kids encyclopedia robot

Winnetka, Illinois facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Winnetka, Illinois
Welcome to Winnetka.jpg
Location of Winnetka in Cook County, Illinois
Location of Winnetka in Cook County, Illinois
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Country  United States
State Illinois
County Cook
Township New Trier
Incorporated 1869
 • Type Council-manager
 • Total 3.89 sq mi (10.08 km2)
 • Land 3.81 sq mi (9.87 km2)
 • Water 0.08 sq mi (0.21 km2)  2.06%
650 ft (200 m)
 • Total 12,744
 • Density 3,344.00/sq mi (1,290.96/km2)
  Down 1.87% from 2000
Standard of living (2015-2019)
 • Per capita income $123,319
 • Median value of owner-occupied housing units $1,091,700
Time zone Central
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s) 847 and 224
Geocode 82530
FIPS code 17-82530

Winnetka is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States, located 16 miles (26 km) north of downtown Chicago. The population was 12,316 as of 2019. The village is one of the wealthiest places in the nation in terms of household income. It was the second-ranked Illinois community on Bloomberg's 2019 Richest Places Annual Index. In 2020, 24/7 Wall St ranked Winnetka as the second-best small town to live in the United States.


Winnetka is located at 42°6′22″N 87°44′16″W / 42.10611°N 87.73778°W / 42.10611; -87.73778 (42.106227, −87.73801). Winnetka is located 650 feet (200 m) above sea level and has a magnetic declination of 3° 10' W. According to the 2010 census, Winnetka has a total area of 3.893 square miles (10.08 km2), of which 3.81 square miles (9.87 km2) (or 97.87%) is land and 0.083 square miles (0.21 km2) (or 2.13%) is water.


Demographics (2010)
Demographic Proportion
White 94.8%
Black 0.3%
Asian 3.3%
Islander 0.02%
Native 0.1%
Other 1.5%
(any race)
Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 584
1890 1,079 84.8%
1900 1,833 69.9%
1910 3,168 72.8%
1920 6,694 111.3%
1930 12,166 81.7%
1940 12,430 2.2%
1950 12,105 −2.6%
1960 13,368 10.4%
1970 14,131 5.7%
1980 12,772 −9.6%
1990 12,174 −4.7%
2000 12,419 2.0%
2010 12,187 −1.9%
2020 12,744 4.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 12,187 people, 4,102 households, and 3,328 families residing in the village. The racial makeup of the village was 94.8% White, 0.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 3.3% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.

There were 4,102 households, out of which 45.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 74.3% were married couples living together, 5.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.9% were non-families. 17.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.97 and the average family size was 3.39.

In the village, the population was spread out, with 36.2% under the age of 19, 2.3% from 20 to 24, 15.2% from 25 to 44, 32.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.8 years.

The median income for a household in the village was $250,000+, and the median income for a family was over $250,000, as of 2019. The per capita income for the village was $123,319 in 2019. 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line.


The first houses were built in 1836. That year Erastus Patterson and his family arrived from Vermont and opened a tavern to service passengers on the Green Bay Trail post road. The village was first subdivided in 1854 by Charles Peck and Walter S. Gurnee, President of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. Winnetka's first private school was opened in 1856 by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Peck with seventeen pupils. In 1859 the first public school building was built with private funds at the southeast corner of Elm and Maple streets. The first year's budget for this school was two hundred dollars. The village was incorporated in 1869 with a population of 450. The name is believed to originate from Potawatomi language, meaning "beautiful place".

The oldest surviving house in Winnetka is the Schmidt-Burnham House. It was moved in 2003 from its previous location on Tower Road to the Crow Island Woods.

Winnetka's neighborhoods include estates and homes designed by distinguished architects including George Washington Maher, Walter Burley Griffin, John S. Van Bergen, Robert Seyfarth, Robert McNitt, Howard Van Doren Shaw and David Adler. Among Winnetka's celebrities are the late actor Rock Hudson and Rock singer/songwriter/producer Richard Marx.

Churches in Winnetka were also designed by noted architects. Among them, the former First Church of Christ, Scientist, 440 Ridge Avenue, was designed in 1924 by architect Solon S. Beman.

The Chicago and Milwaukee Railway was built in 1855 through Winnetka, connecting its namesake cities. It eventually became the Chicago & Northwestern Railway. Between 1937 and 1942 the railroad tracks through Winnetka were grade separated after several people were hit at grade crossings. In 1995 the C&NW was merged into the Union Pacific. Only Metra trains are operated on this track now; freight operations ended in the late 1980s. Winnetka has three Metra stations: Hubbard Woods, Winnetka, and Indian Hill.

The Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee electric interurban was built through Winnetka and the North Shore in the first decade of the 1900s, and the line through Winnetka was removed in 1955. This is now the Green Bay Trail bicycle path.

The Crow Island School, designed by Eliel & Eero Saarinen and the architectural firm Perkins, Wheeler & Will, was declared a National Historical Landmark in 1990. It was declared 12th among all buildings and the best architectural design of all schools. 10,000 people attended the opening in 1938.

