Blast from the past historical feature: From Farmland to “Springdale”

Each week, the Western Springs Historical Society brings us different historical tidbits from Western Springs. In this edition, we look at the slow, but steady, development of one of Western Springs most well known subdivisions.

As local residents know, the Vaughan Seed Company owned a great deal of the property south of 47th Street for many years. But, few realize that, as early as 1928, they were considering subdividing the property.

Due to the Great Depression and World War II, it was not until the early 1950’s that the there was sufficient demand to transform these farm fields into modern suburban homes. 

After much negotiation with village officials and lenders, Paul Schwendener of nearby LaGrange put together an ambitious plan for the annexation and development of a 180-acre parcel of property extending from Willow Springs Road to Wolf Road. And, on April 1955, the official ground-breaking took place with a symbolic tree planting ceremony. This would be the first of 1,200 trees that would be planted by the developer along the subdivision’s new roadways.

The property would be developed in several phases, the last being on the site of the old Dierks farmhouse and barns. The sales office (now a doctors’ office) was located on the northeast corner of 55th Street and Wolf Road.

What set Springdale apart from the rest of the village was its curvilinear streets, as well as its underground utilities. And, since those purchasing home sites could choose from a number of contractors, home designs varied considerably. The provision of a seven-acre park and the brand-new Garden Market Shopping Center were also great draws. 

Like some other village neighborhoods, Springdale developed a Civic Association which has been very active over the years in pursuing village improvements, maintaining its unique entrance signs, and promoting social gatherings for its residents. 

Additional land units were added over a period of years, with the last unit annexed in 1969. The resulting boundaries of Springdale are Courtland Circle, Willow Springs Road, Wolf Road, 55th Street east to Howard Avenue, and 51st Street east to Willow Springs Road.

Each week, the Western Springs Historical Society presents a “Blast from the Past”. To view prior stories, visit us at www.westernspringshistory.org.

This content was submitted by a member of the community. We’d like to hear from you, too! To share stories, photos, video or events for our calendar, please email Community News Manager Michael Cronin at michael@aggrego.com or use the online submission tool.

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