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New Lenox

Village of New Lenox
Home of Proud Americans
Location of New Lenox in Will County, Illinois.
Location of New Lenox in Will County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°30′30″N 87°58′14″W / 41.508251°N 87.970597°W / 41.508251; -87.970597Coordinates: 41°30′30″N 87°58′14″W / 41.508251°N 87.970597°W / 41.508251; -87.970597
Country United States
State Illinois
County Will
Incorporated 1946
 • Total 15.66 sq mi (40.55 km2)
 • Land 15.63 sq mi (40.48 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
 • Total 24,394
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,722.82/sq mi (665.17/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s) 815 and 779
FIPS code 17-52584

New Lenox is a village in Will County, Illinois, United States. The village population was 24,394 as of 2010.


New Lenox is located approximately 36 miles southwest of downtown Chicago at 41°30′30″N 87°58′14″W / 41.50833°N 87.97056°W / 41.50833; -87.97056 (41.508251, -87.970597). According to the 2010 census, New Lenox has a total area of 15.683 square miles (40.62 km2), of which 15.66 square miles (40.56 km2) (or 99.85%) is land and 0.023 square miles (0.06 km2) (or 0.15%) is water.


What is now the Village of New Lenox was first settled in the late 1820s, in the area of Gougar crossing (Route 30 and Gougar Road) and it was called VanHorne Point. New Lenox Township was established when Will County was created in 1852 with the building of the Rock Island Railroad between Chicago and Rock Island, Illinois. Originally named Tracey in honor of the general superintendent of the Rock Island Railroad. Mr. Tracy later requested that the community be renamed. The first supervisor of the Rock Island Railway for New Lenox Township, John Van Duser, named the Township New Lenox from the town Lenox, New York, which was Van Duser's hometown. In 1863, the name for the new settlement officially became New Lenox Township.

New Lenox was not officially created until October 4, 1946. In 1945, 46 community leaders, F. Carlton Cole, Walter Baers and others reasoned that the community should be incorporated. Recognizing the benefits and the potential growth of the area, a community vote in the spring of 1946 resulted in the authorization for the creation of the Village of New Lenox. On October 4, 1946, the State of Illinois officially certified that New Lenox was legally organized and incorporated as a Village in the State of Illinois.

New Lenox is known as "The Home of Proud Americans" which exemplifies the quality of life in the community.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 1,235
1960 1,750 41.7%
1970 2,855 63.1%
1980 5,792 102.9%
1990 9,627 66.2%
2000 17,771 84.6%
2010 24,394 37.3%
2019 (est.) 26,926 10.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 24,394 people, 8,000 households, and 6,547 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,424.9 people per square mile (936.3/km2). There were 8,244 housing units at an average density of 819.5 per square mile (316.4/km2).

The racial makeup of the village was 96.2% White, 0.8% Asian, 0.7% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 1.0% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.7% of the population.

There were 8,000 households, out of which 45.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.8% were married couples living together, and 8.2 were non-families. 15.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.04 and the average family size was 3.41.

The median income for a household in the village was $88,778 and the median income for a family was $97,752

The median home value in the village as of the first quarter of 2011 is $245,100.

According to a 2011 forecast the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning estimated New Lenox will have a population of 90,652 in 2030. However, due to a substantial slow down in area growth, a 2015 forecast estimates the population of New Lenox will grow to about 68,000 residents by 2040.


On June 8, 2010, the New Lenox was officially designated as the 9th “Safe Community” in the United States. This prestigious designation is bestowed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Safety Council (NSC). The NSC serves as the International Safe Communities Affiliate Support and Certifying Center for the United States.

The International Safe Communities movement started over twenty years ago in Sweden. Two hundred communities in 24 countries are currently part of the Safe Communities International Network. To firmly establish and foster a culture of safety throughout the United States, the NSC launched the Safe Communities America initiative in 2007. Based on the WHO International Safe Communities model, this program promotes community-based injury prevention and seeks to engage a broad range of individuals and organizations to work together in a coordinated and collaborative fashion.



The railway authority in the Chicago suburbs is Metra. New Lenox has two Metra commuter rail lines. The Main New Lenox Metra Station is located on the corner of U.S. Route 30 and Cedar Road. This rail line services towns on Metra's Rock Island Line between Joliet Union Station and Chicago's LaSalle Street Station. New Lenox also has a Metra Station located on the corner of Cedar Road and Laraway Road. This rail line services towns on Metra's SouthWest Service Line between Manhattan and Chicago's Union Station.

Major roads and highways

New Lenox is located at the junctions of many major roads. U.S. Route 30 is the main East to West road through town. The North South streets are Cedar Road, Gougar Road, and Nelson Road. I-80 and I-355, also known as The Veterans Memorial Tollway, pass through New Lenox. These expressways lend to easy transportation to many other major highways and to Chicago, Joliet, Naperville, Wheaton, Bolingbrook.


New Lenox-Howell Airport, which was located on Laraway Road, is a former airport in town. New Lenox is the second location of Howell Airport, which was originally in Blue Island, Illinois. Howell airport is now the site of housing.

I-355 expansion

Interstate 355 (I-355), also known as Veterans Memorial Tollway, began construction in late 2005 of a $729.3 million 12.5 mile long southern extension of I-355 from I-55 in Bolingbrook to I-80 in New Lenox. Construction was completed on November 11, 2007. Travel times from New Lenox and the surrounding area to more established northwest suburbs such as Naperville, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Bolingbrook, etc. are expected to decrease significantly.