Notable people

  • Ivan Albright, painter, sculptor and print-maker; attended New Trier High School
  • Trish Andrew, basketball player, attended New Trier High School
  • Ann-Margret, actress, attended New Trier High School
  • Adam Baldwin, actor, attended New Trier High School
  • Peter Baldwin, director
  • Page Morton Black, singer, chairperson of Parkinson's Disease Foundation
  • David Bradley, director, born in Winnetka
  • Ann Hampton Callaway, singer, lived in Winnetka and attended New Trier High School
  • Liz Callaway, singer, lived in Winnetka and attended New Trier High School
  • Katie Chang, actress, lives in Winnetka and attended New Trier High School.
  • Anne Clarke (politician), American-born British Labour Party politician, London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden grew up in Winnetka.
  • Dale Clevenger, principal horn, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Chris Collins, basketball coach, lives in Winnetka
  • Richard Dickson Cudahy, jurist, lived in Winnetka
  • Jay Cutler, NFL quarterback, lived in Winnetka
  • Bruce Dern, actor, attended New Trier High School
  • Phil Donahue, talk show host, lived in Winnetka
  • Conor Dwyer, Olympic swimmer, 2012 gold medalist
  • Christine Ebersole, Tony Award-winning actress
  • Neal Edelstein, film producer and director, raised in Winnetka
  • Deborah Eisenberg, short-story writer, winner of MacArthur Fellowship
  • Gil Elvgren, painter
  • Mary Callahan Erdoes, CEO of JPMorgan Chase's Asset & Wealth Management division, raised in Winnetka
  • Marion Mahony Griffin (1871–1961), first architect employed by Frank Lloyd Wright; helped design Canberra, capital of Australia, grew up in Winnetka
  • Rick Hahn, general manager of Chicago White Sox
  • Carl L. Hamilton, named partner in the Booz Allen Hamilton management and information technology consulting firm
  • Charlton Heston, actor, lived in Winnetka and attended New Trier High School
  • Roger Hochschild, CEO and President of Discover Financial Services, lives in Winnetka
  • Rock Hudson, actor; born and raised in Winnetka and attended New Trier High School
  • Harold L. Ickes, former United States Secretary of the Interior, built home at 900 Private Road
  • Matt Kaskey, offensive tackle for the Carolina Panthers
  • Bruce Krasberg, industrialist and horticulturist, lived in Winnetka
  • Kate Liu, pianist, lives in Winnetka and attended New Trier High School
  • Matt Lottich, basketball coach, Valparaiso
  • Virginia Madsen, actress, attended New Trier High School
  • Kim Milford, actor
  • Penelope Milford, actress
  • John Moore, defenseman playing in the NHL's Anaheim Ducks organization
  • Chris O'Donnell, actor (G. Callen on NCIS: Los Angeles)
  • Tom O'Halleran, member of the United States House of Representatives from Arizona's 1st congressional district. He lived in Winnetka while a member of the Chicago Board of Trade.
  • Samuel Shackford Otis, architect
  • Liz Phair, musician, grew up in Winnetka
  • Ralph Pomeroy, poet and writer
  • Eliot Porter, photographer, was born and grew up in Winnetka.
  • Fairfield Porter, painter and art critic, was born and grew up in Winnetka.
  • Janet Meakin Poor, landscape architect and plant conservationist
  • Clarence B. Randall, businessman
  • Bruce Rauner, former Governor of Illinois, former chairman of R8 Capital Partners
  • Pat Ryan, founder and executive chairman of Aon Corporation
  • Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense, attended New Trier High School
  • Jenny Sanford, former First Lady of South Carolina
  • Jack Steinberger, refugee from Nazi Germany, attended New Trier High School, won 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics, gave Nobel medal to school
  • W. Clement Stone, businessman and philanthropist
  • Walter A. Strong, publisher of Chicago Daily News,
  • R. Douglas Stuart, Jr., CEO of Quaker Oats and U.S. ambassador to Norway, born in Winnetka
  • Marlo Thomas, actress, lived in Winnetka
  • Henry Totten, Wisconsin State Assemblyman and businessman, lived in Winnetka
  • Marc Trestman, former head coach of Chicago Bears, lived in Winnetka
  • Joe Trohman, guitarist of Fall Out Boy, attended New Trier High School
  • Byron Trott, banker
  • Barbara Turf, former President and CEO of Crate & Barrel
  • Bernice T. Van der Vries, state legislator, lived in Winnetka
  • Rocky Wirtz, owner of the Chicago Blackhawks, attended North Shore Country Day School, lives in Winnetka
  • Ying Quartet originally consisted of four siblings from Winnetka; as of 2017, three siblings remain members of the ensemble


The Winnetka Public Schools system (District 36) consists of three elementary schools and two middle schools. Hubbard Woods, Crow Island, and Samuel Sewall Greeley (est. 1912) Elementary Schools serve grades kindergarten through four, students in fifth and sixth grades attend the Skokie School and seventh and eighth graders attend the Carleton W. Washburne School, named after educator Carleton Washburne. Winnetka's schools were modeled after Washburne's educational philosophy in an experiment called the Winnetka Plan. The town's schools continue to reflect his educational philosophy.

Some neighborhoods in the southern part of Winnetka are served by Avoca School District 37, which has schools in Glenview (Avoca West Elementary School; K-5) and Wilmette (Marie Murphy School; 6-8). Kenilworth School District 38 (Sears School; K-8) also includes a very small portion of the southeastern part of Winnetka, near Kenilworth.

Winnetka is in New Trier Township, and public school students who reside in Winnetka attend New Trier High School for grades 9 through 12. North Shore Country Day School is a private school option.

Crow Island is a National Historic Landmark due to its significant architectural design.

Private schools

  • Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • La Petite École, Winnetka Campus (Preschool–9), bilingual school
  • North Shore Country Day School (JK–12)
  • Sacred Heart School (Preschool–8), Catholic school
  • The School of Saints Faith, Hope & Charity (Preschool–8), Catholic school
kids search engine
Winnetka, Illinois Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.