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A Field Guide to

Hinsdale

A classic all-American town, if all Americans were really stinking rich

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Above:Fourth of July parade Photo: Steve Johnston/Pioneer Press

To get an idea of how proud people from Hinsdale are of their town, consider this: How many suburbs, never mind ones that cover just four and a half square miles, have two magazines and three newspapers devoted to their residents’ comings and goings? That pride is a little more understandable when you spend some time here. The winding streets feature beautiful mansions that date back more than 100 years (although so many older houses were being razed that the town had to pass stringent zoning rules), and the charming downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An annual summer highlight: the Fourth of July parade, which brings thousands of spectators. If you visit, keep in mind that you’ll be rubbing elbows with some pretty affluent folks—Hinsdale is the 39th-richest town in America, according to Bloomberg.

Hinsdale map
Illustration: Michael A. Hill
See
Hinsdale History Museum
Hinsdale History Museum Photo: Pioneer Press

1. Hinsdale History Museum

This meticulously maintained mansion is a museum but also a remarkably accurate snapshot of life in the 1800s.

2. Immanuel Hall

In a town filled with ornate churches, this former one stands out for its utilitarian Germanic style. Built in 1900 and saved from the wrecking ball in 1999, it now sits on the National Register of Historic Places.

3. Katherine Legge Memorial Park

Sure, there are 52 acres with lacrosse fields and a playgr—oops, excuse me, “nature-based play area.” But the best part? The 18-hole Frisbee golf course.

4. Orland P. Bassett House

Locals call this stately colonial revival, built in 1899, the American Beauty House. No, it has nothing to do with Kevin Spacey. Orland Bassett was the man who popularized the American Beauty rose.

5. Robbins Park Historic District

The 275-acre neighborhood contains 332 houses of myriad architectural styles—all gorgeous. Keep an eye out for the George H. and Carrie R. Mitchell House at 244 East First Street, built by the firm that designed the Chicago Cultural Center.

Shop
Trousseaux
Trousseaux Photo: Courtesy of store

6. ArtQuest Gallery

The cozy shop is filled with cool, crafty items, like $19 artisanal candles from Barrick Design and a $3,400 leather and wood love seat from Sticks, a renowned design studio in Des Moines, Iowa.

7. The Green Goddess Boutique

Get your boho threads or hippie-esque jewelry (blessing bracelet, anyone?) while doing a good deed: This nonprofit sells eco-friendly goods that are recycled, upcycled, or made by companies that do charitable givebacks.

8. Stockholm Objects

Forget the mayhem of Ikea—this downtown storefront is the place for adorable Scandinavian clothes, shoes, and knickknacks. One highlight: brightly colored woven plastic Pappelina rugs.

9. Trousseaux

It’s got plenty of women’s apparel and accessories. But the real draw: canine swag. Your search for a “Sleeps with Dogs” pillowcase ends here.

10. Yankee Peddler

If Martha Stewart lived in Hinsdale, she’d browse this genteel boutique’s cocktail books, whimsical napkins, and old-fashioned holiday decorations (patriotic cross-stitch!).

Eat & Drink
Vistro
Vistro Photo: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune

11. CiNe

Contemporary Mexican cuisine in a former movie theater—doesn’t get much more postmodern.

12. Fuller House

Wash down a wood-fired pizza with a craft cocktail. And keep an eye out: Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is a regular.

13. Il Poggiolo

Classic Italian with a slight twist (not just linguine, but squid ink linguine) in an airy two-level space that was once a movie theater. We’re seeing a trend.

14. Toni Patisserie & Café

Once you demolish one of this petite café’s éclairs (favorites of the Chicago dining team), you may never go to Dunkin’ Donuts again.

15. Vistro

Michelin-starred chef Paul Virant’s casual outpost is known for its fried chicken. But why not live your best life with the Wood Oven Experience, a five-course bacchanalian feast for six to 10.

This Month

Every Monday:Skip Whole Foods and stock up instead at the Hinsdale Farmers Market, celebrating its 41st anniversary.

July 4:Check out a holiday parade that goes back 110 years, and don’t miss the craft fair afterward at Burlington Park.

July 6:Pop-rocker Keith Semple, who made it to the top 24 on The Voice, plays Burlington Park with his band.

July 14 to 15:Stroll the lovely downtown and save big bucks at the annual Sidewalk Sale.

July 18:Pair craft beer with perfectly harmonized bluegrass when Ashley & Simpson do their thing at Fuller House.

Did You Know?

An animal handler for TV ads discovered the original Morris the Cat (of 9Lives fame) at the Hinsdale Humane Society.

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If You Want to Live Here

Population Median houshold income Median sale price (house)
16,800
(90% white, 6% Asian, 4% Hispanic)
$163,000 $870,000

Listing of the month

229 E. Walnut St.

229 E. Walnut St.

Asking price:$845,000

Specs:3,276 square feet, four bedrooms, four bathrooms

Unlike Hinsdale’s more staid houses, this modern, geometric homestead with two-story ceilings combines an urban loft feel with prairie elements—just a few blocks from downtown.

NOTE: Real estate data are from February 2017. SOURCES: Census, Zillow
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