Highland Park was founded in 1869 with a population of 500, and evolved from two settlements: St. John and Port Clinton. Highland Park was named from its parklike setting at a lofty elevation relative to the lake. The town annexed the village of Ravinia in 1899.
Highland Park has several attractions including a vibrant downtown shopping district and the Ravinia Festival. Ravinia Festival is an open-air pavilion seating 3,200, which hosts classical, pop and jazz concerts in the summer. It has been the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1936. Concert-goers can purchase seats in the covered pavilion or tickets to sit on the lawn. Many visitors arrive early and picnic on the lawn before and during the concerts. The Ravinia Festival is located in the Ravinia District, originally an artists' colony which still retains much of its early character and architecture.
Highland Park has several landmark structures listed in the National Register of Historic Places, notably the Willits House by Frank Lloyd Wright. In addition to several houses designed by Wright, the National Register lists homes designed by prominent architects including John S. Van Bergen, Howard Van Doren Shaw, Robert E. Seyfarth, and David Adler. Landscape architect Jens Jensen lived in Highland Park and designed a number of projects in the community that are listed on the register.
There are two public beaches in Highland Park, Rosewood Beach and Park Avenue Beach (which also has a boating facility). Highland Park is also home to the North Shore Yacht Club.
Highland Park is located at (42.182525, -87.807052).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.2 square miles (31.7 km2), of which 12.2 square miles (31.6 km2) is land and 0.039 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.27%, is water. Its geographic features include a 100-foot-high (30 m) bluff running along 6 miles (10 km) of Lake Michigan shoreline and deep, wooded ravines extending up to 1 mile (1.6 km) inland. Elevations range from 580 to 725 feet (177 to 221 m) above sea level.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 29,763 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 91.05% White, 1.84% Black or African American, 2.9% Asian, 0.18% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.51% of some other race and 1.48% of two or more races. 7.28% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
As of the census of 2000, there were 31,365 people, 11,521 households, and 8,917 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,537.5 people per square mile (979.8/km²). There were 11,934 housing units at an average density of 965.5/sq mi (372.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.20% White, 1.78% African American, 0.08% Native American, 2.28% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 3.46% from other races, and 1.18% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.90% of the population.
There were 11,521 households out of which 36.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.9% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.6% were non-families. 19.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the city the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 27.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $100,967, and the median income for a family was $117,235. Males had a median income of $83,121 versus $41,175 for females. The per capita income for the city was $55,331. About 2.3% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and 3.1% of those age 65 or over.
Highland Park is governed by the council-manager form of government. The non-partisan City Council consists of seven members, including an elected mayor and six councilmembers, all elected at-large and serving staggered four-year terms. The current city council consists of:
Highland Park is considered a Democratic stronghold. Highland Park voters overwhelmingly broke for Illinois Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, choosing him over Arizona Senator John McCain 76.3%-23.1%. Highland Park voters also tend to prefer Democrats in local races.
At the state level, Highland Park is a part of the 58th House District, represented by Scott Drury (D-Highwood), and the 29th Senate District, represented by Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield). At the county level, the city is split between Districts 11th and 12, represented by Steven Warren Mandel and Mike Rummel, respectively.
The international headquarters of the Solo Cup Company was formerly located in Highland Park, before relocating to neighboring Lake Forest in 2009.
The main highway in Highland Park is US-41, which connects Chicago to Milwaukee. Commuter rail is available at four Metra stations within city borders (Braeside, Ravinia Park, Ravinia, and Highland Park), as well as two in nearby Highwood (Highwood and Fort Sheridan) on the Union Pacific/North Line, which begins in Chicago and terminates in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Pace also offers several bus routes. Boat launch facilities are available along Lake Michigan. O'Hare International Airport is located approximately 20 miles (32 km) south and slightly west.
Highland Park is popular with professional athletes, as the Chicago Bears practice facility is in nearby Lake Forest. The most notable resident that has lived in Highland Park was Michael Jordan. His 56,000 square foot home is on several acres behind large iron gates bearing the number 23. In December 2003 Jordan's home went up for sale for $21 million but the auction went without a winning bidder; the price of the home has since been dropped several times. Singer, songwriter, and producer Richard Marx grew up in Highland Park. Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan currently resides in Highland Park, and owns a tea shop named Madame Zuzu's.
Highland Park is the location of the former home of the main characters in the CBS drama The Good Wife.
Highland Park was used for location shots for several movies written and directed by John Hughes in the 1980s including Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science, Sixteen Candles, Uncle Buck and Home Alone. Other popular films from the 1980s shot or partially set in Highland Park include Ordinary People, Risky Business, and Lucas. Since 2000, Highland Park movies have included Kicking & Screaming and Shattered Memories of Love. In the film Shattered Glass, Stephen Glass, portrayed by actor Hayden Christensen, makes repeated reference to his family's residence in Highland Park as an indication of the high expectations they have on his career.
"Highland Park has the feel of a gated community without the actual gates," writes Vanity Fair, and has a tradition of "very clever minds who left to strike gold in Hollywood." The creators of the Revenge of the Nerds, Beethoven, and other films grew up in Highland Park.
It also was the setting for the 2000/2001 Fox and PBS documentary show American High.
North Shore School District 112 operates an early childhood center, eight elementary schools, and three middle schools.
Township High School District 113 operates Highland Park High School, as well as "rival" Deerfield High School. Yeruham, Israel
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