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Chicago Heights

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About Chicago Heights

Chicago Heights is a mid-size city in Illinois' Cook County, less than 30 miles from Chicago. A diverse community calls the city home, though the Chicago Heights' population has been slowly shrinking in recent years. This has created more of a small-town feel in the area, which is reinforced by regular community events and celebrations.

The Founding of Chicago Heights

The town of Chicago Heights formed in the 1890s, when a group of developers decided to establish the town as an industrial suburb. The town quickly brought in several large-scale industries, such as Inland Steel; the Hotel Victoria was built not long after. In the early 1900s, town members petitioned for a public library, receiving funding for its construction from Andrew Carnegie himself.

By 1920, the town had a population of just less than 20,000 people. As more workers poured in from other areas to operate the industrial businesses, the town's economy continued to grow. It became home to the original site of the Inland Steel Co., also hosting the Thrall Car Manufacturing Co. and a metal stamping plant for Ford Motor Co. These industries have helped fuel the Chicago Heights' economy, even as its key players shift over time.

Recreation in Chicago Heights

Chicago Heights offers many opportunities to experience the great outdoors, enjoy your free time and even learn about the history of the area. As a very bike-friendly community, it features extensive bike paths and bike lanes on many of its major roads.

Hiking is also a popular pastime. Local naturalists host free hikes through the local forest preserve and nature center, and you can join the monthly hiking club. Chicago Heights is adjacent to the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, the largest forest preserve district in the county. Bird-watching, nature walks and canoeing are just a handful of the recreational activities you can enjoy there.

The Trailside Museum of Natural History offers a look at the area's past. It also hosts special educational sessions throughout the community, like an exploration of the history of women in nature, presented at the forest preserve.

Chicago Heights Schools

Elementary and middle schools in Chicago Heights are part of Chicago Heights School District 170. High school students attend Bloom Township High School District 206. There are several different schools in the primary grades district, including a pre-kindergarten center and STEM Magnet Academy. A few outlying areas of Chicago Heights are served by other districts and schools. Marian Catholic High School is the city's primary private school.

If you're looking for a local college or university campus, Prairie State College is a two-year community college within city limits.

Resources for Moving to Chicago Heights

Here's some helpful information for planning your move to Chicago Heights:

  • Utilities: Your water and sewer services will be billed by the city. Commonwealth Edison is the area's major electricity provider.
  • Garbage and Recycling: Republic Services provides trash collection service, including the option of one bulk-item collection per week.
  • Transportation: The city's public transportation hub is the Chicago Heights Terminal, where you can access several routes of the Pace Bus.

Chicago Heights Housing

Although home prices in Chicago Heights are on the rise, they still remain well below the national average. You can find plenty of budget-friendly options throughout the city, whether you're planning to rent or buy. Studio and one-bedroom apartments rent at a very affordable price, and you can also rent single-family homes for a reasonable cost.