Kenilworth has the distinction of being the smallest yet one of the loveliest and most affluent of all North Shore communities. The suburb also has a distinguished history. Incorporated in 1896, Kenilworth was established by Chicago retailer Joseph Sears, son of the founder of Sears, Roebuck and Co., and stands today as an ideal example of an early planned community. Sears purchased 200 acres of land in 1889, laid out the streets, brought in pipes for gas and water and planted trees. Homes had to correspond to regulations concerning lot sizes and high quality construction.
Sears named the area after the castle and town of Kenilworth, England. Famed architects built many of the area’s first homes. Daniel Burnham designed the founder’s residence. Franklin Burnham designed the railroad station. Noted Chicago landscape architect Jens Jensen designed many of the parks and homes. George W Maher, a contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed the landmark two-tiered fountain at the intersection of Kenilworth Avenue and Green Bay Road.
The Kenilworth Historical Society is a treasure-trove of information on the community and has available maps, early photos and biographies as well as a copious house-history file on individual homes. The Society also maintains a Children’s Museum on the lower level.
Kenilworth residents consider its small size an advantage. Since the community covers only .6 of a mile, all facilities are within walking distance. All residents are within a mile of its pristine beach and the local train station and post office. Although Kenilworth has only a small retail section, residents are close to larger shopping areas in neighboring Wilmette and Winnetka.
Parks and Recreation.
In addition to the beautifully maintained community beach, the Kenilworth Park District operates parks, an outdoor ice rink, athletic fields, and programs including basketball, t-ball, little league, Ayso Soccer, and summer day camp for children three to nine years of age.
Schools. Kenilworth students enjoy outstanding educational opportunities. Elementary students attend the Joseph Sears School in district 38 for kindergarten through eighth grade. Included in the curriculum are programs for gifted and special needs students. High school students attend award-winning New Trier High School in district 203 in neighboring Winnetka.
Kenilworth prides itself on its beautiful homes, many of which date from the early part of the century. Most are Colonial, Tudor, Georgian, Prairie, Victorian or Cape Cod styles set on spacious properties with well-landscaped properties. Transportation. Drivers can access Edens Expressway (I-94) which is two miles west of the
Drive time to Chicago is about 40 minutes. O’Hare Airport is 30 minutes away and Midway Airport is about an hour’s drive. Metra rail service to the Loop is 35 minutes by local and 25minutes by express trains. Suburban bus service is provided by PACE and bus stops are within walking distance for all residents.
Kenilworth Village Hall and Park District: 847-251-1666