The village of Arlington Heights lies in an area originally known for the absence of groves and trees. Many German farmers had arrived in the area and were known for their potato and fruit trees. In 1845, William Dunton, built his home, the first building to be built in the area now known as the Arlington Heights. In 1853, Dunton, originally from New York, persuaded the Illinois & Wisconsin Railroad to make a stop here, and laid out a town called Dunton. By the late 1850s the area had become noted for its truck farms, sending dairy products as well as vegetables to Chicago.
By 1857, six daily trains were operating between Dunton and Chicago, allowing Dunton to thrive by exporting its farm goods. By the 1880s, Dunton was home to more than 1,000 people. The little town at the train depot slowly grew, acquiring a blacksmith, a cheese factory, a hardware store and a hotel. Dunton was incorporated as the village of Arlington Heights in 1887, when its population numbered about 1,000. Most of the early population was farming families, however Arlington Heights also became known as the earliest commuter suburb, as many of its residents worked in Chicago.
By the turn of the century Arlington Heights had about 1,400 residents, and it continued to grow slowly with farms and greenhouses. After World War II, the village of Arlington Heights was well known for its racetrack, founded in 1927 by the California millionaire H. D. “Curly” Brown.
The population of Arlington Heights boomed in the 1950’s and 1960’s,
with the spread of automobiles and the expansion of the Chicago-area economy.
By the 1970’s, virtually all the available land in the village of
Arlington Heights had been taken up.
The village of Arlington Heights continues to be the largest community in Chicago's prestigious northwest suburbs. Only 25 miles from downtown Chicago, the village of Arlington Heights covers nearly 17 square miles. Although the population remains over 78,000 residents, Arlington Heights maintains its small-town charm. The area's business and retail centers blends with tree-lined streets, distinctive neighborhoods, historic buildings and a vibrant cultural scene.
The village of Arlington Heights was chosen as the winner of the 1999 Burnham Award for excellence in planning, commending the village for its successful implementation of housing, retail and transit-oriented projects within the downtown area. Newer projects in the village of Arlington Heights include the Metropolis Performing Arts Center, which contains a performing arts theater, restaurant, retail space and office space. Also recently developed is Lake Arlington, a 5-acre man-made lake with a boathouse, boat rentals and a walking path. A former landfill site has also been redeveloped into Nickol Knoll Park, offering a 9-hole golf course, ballparks and a walking path surrounding the area.
Arlington Heights, a relaxing and quite getaway from Chicago, continues to be well known as a commuter suburb. The excellent access to the train and expressways helps keep Arlington Heights real estate in strong demand. The village is also well known for the outstanding Arlington Heights school districts, attracting professionals to invest in Arlington Heights real estate and raise their families in the suburbs.
Much of Arlington Heights real estate includes single-family homes along tree lined streets and public parks. Although vacant land is scarce, new construction homes remain popular in the village of Arlington Heights, as many older homes are being remodeled or completely torn down.