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Des Plaines ( ) is a city in Cook Countymarker, Illinoismarker, United Statesmarker. It has adopted the official nickname of "City of Destiny." As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 58,720. It is a suburb of Chicagomarker, and its next to O'Hare International Airportmarker. The Des Plaines River runs through the city, just east of its downtown area. Des Plaines is a very economically diverse city, with home values ranging from $30,000 to more than $1,000,000.


Des Plaines is located at (42.033848, -87.899786).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.5 square miles (37.6 km²).Of this, 14.4 square miles (37.3 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (0.76%) is water. Des Plaines is traversed by two interstate highways - I-90 Northwest Tollway and I-294 Tri-State Tollway.

Des Plaines is named for the Des Plaines River, which flows through it. The name is French, "of the plains."

Portions of Des Plaines are underlain by the "Des Plaines Disturbancemarker," an area in which the layers of sedimentary rock are highly abnormal. This probably represents an ancient meteor crater, 75 to 200 feet beneath the town. The bedrock was highly fractured by the impact, with large blocks of sediment upended. The crater was eventually filled by glacial activity, so that no trace now remains on the surface.

Addresses in the city limits of Des Plaines have their own numbering system. Areas in unincorporated Maine Townshipmarker have Des Plaines postal addresses that follow the Chicago numbering system. Devon Avenue in Des Plaines is 3200 South while it is 6400 North in Chicago. Golf Road runs through a large unincorporated area as 9600 North with a Des Plaines mailing address but is 0 North/South when entering the Des Plaines city limits. As sections become incorporated, they take on the city numbering system. For instance in 2003, land at 9661 West Golf Road, Des Plaines, became 2323 East Golf Road, Des Plaines, when it was formally incorporated into the city limits. The largest unincorporated areas are in the O'Hare area and east of the Tri-State Tollway.


As of the census of 2000, there were 58,720 people, 22,362 households, and 15,071 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,071.2 people per square mile (1,572.3/km²). There were 22,851 housing units at an average density of 1,584.3/sq mi (611.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.44% White, 1.01% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 7.65% Asian / Asian American, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 4.64% from other races, and 1.97% from two or more races. 14.01% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Biggest ancestries: German (21.5%), Polish (18.2%), Irish (13.8%), Italian (10.6%), English (5.2%), Swedish (3.3%).

There are 22,362 households, out of which 29.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $53,638, and the median income for a family was $65,806. Males had a median income of $42,241 versus $30,885 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,146. About 3.0% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.8% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.

A notable amount of population resides outside the city limits in unincorporated areas which use a Des Plaines mailing address. These areas are often considered part of the city, giving the impression that it is much larger. In the 2000 census the population of these areas was 25,617 people bringing the incorporated and unincorporated population of Des Plaines to 84,337 people.

Places of interest

McDonald's Museum


Oakton Community College, opened in 1969, is a community college with campuses in Skokiemarker and Des Plaines.

Public school districts include:

Private schools include:

Places of Worship

The Bridge Community Church

Mayors and Village Presidents

Village Presidents:Incorporated as Town of Des Plaines 1869
  • 1870-1871 - Henry C. Senne
  • 1871-1872 - David Davison
  • 1872-1873 - Edward Dawes
Reincorporated as Village of Des Plaines 1874
  • 1874-1874 - Franklin Whitcomb
  • 1874-1875 - F. William Hoffman
  • 1875-1877 - Henry C. Senne
  • 1877-1879 - F. William Hoffman
  • 1879-1880 - Solomon Garland
  • 1880-1881 - F. William Hoffman
  • 1881-1883 - Henry C. Senne
  • 1883-1884 - Homer Van Vlack
  • 1884-1885 - Benjamin F. Kinder
  • 1885-1886 - August Moldenhauer
  • 1886-1887 - Andrew Sallstrom
  • 1887-1888 - John Alles, Jr.
  • 1888-1891 - Henry C. Senne
  • 1891-1892 - August Moldenhauer
  • 1892-1893 - Henry C. Senne
  • 1893-1894 - Peter M. Hoffman
  • 1894-1896 - Thomas Keates
  • 1896-1899 - August Moldenhauer
  • 1899-1900 - M. H. Brown
  • 1900-1902 - August Moldenhauer
  • 1902-1909 - L. B. Scharringhausen
  • 1909-1911 - Fred C. Brasel
  • 1911-1913 - August Jarnecke
  • 1913-1915 - W. M. Lawson
  • 1915-1923 - William Wicke
  • 1923-1925 - Harry T. Bennett

City form of Government adopted 1925
  • 1925-1929 - Charles S. Stewart
  • 1929-1933 - Charles Hammerl
  • 1933-1937 - George Kinder
  • 1937-1941 - Hobart M. Ahbe
  • 1941-1945 - Charles H. Garland
  • 1945-1949 - G. Walter Pflughaupt
  • 1949-1957 - Kenneth G. Meyer
  • 1957-1976 - Herbert H. Behrel
  • 1977-1981 - Herbert Volberding
  • 1981-1989 - John E. Seitz
  • 1989-1993 - D. Michael Albrecht
  • 1993-1997 - Theodore "Ted" Sherwood
  • 1997-1999 - Paul W. Jung (died October 24, 1999)
  • 1999-2009 - Anthony "Tony" W. Arredia
  • 2009-present - Martin "Marty" Moylan

Pop culture

  • Serial killer John Wayne Gacy did not live in Des Plaines. His house was in an unincorporated Norwood Township, near Chicago. It was the abduction and murder of 15-year-old Rob Piest, a freshman at Maine West High Schoolmarker, of Des Plaines, that finally led to Gacy's capture. Additionally, a 1975 Maine West class ring engraved with the initials "JAS" was found in the crawl space of Gacy's home. The ring belonged to missing 19-year-old Maine West alumni John Szyc. Des Plaines City detectives tracked down Gacy, as the 30-40 previous victims were investigated by Chicago and other detectives that mainly wrote off the disappearances as "runaways" and closed the files.

  • Des Plaines, during the 1940s and 50's, was home to many huge greenhouse complexes and was the world's largest producer of hothouse roses. The city's vehicle stickers sported a large "American Beauty" rose, and the city's logo was "City of Roses" (replaced in the 1960s by "City of Destiny").

  • Des Plaines is featured in an episode called L.D.S.K from the TV series Criminal Minds. A sniper (or as called on the show a Long Distance Serial Killer) starts shooting people in Franklin Park. The main characters on the show think the killer is a Des Plaines cop, which is eventually found out to be not true.

  • Des Plaines is the home of the first franchised McDonald's opened by Ray Kroc, which is preserved as a "museum" on Lee Street, north of downtown.

  • Chet and Connie Ripley (played by John Candy and Stephanie Faracy) in the movie "The Great Outdoors" lived in Des Plaines, according to the address on the check Candy wrote to Dan Aykroyd's character.



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