Park Ridge is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States, and a Chicago suburb. The population was 37,480 at the 2010 census. It is located 15 miles (24 km) northwest of downtown Chicago. It is close to O'Hare International Airport, major expressways, and rail transportation. It is a part of the Chicago metropolitan area, bordering two northwestern neighborhoods of Chicago's Far North Side (Edison Park and Norwood Park).
As its name suggests, Park Ridge lies on a ridge. The soil is abundant with clay deposits, which made it a brick-making center for the developing city of Chicago. Park Ridge was originally called Pennyville to honor George Penny, the businessman who owned the local brickyard along with Robert Meacham. Later it was named Brickton. The Des Plaines River divides Park Ridge from neighboring Des Plaines, Illinois, which is west of Park Ridge. Chicago is south and east of Park Ridge, and Niles and unincorporated Maine Township are to its north.
The area of Park Ridge was inhabited by the Potawatomie until they were removed in 1833. George Penny established a brickworks in the area. In 1910 Park Ridge had a population of 2,009. In 1930 the population was 10,417. In 1950 the population was 16,602. In 1960 the population was 32,625, with 99.9% of the population white. There were five African-Americans and 31 people classed other than black or white. By 1970, the population had risen to 42,466.
According to the 2010 census, Park Ridge has a total area of 7.134 square miles (18.48 km2), of which 7.09 square miles (18.36 km2) (or 99.38%) is land and 0.044 square miles (0.11 km2) (or 0.62%) is water.
Park Ridge falls under the USDA 5b Plant Hardiness zone.
As of the census of 2000, there were 37,775 people, 14,219 households, and 10,465 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,374.6 people per square mile (2,074.7/km²). There were 14,646 housing units at an average density of 2,083.8 per square mile (804.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.4% White, 0.2% African American, 0.06% Native American, 2.66% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.87% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.90% of the population.
There were 14,219 households out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.4% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.13. The median cost of a house is $420,000.
The City's population consists of 24.5% persons under the age of 18, 5.5% aged 18 to 24, 24.5% aged 25 to 44, 25.8% aged 45 to 64, and 19.6% age 65 or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 90.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $91,674, and the median income for a family was $110,842. Males had a median income of $61,959 versus $39,794 for females. The per capita income for the city was $36,646. About 1.7% of families and 2.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.1% of those under age 18 and 3.1% of those age 65 or over.
Park Ridge is served by the Park Ridge-Niles School District 64, which has its headquarters in the Raymond E. Hendee Educational Service Center in Park Ridge. Area middle schools include Lincoln Middle School and Emerson Middle School in Niles. At one point there were nine public K–6 elementary schools: Oakton, Madison, Edison, Merrill, Carpenter, Field, Franklin, Roosevelt, and Washington. Only the latter five remain today, and all are in Park Ridge. Jefferson School is also part of the district and houses the special needs preschool for children ages 3 and 4, the extended day kindergarten program, and the after school program for grades K–6.
St. Paul of the Cross and Mary Seat of Wisdom are the two Catholic elementary schools. St. Andrews is a Lutheran elementary school.
The town is served by Maine Township High School District 207, which includes Maine South High School, and Maine East High School. Students who live in northern Park Ridge have the option of attending either Maine East or Maine South. Maine West High School is located to the west in Des Plaines. Maine North High School was a school in unincorporated Maine Township and part of Maine Township High School District 207. It closed in 1981 as the student population of Maine Township shrank.
District 207 shares student-run radio and television stations operating with the call letters WMTH-FM (W Maine Township High). Actor Harrison Ford, known for playing the lead role in the Indiana Jones movies, went to Maine East, and has been credited as being the radio station's first sports announcer. Since 2007, WMTH Radio can be heard live on any of the district high school homepages.
The town is a part of the Oakton Community College district.
Park Ridge is home to the Park Ridge Falcons, the 2002 Pop Warner Football Tomlin Division Pee Wee National Champions.
Park Ridge is home to three American Youth Football National Champions (2006, 2007, 2009) and one American Youth Cheerleading National Champion (2007).
The Maine South Hawks football team were state champions in 1995, 2000, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2016.
According to Park Ridge's 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city were:
Park Ridge is the hometown of former First Lady, U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. When she visited Park Ridge on the occasion of her 50th birthday in 1997, the city renamed the southeast corner of the intersection of Elm and Wisner streets, next to her childhood home, "Rodham Corner". Park Ridge is also the hometown of movie stars Carrie Snodgress and Harrison Ford. All three attended Maine Township High School East. Clinton, the youngest of the three, spent her senior year at Maine Township High School South, a new school built to accommodate the population of baby boomers coming through at the time.Park Ridge's most recognizable landmark is the Pickwick Theatre, an Art Deco building dating back to 1928. It is a movie theater and a venue for plays and concerts. In 1975, the theater was named to the National Register of Historic Places. Although smaller theaters have been added to the rear of the building, the main auditorium theater remains intact in its original large five-aisle state. The main auditorium can seat up to 1,400 people. In the 1980s, the Pickwick's facade was one of many used as the backdrop for the opening credits of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert's At the Movies.
Park Ridge Public Library.