The Village of Burr Ridge is a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, and situated 10 miles west-southwest of the city and just 20 miles from Lake Michigan. The name originated from the large amount of “Burr Oak” trees in the village and the slight ridge and rolling hills compared to the flatter terrain to the east. Said to have “one of the best locations in the state,” it is between O’Hare and Midway Airports and located at the intersection of I-294 (Tri-State) and I-55 (Stevenson). The village is practically cut in half (north and south) by I-55 as it heads west, then south toward Joliet and Springfield.
Burr Ridge’s history dates back to 1917 when International Harvester built an experimental farm here (where it tested the world's first all-purpose tractor, the Farmall) and started a company town called “Harvester.” Though officially incorporated “Burr Ridge” in 1956, it is still the home of successor company called CNH Industrials, a global conglomerate and maker of agricultural, construction, commercial equipment, trucks, etc. That makes this year, 2016, our 60th Birthday!
Originally settled by German farmers, there’s just something about Burr Ridge that has attracted a very diverse population. As recently as the 2000 Census, its top five ancestries reported were German, Irish, Italian, Polish and English. But there is now a growing percentage of Indian heritage (est. 10%) and many from the Middle East in part because of the increase of doctors who have moved here to be within 20-30 minutes of most medical facilities in Chicagoland. In addition, it is home to numerous corporate executives, musicians, media, retired athletes and coaches just to name a few, as well as many successful South Siders who have made their way west.
Burr Ridge is unique in many other ways, too, starting with the fact that it is spread across two (2) counties, Dupage and Cook, with over sixty-five (65) subdivisions. Here are two ways that Mayor Mickey likes to help people remember some of the village statistics:
The Village of Burr Ridge was also chosen first out of the Top 10 Places to Live in Chicagoland according to Movoto based on amenities, cost of living, education, employment, home value and crime rate. It helps that the Burr Ridge Police Department once again qualified for CALEA Accreditation. CALEA is the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and it is considered the “Gold Standard in Public Safety.” This makes the BRPD part of an elite group, being one of only 43 Law Enforcement agencies accredited by CALEA in Illinois out of a total of 877 and 636 accredited agencies and out of over 18,000 possible police departments nationally.
Burr Ridge’s ideal location and business climate also makes it home to companies from CNH Industrials, MARS Ice Cream Division, McGraw Hill, PersonalizationMall.com and Popcorn Palace to FUSION OEM, which makes everything from refrigerators for Army bases to computer boards for Oil Rigs in the South Pacific, and Chicago Technical, the software division of RICARDO, a global engineering & Environmental Consultancy that even designed the engine that broke the land speed record and the transmission for the Bugatti!
With the addition of The Village Center, a mixed-use retail/condo/restaurant lifestyle center in 2007 owned and run by The Opus Group, the village now has over 500 businesses, including 4 hotels, 15 restaurants and over 60 retail shops!
Though Burr Ridge has more similarities to Barrington, Illinois with its rolling hills and roots with farming and horses, it has recently been called the “Ravinia of the Southwest Suburbs” because of our “Concerts on the Green” held on the Village Green every Friday night in June, July and August. The difference, though, is our concerts are free to all attendees that come from all over! The concerts have become incredibly popular with over 1000 people each week on average, many of whom come prepared with chairs, blankets, spirits and picnic baskets.
Burr Ridge, though, is best known by its slogan: “A Very Special Place.” Mayor Mickey is not sure where that name originated, but in 2010 he wrote his opinion in an article called “Burr Ridge…a very special place.” In it, he concluded that Burr Ridge is “A Very Special Place” because it has “Very Special People.” And that it does!