Located 15 miles north of Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan, Wilmette is considered one of the most desirable suburban locations in the greater Chicago area. The community is known for its pristine beaches, vibrant village center, gracious, tree-lined neighborhoods and a wealth of recreational and educational opportunities. Wilmette was incorporated in 1872 and is named for French Canadian trader Antoine Ouilmette, who settled in the area in the 1820’s.
The Wilmette Harbor is a scenic spot and popular facility for pleasure boaters. Also on the lakefront is Gillson Park where the Wallace Bowl outdoor arena hosts the Starlight Theater during the summer months with productions including live theater and musical entertainment.
The Baha’i Temple is a well-known Wilmette landmark, drawing visitors from all over the world. The design of the nine-sided domed temple took 40 years to complete. It is surrounded by nine flower gardens and nine fountains.
The Wilmette Public Library is a major community resource offering a full schedule of meetings, artist receptions and workshops on subjects such as poetry, creative writing and computer awareness.
Parks and Recreation.
In addition to the community’s lakefront facilities, Wilmette’s extensive park system includes the recently expanded Centennial Recreation Complex with four outdoor swimming pools, eight indoor tennis courts and two indoor ice rinks operating year round. The
Community Recreation Center offers nearly 94,000 square feet of recreational programming space which includes a Center Fitness Club with running track, Early Childhood Center, and a gymnastics gymnasium and auditorium which is home to the North Shore Theater of Wilmette and the Wilmette Children’s’ Theater. The Center offers a year-round schedule of classes and activities for all ages from pre-school to seniors.
Wilmette is known for the high quality of its school system. Wilmette elementary students attend districts 37 and 39, encompassing four elementary schools and two Middle Schools. High school students attend Winnetka’s district 203 New Trier High School. In addition, there are numerous private educational opportunities from preschool to high school.
Wilmette residents recently established a non-profit Educational Foundation. Governed by an independent Board of trustees, the foundation’s continuing mission is to expand, enrich and complement education opportunities for students, staff and community Housing.
Wilmette’s eastern section features an antique-styled street lighting system and many cobblestone streets. Homes are a mix of stately Victorians, Tudors and Colonials. In the central and western areas, split levels, ranches and bungalows join classic Italianate, Victorians and Colonials. A number of newer townhomes and condominiums are also available.
Downtown Chicago is easily accessible via the Eden’s Expressway or Lake Shore Drive. Local trains arrive in the Loop in 35 minutes – 20 minutes by express. The CTA elevated train is 40 minutes to the Loop. O’Hare Airport is a 30-minute drive and Midway is 45 minutes away. A neighborhood bus runs through Wilmette and surrounding communities.