If you are beginning to search for a home in Oak Park you will find a large variety of architectural styles mainly from the 1900s to 1940s. Traveling through the community you might find a large Gothic mansion on the same block as a beautifully Painted Lady, and just down the street from a charming Bungalow.
Of course Oak Park is known as being the home of Frank Lloyd Wright and many of the best examples of Prairie style homes are here in Oak Park and the sister community of River Forest. His home and studio sits at the corner of Forest and Chicago. There are a number of his designs on Forest Avenue and Kenilworth Avenue between Chicago and Lake Street. Local Author Patrick Cannon has written a beautiful book worth checking out called Hometown Architect that details all the homes built by Wright in the Oak Park and River Forest Communities.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, the country's largest private, nonprofit preservation organization, named Oak Park, Illinois, to its 2005 list of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations, an annual list of unique and lovingly preserved communities in the United States. It was selected from nearly 80 destinations in 44 states that were nominated by individuals, preservation organizations and local communities.
There is a different feel between the north and south sides of Oak Park. On the south side the homes are closer together and you will find more Four Square and Bungalow styles of homes. On the north side you can find larger homes that are set back further from the street. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. Dispersed throughout the north side you will find some ranch homes, Bungalows and Fours Squares. On the south side, especially the near south side, you will see some very elegant Victorians and Queen Annes.
Oak Park has a solid school system and great public transportation. The Blue line, Green line and the Metra all have stops here. The Blue line, which travels down Lake Street will bring you right to the heart of the Oak Park business district which is on Lake Street between Oak Park Avenue and Harlem Avenue. It is also right off of the 290 expressway.