Theological College.
The northern end of Skokie is home to the Old Orchard Mall. It's one of the oldest outdoor lifestyle malls in the country and is a thriving center for social interaction and retail shopping. Its anchor stores consist of major high-end retailers with an eclectic selection of retailers occupying the smaller storefronts throughout the mall. The Skokie North Sculpture Park located on McCormick Boulevard adds visual interest to the paved trails that run alongside the North Branch of the Chicago River. Skokie has something for just about everyone who moves here. It may be a large town, but it has the heart of a small community.
Disclaimer: School attendance zone boundaries are supplied by Maponics and are subject to change. Check with the applicable school district prior to making a decision based on these boundaries.