[Photo by Zol87 via flickr/Creative Commons]
This week Chicagoland collected another 'Best Of' mention when Travel & Leisure mag named Oak Park one of the nation's ten most beautiful neighborhoods. The only "neighborhood" on the list that's also a municipality, Oak Park boasts a gaggle of Wright structures, but also a host of other Prairie houses. Ninety-percent landmarked, the 'hood is also very green and bike-friendly, with a trail network and 13 small parks.
Tethered to Chicago by the green and blue lines, Oak Park's walkable downtown is quite transit-oriented. There's also greater housing density near the downtown, so that it's not entirely defined by the exclusivity of its large homes. Clearly, we're describing an area with great functionality and elements of Garden City planning. In fact, the American Planning Association recognized this last year by naming Oak Park one of America's ten great neighborhoods. We recently reported on Pullman making the 2011 list. Well deserved and appreciated, no doubt, we only wish much of the rest of Chicago wasn't such a mess. Not just the poor areas. It's also wealthy areas making blunderous planning decisions.
·America's Most Beautiful Neighborhoods [Travel & Leisure]
·Pullman Declared One of America's Great Neighborhoods [Curbed Chicago]