Elmhurst is made up of many different neighborhoods, some developed over a century ago. Our sixth in the “Elmhurst Neighborhoods” series explores Elm Estates, conveniently located between Butterfield Road and Madison Street with Spring Road to the west and York Road to the east.
Elm Estates was advertised as the final prestige area to be developed in Elmhurst. “Over 320 happy families agree: your wisest investment is assured in Elm Estates Elmhurst.” Paved streets, curbs, walks shaded by 30-year-old trees, city water, separate storm and sanitary sewers were all must- have features of the time. Also mentioned in sales literature were two elementary schools, a new junior high school and two new churches including the Christian Reformed Church and Christ Methodist Church of Elmhurst, which was described as an “architectural gem.”
The homes included ranches, bi-levels and colonials developed by MacDougall Builders, Inc. and cost between $26,950 and $45,000. MacDougall was a prolific home builder in south Elmhurst in the 50′s and 60′s with a reputation for building well-built and well-designed homes. MacDougall started assembling parcels of land in 1952, resulting in the subdivisions Elm Estates, Stratford Hills, Atwood Estates and the Royal York Apartments (now Condominiums).
The schools were a huge selling point to the post-war families escaping the noise and dirt of the city. Timothy Christian High School was just opening in 1962, with their junior high opening in 1970 and the elementary school in 1972. Across the street, Bryan Junior High at 111 W. Butterfield had just been built. Named after Thomas Barbour Bryan, the Father of Elmhurst, the school memorialized this Harvard educated attorney who was a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln and was ultimately responsible for changing the city’s name from Cottage Hill to Elmhurst in 1869.
Just like now, location was so important. An excerpt from a report by land planners Carl L. Gardner and Associates, said, “Elmhurst is located in a most strategic spot in relation to the three-way junction formed by the network of freeways and expressways serving all of northern Illinois. After completion of this expressway system, no part of Elmhurst will be more than one-half to three-quarters of an hour from any center of employment in the entire Chicago metropolitan area.”
Residents of this neighborhood are in the award winning Elmhurst School District 205 and would attend Jackson Elementary School, Bryan Middle School and York High School. Click here for more information on those schools and links to school reports and more. If you are interested in viewing homes in Elm Estates, use LW Reedy’s new MLS Mapping Search tool or contact a LW Reedy Agent for information on this, or any of Elmhurst’s wonderful neighborhoods. LW Reedy currently has a number of beautiful Elm Estates properties just waiting for the right family to move in.
We gratefully acknowledge all of the time and assistance Nancy Wilson at Elmhurst Historical Museum provided in our research. She is, and will continue to be, an invaluable resource for this series. Graphics are used with permission of the Elmhurst Historical Museum.