Elmhurst Then and Now, Celebrating 65 Years

When Larry Reedy, Senior, opened the doors of LW Reedy Real Estate 65 years ago, he probably had no idea that someday his name would be on a Pokémon stop, his grandson would be running the place, and real estate prices would be 20 times what they were that day. Then again, those who knew Larry, Senior may say that he knew it all along.

Larry, Senior knew everyone in town, and everyone knew him. You’d see him cheering on the York cross country team, handing out silver dollars at retirement homes, and tipping his hat to a stranger on the street. His business was built on caring about the people of Elmhurst, a tradition that holds strong with LW Reedy agents today.

While Larry’s legacy of caring about Elmhurst’s residents continues on, much has changed both in Elmhurst and in the real estate industry, and LW Reedy has changed along with it.

Just look around town. Here’s how a few places have changed from when Larry, Senior opened LW Reedy Real Estate in 1951 to today.

  • There used to be a High-Low Foods on St Charles Road just east of Route 83, right about where Whole Foods stands today.
  • Where Buffalo Wild Wings serves up wings and burgers, a clothing store called Ruby’s Family Fashions used to blast Madonna videos to attract teenagers.
  • Back in 1951, if you were shopping for toys, hardware, home décor, appliances or really pretty much anything, you’d stop over at Soukup’s Hardware Store. What’s there now? It’s near the new construction just south of York Classic Cinemas.
  • Can you believe we used to have a Sears on the northwest corner of York and Second Street where Unique Travel Service is now? In 1951, the Elmhurst Sears store had 35 employees and served a 25-mile radius. It closed in the mid-1960’s when Oak Brook Shopping Center opened it’s own Sears.
  • Where you may sit down for a tasty Kung Pao Beef at Red Dragon Restaurant, the Lions Club used to meet for lunch every Monday. Those days, the space was occupied by Cottage Hill Restaurant. When Cottage Hill Restaurant opened in 1929, it served a daily business lunch for just 50 cents! It closed in 1982.
  • There was no skirting the train tracks using the underpass back in 1951. It didn’t exist! How’d you get around the train? You didn’t. You just had to wait it out.

Just like Elmhurst, LW Reedy has changed quite a bit over the past 65 years.

  • Back in 1951, there were just a few people joining Larry, Senior at LW Reedy. These days, LW Reedy serves as a broker for over 90 agents.
  • LW Reedy agents used to meet with buyers and sellers at the office or in their homes to have them sign contracts. These days, most documents are signed via Docusign over the Internet.
  • The MLS launched in the 1950’s. At the time, it was regional and only accessible to real estate agents. As a buyer or seller, the only way you could get information on a home for sale was to talk with a real estate agent. Now national sites like Realtor.com mean basic information about homes for sale can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection.

What hasn’t changed? Well, in Elmhurst, Hamburger Heaven still serves double deck hamburgers and root beer in the same place it stood when it opened its doors in May of 1948. And at LW Reedy, we still stand for the same values as Larry, Senior did when he opened our doors in 1951. We are grounded in tradition and inspired by innovation. We are a family to our agents, our clients and our community. We can just picture Larry, Senior handing out silver dollars to Pokémon Go players at his Pokémon stop on the Prairie Path just west of Pioneer Park.

Help us celebrate our 65th anniversary by sharing stories about your history in Elmhurst.

Thank you to the Elmhurst History Museum for a website full of information about Elmhurst businesses.

 

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