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Zion City

Lake County, Illinois

Zion City Hall is located at 2828 Sheridan Road, Zion, IL 60099; phone: 847‑746‑4000.


Located in northeastern Lake County IL, Zion [†] is equidistant between Chicago's Loop and Downtown Milwaukee and is served by regional roadways, interstate highways and commuter rail service which link Zion with the rest of the metropolitan region. The City is bounded by Winthrop Harbor and the State line to the north, Lake Michigan to the east, Wadsworth to the west, and Waukegan, Beach Park and unincorporated areas to the south.

As its name suggests, Zion was founded as a planned, religious community. The City founder, John Alexander Dowie, having learned of the City Beautiful planning movement taking hold in the late 1800s and on display at the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893‑94, modeled his vision for Zion on these principles. More about the founding of the City of Zion can be found in the unpublished history, "The Development of the City of Zion," by Jabez Taylor, retired pastor of the Christian Catholic Church.

Mr. Dowie's concept of building the City was based on the theme of "Salvation, Healing and Holy Living." Zion was not only to be a community of faith, but of healing and healthy living, where people would experience wellness through a holistic approach that included prayer, biblical teaching, and physical healing ('broken bones, tuberculosis, cancer and many other ailments'). Original settlers "wanted a place where they could trust God, live clean lives, have healthy habits and work together for the honor and glory of God."

The original plan for the City of Zion (1899), shown above, contains many features made popular by the City Beautiful movement, including extensive landscape parks and wide boulevards that provide the primary organizational and design elements for the planned town. Zion's plan features the 200 acre Shiloh Park at the center of the community, with eight boulevards emanating from the corners of the park. While the north-south and east-west axis boulevards were developed, the diagonal streets were never fully completed. Notably missing from the Plan is a commercial district, which originally developed along Sheridan Road. While the grandeur of the Plan never completely materialized, vestiges of this outstanding plan remain and provide a strong basis for carrying out future planning efforts.

† City of Zion,