Now one of Chicago's largest suburbs, Cicero, Ill., is just a few miles west of the Loop and close enough to the city's downtown area for many residents to bike or walk to work. The town has its own colorful history and character while remaining a vital part of the city's rich cultural mix.
History of Cicero
The fertile land at the toe of Lake Michigan was populated well before European settlers made their homes there. The territory that eventually became Cicero was higher than surrounding areas and became a center for trade. The thoroughfare that is now Ogden Avenue was once a trail for Native American traders and eventually European pioneers when they settled along the ridge that is now Oak Park. The settlers who made their homes in Cicero named their hamlet after New York's town of the same name, not directly after the Roman statesman, but the small town soon grew larger than its namesake.
By the 1860s, the growing town held about 3,000 people, but mapmakers carved away some of its population in 1869, allocating more of Cicero's territory to neighboring Chicago. As the Encyclopedia of Chicago notes, the burgeoning town was at a confluence of rail lines that helped its industrial sectors grow. By 1900, the town was an annex of Chicago and would later hold some of its most infamous residents. During the 1920s, notorious gangster Al Capone based his headquarters in Cicero, and gambling dens were common. Cicero's police department eventually won out over the town's criminal elements, and although a few buildings remain as reminders of its past, Cicero is now as law-abiding as its neighbors.
Modern Cicero still owes much of its character to the railroads. It is a thriving industrial hub, but today, factories produce sophisticated electronics and communications equipment rather than pig iron and steel.
Things to Do in Cicero
Cicero is home to one of the country's oldest racetracks in continuous operation, the Hawthorne Racecourse. The track is a hub for sporting events beyond racing and also houses the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame that honors the city's most illustrious players and coaches in all sports. With memorabilia from some of the city's most notable Bears and Bulls, including Bo Jackson, Dick Butkus and Mike Ditka, the Hall of Fame is a must-see for sports fans from around the country.
Cicero also has a thriving cultural scene with a host of performing arts venues. One of the most notable is the Jedlicka Performing Arts Center. The nearby Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has a permanent display honoring the region's pioneering railroad technology; it's a big draw for children and adults.
Cicero HVAC Contractors
Cicero shares Chicago's blustery winters and sultry summers, so having reliable air conditioning contractors such as the experts at Comfort 24-7 is a must for area residents and businesses. For repair of a heat pump, furnace or air conditioner Cicero, IL, residents can trust, Comfort 24-7 provides reliable, courteous service.
The NATE-certified technicians at Comfort 24-7 can install, maintain and repair any major brand of furnace or central air conditioning system. Available at any hour for emergency service, the company has helped keep Cicero homes and offices comfortable for years.