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Addison Village

Addison Village Hall is located at 1 Friendship Plaza, Addison, IL 60101; phone:

Beginnings [1]

The Village of Addison was founded in the early 1800s by German settlers. The early pioneer settlement of Addison was known as Dunklee's Grove, named for Hezekiah Dunklee who settled in the area just east of Salt Creek. By the mid-1800s, the southwestern section of Dunklee's Grove roughly between Villa Avenue and Mill Road was home to a number of early buildings and institutions, such as the West District German School, the first Addison Public School, and the Addison Teacher's Seminary, in addition to a number of area farms. The Village was formally incorporated on October 6, 1884 with 400 residents.

Addison was home to many farms, small businesses and mill operations. The Heidemann Windmill, constructed in 1868, was a dominant part of the landscape for almost 100 years. It milled wheat, buckwheat and corn from neighboring farms and was placed on the Historic American Building Survey in 1934. While ultimately destroyed by fire in 1958, the windmill's image continues to play a role in the village's identity.

Addison's Lutheran institutions have contributed to the village's culture and economy. The Lutheran Teacher's Seminary was established just west of the main crossroads of Lake Street and Addison Road in 1885. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Paul was constructed nearby in 1906 and features an octagonal spire. When, in 1913, the Seminary relocated to River Forest (later to become Concordia University) the seminary buildings were transformed into a home for children referred by the juvenile courts of Chicago, generally known as the Kinderheim. With growing enrollment, the original seminary was replaced with a building to house 250-300 children. The Kinderheim was later combined with the nearby Lutheran Orphanage in 1940, and then transformed again into Lutherbrook Children Center in 1959 and relocated further northwest on Lake Street where it now resides. The Kinderheim building found a new life as Addison's Village Hall for many years and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. In 2000, the Kinderheim building was replaced with Addison's new Village Hall that currently frames Friendship Plaza.

Enterprising residents of Addison brought rail service to Addison in 1890. The Illinois Central Railway managed the line that ran up Addison Road starting at North Avenue to Lake Street. The first train trip to Addison brought visitors to the annual Orphanage Picnic. In the 1920s, trains made three round trips daily to Chicago and consisted of two cars for passengers and the third car was reserved for milk, mail, and other freight.

More extensive rail networks in neighboring communities as well as growing automobile ownership and subsequent road improvements in the village led to the cancellation of passenger service on this line in 1931. However, limited freight service continued up until 1968.

After World War II, the Addison community underwent a dramatic transformation. With the return of war veterans and the G.I. Bill, which increased the possibility of home ownership, residential construction sped up and the population soared. Many of the nearby farms were sold and converted to single family homes. The Village population, which had 823 residents in 1950, had risen to 13,272 just 10 years later. With the addition of young families, the community responded with the construction of more schools and parks. The commercial areas changed as well, featuring more shopping centers with parking instead of the earlier general stores. As available land decreased, more compact housing was constructed in the form of townhomes, apartments, and condominiums.

  1. Village of Addison, Illinois, Village of Addison Comprehensive Plan, 2013,, accessed March, 2015.
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