Mount Prospect, Illinois is a northwest suburb of Chicago. With a diverse population of over 56,000, an extensive school system and a strong base of both retail and professional businesses, Mount Prospect is a vibrant community that has much to offer, yet retains a sense of small town charm.
The original inhabitants of the area that today encompasses Mount Prospect were Native Americans. Yankees were the first American settlers to the area and the first to clear the land and establish farms. But the second group, German immigrants, had the most significant impact in terms of population and cultural traditions.
In 1850, the train rolled into town. This led to an increasing specialization in the farming community. Not long after the train station was built, others began building stores and houses downtown and made the Village of Mount Prospect come to life. With all of this development, more people started to move to the area, and with a station downtown, the train now stopped in Mount Prospect.
From this point the village developed into what we know today. The town became more diverse and the village center began to develop. In 1917, Mount Prospect reached a population of 300 and was incorporated. From there, the largest growth came during land speculations in the 1920's and then the suburban movements that followed World War II. The baby boom expanded the population and the Village began expanding the services it offered.
In the early 1960s, the business community in Mount Prospect took a giant leap forward with the construction of Randhurst, the first indoor air-conditioned mall in the upper Midwest. Another major event in the history of the Village was the development of Kensington Business Center, which has served as the home to several major national and international firms including NTN Bearing, Searle, Braun Manufacturing Cummins-Allison Corp., ITT Technical Institute and Sayers Computing.
The big news in the 1990s and 2000s was the downtown redevelopment. Several new buildings are being built that will change the look and make-up of the downtown area. There are several new condominium buildings as well as space for new shops and restaurants. The Village is also working on making the downtown area look more appealing. Attention is being focused on flowers, plants and trees in an effort to beautify the Village.
Yes, Mount Prospect has certainly changed. Today we are a combination of many nationalities, award winning schools, churches, local commerce, shopping and business centers, several park districts, a library, and highly rated fire and police departments. Our mayor and trustees guide us into the future with the redevelopment of the downtown area. Our village employees and services are the best. And yet with all this progress, we are still a village whose old fashioned slogan continues to ring true, "Where Friendliness is a Way of Life.”