Future growth

The crossroads of I-355, Route 6, and Cedar Road is the future site of two major development projects; Cedar Crossings and Spring Creek Outlets. Cedar Crossings will be constructed at southwest corner of Cedar Road and Route 6, adjacent to Silver Cross Hospital. Cedar Crossings is a proposed 970,000-square-foot retail center to be developed by the Zaremba Group. However, development of Cedar Crossings has been delayed because of the economic downturn.

Arts and entertainment

The Commons

In 2005, the village opened the Commons anchored by the Performing Arts Pavilion. The Commons became the new home to the village’s annual 4 July celebration and quickly developed into a focal point for festivals, Chamber events, and stage performances. The village organizes a Summer Performing Arts Program including a series of free concerts and family movie nights. Each year the village hosts the Triple Play Concert Series featuring national recording artists performing on three different dates each summer. The 2011 Triple Play headline performers were Starship starring Mickey Thomas, Cheap Trick, and REO Speedwagon. Attendance at the concerts has grown each year to a sell-out capacity. Local restaurants feature favorite menu items for sale during the concerts.

Lincoln-Way High Schools

Lincoln-Way High Schools’ state-of-the-art performing arts centers provide yet another opportunity for the community to enjoy the arts in their own back yard. Featuring a full schedule including the Spotlight Series, Senior Series and Children's Series, there promises to be something for everyone. The acclaimed Curtain Call Community Theatre features many local performers and hosts two productions annually at Lincoln-Way.


New Lenox features the Sanctuary Golf Course. Sanctuary has been rated by the Golf Chicago magazine as a "Best Buy" and is considered by many to be the best golfing value in the Chicago area. Bordering the west end of New Lenox and Joliet is Woodruff Golf Course. Opened in 1926, Woodruff is a scenic, well-manicured course with sweeping elevation changes and small greens.

The New Lenox French Market made its debut in 2011. The Market runs late spring through October and offers fresh produce and fruit, hanging baskets, perennials and potted herbs, gourmet cheeses, dips, candies and sauces, bake goods, fresh coffee and much more. Festivals and various other events play an important role in family culture and entertainment. The Park District plays host to the Village’s annual Proud American Days festival the last weekend in July. This festival includes food vendors, carnival rides, volleyball tournaments, a craft show, and a local battle of the bands, as well as other live music. The Annual Kids Fest includes a day filled with fun activities just for kids. The Chamber’s Halloween Parade & Costume Contest features frightful fun for hundreds of area families.

During the Summer of 2011 (July 7 and 8), Lincoln-Way Central hosted the New Lenox All-Star Experience presented by Mayor Tim Baldermann which included a Dwyane Wade Skills Academy camp, a Devin Hester football camp, a Jim Peterik band camp, as well as the Annual Kids Fest.

Semi-pro football

The Lincoln-Way Patriots are part of the Mid States Football League and play throughout the Lincoln-Way area.

Nearby entertainment

The Rialto Square Theatre is located just six miles to the west in Joliet. The venue's features include ballet, bridal expos, comedy, cooking classes, travel cinema and tap dance..

Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet with Indy Car, NASCAR and Chicagoland ARCA series races brings thousands of tourists to the region each season. New Lenox dining and retail establishments provide an array of specials and promotions to welcome fans.

Also in nearby Joliet, the Joliet Slammers play amateur league baseball at the state-of-the-art Silver Cross Field, providing clean, family entertainment in a safe environment. Baseball fans may also enjoy attending a Will County CrackerJacks game. The CrackerJacks are a summer collegiate baseball club based in Will County and are members of the Midwest Collegiate League.

Parks and trails

The New Lenox Park District maintains 35 parks and athletic fields comprising 569 acres; while also utilizing 14 facilities throughout New Lenox.

New Lenox also offers a number of paved asphalt and crushed gravel trails. Old Plank Road Trail is a 21-mile asphalt hiking and biking nature trail that travels through the heart of New Lenox with many access points to include access at the Village Hall in the Commons. The Hickory Creek State Nature Preserve provides a 2.8-mile asphalt hiking and biking nature trail as well as access to the historic one-room Schmuhl School Museum on the southeast corner of Route 30 and Schoolhouse Road, which is owned and operated by the New Lenox Historical Society. Additionally, the Hadley Valley Preserve offers a unique 4.85-mile crushed Spring Creek Greenway Trail that welcomes pedestrians and equestrians.


Elementary and middle schools are operated by New Lenox School District 122 while Lincoln-Way Community High School District serves the communities of New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, and small portions of Tinley Park and Orland Park. There are three comprehensive high schools within the district: Lincoln-Way Central, Lincoln-Way East, and Lincoln-Way West. Lincoln-Way Central and Lincoln-Way West are located in New Lenox; Lincoln-Way East is located in Frankfort.

Providence Catholic High School is a private Roman Catholic secondary school located in New Lenox.

The United States' first public community college, Joliet Junior College, offers pre-baccalaureate programs for students planning to transfer to a four-year university.

Notable people

  • B.J. Bello, NFL linebacker, for the Los Angeles Chargers
  • Alex Broadhurst, former NHL center for the Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Karla DeVito, singer/songwriter
  • Tony Cingrani, MLB pitcher, currently playing for the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Ned Grabavoy, former MLS player and current scouting director for Portland Timbers, 2009 MLS Cup winner
  • Renée Kosel, state Congresswomen representing Illinois 81st legislative district
  • Rob Ninkovich, retired defensive end and two-time Super Bowl champion for the New England Patriots. Current analyst for ESPN.
  • Johan Reinhard, Andean archeologist and explorer in residence for National Geographic
  • Wellington J. Reynolds, painter, instructor at Art Institute of Chicago
  • Eric Steinbach, offensive lineman, retired NFL football player
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