Word Wednesday: Downtown

down-town:  the main business section of a city.

Ask me where I’m from, and I’ll say, “Chicago”. And being from Chicago, “downtown” should be downtown Chicago.

“From Chicago” is the answer I give to someone who has no idea where Orland Park is…because really…I’m from Orland Park.

And the truth is…in “downtown Chicago” I’m as much a tourist as someone visiting from Detroit or Boston or King of Prussia the suburban town outside of Philadelphia. I too enjoy visiting downtown Chicago…

but downtown Chicago isn’t “my downtown.”

I’m drawn to the “downtown” of smaller towns, Chicago suburbs’ downtowns. Those parts of town that were there from the town’s beginning. Those areas near the train, a couple of blocks with the older storefront buildings with apartments up top. The streets with little shops, restaurants, and businesses and the neighborhoods of homes that surround them. Those are “my downtowns.”

Orland Park, the town I’m from doesn’t really have a downtown. Through intentional development, it’s sort of being created. But Orland Park does have Beacon Ave.

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The block of antique and consignment stores…vintage salt and pepper shakers, antique tablecloths and mid-century glassware…treasures abound on Beacon Avenue.

Beacon Avenue is also home to my favorite building, the old Orland State Bank Building.

I love that building. I remember the apartment my brother lived in on the top floor of the building…long after it was a bank and before it became Kay’s Old Orland Marketplace. It was a great apartment and the rooftop was the perfect place to lay out in the sun.  The old Orland State Bank building is Orland’s downtown to me.

Lemont has a downtown…

I live in Lockport now…it has a downtown.  A stroll down State St and downtown Lockport will keep you happily busy for an afternoon or evening. The Gaylord Building, Betsy’s Yarn and Tea Shop, Embers…I’m still learning “my downtown“.

Tinley Park, Mokena, and Frankfort have vibrant small town downtowns..and LaGrange’s has such a popular bustling downtown they built a parking garage to accommodate its daily visitors.

Chicago is a beautiful city, with an incredible downtown and if you’ve never been or don’t go very often, you should. It really is an incredible city.

But my downtowns? You won’t find The Bean in my downtowns, can’t see the matinee of Hamilton, or see Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte or take an elevator to the top of the second tallest building in the United States either…but “my downtowns” are pretty cool places to be. Restaurants, shops, and awesome architecture can be found in each…art, live theatre, and summers full of fairs and festivals too. Downtown in suburban towns have so much to offer. 

Turns out, as beautiful and popular a real estate destination downtown Chicago is, most buyers still choose the suburbs. Downtown in suburban towns is a real estate destination too and offers a myriad of possibilities to call home.

If you’re looking for a place in the city, I know some great agents…but if you’re thinking home is in or around “my downtowns,” give me a holler…the Amy Curtis Group would love to show them off to you!

Downtown.

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