Bloomingdale: Bargains aplenty, beyond the mall

Rearrange the letters of "Bloomingdale" and you get a few of the things you can find in this shopping and dining mecca — bangle, bead and bagel. Although some 22,000 people call this village home, it is known to outsiders for its stores and restaurants.

Many of Bloomingdale's residents descended from the German farmers who tilled this land before Stratford Square Mall changed its landscape in 1981. Today, stores radiate from the mall, while housing developments stretch east and west from the DuPage County village's Lake Street/Bloomindgale Road core.

Twenty-four miles west of the Loop, Bloomingdale is one of Chicago's oldest suburbs, found on maps dating as far back as the 1840s. So old, in fact, that the origin of its name is a long-lost mystery.

At least three Bloomingdale churches held services in German as recently as the 1960s, said Robert Iden, village president since 1992. Now, the village's restaurant roster reflects its growing diversity, with their Chinese, Indian, Italian, Japanese and Mexican cuisine.

To ensure Bloomingdale did not become overdeveloped, Iden oversaw the village's purchase of the 168-acre Bloomingdale Golf Club (formerly the Glendale Country Club) in 1996. In 2007, the village bought a portion of the Hilton Chicago/Indian Lakes Resort and turned it into passive, open space. Green space now comprises nearly 20 percent of the village.

Bloomingdale's housing runs the gamut from affordable rentals to mega-mansions.

"This is a town where young people can buy a modest place, then move up when they can afford it," said Iden.

"When we buy a house, we'll stay in town," said Julie Caputo, a former Chicagoan who is one of Bloomingdale's many new residents.

Caputo and her husband, Frank, bought a town house when their family grew to include 5-year-old Gracie and 5-month-old Jessica.

Gracie looks forward to kindergarten in the fall because of recess, she said. But her mom appreciates being within walking distance of the school, shopping aplenty and family-focused activities offered by the village, library and park district.

"Preschool, baby-and-me classes, dance classes, breakfast with Santa, the Easter egg hunt," said Caputo, "we're there."

"Good," "blooming" and "deal." The Bloomingdale anagram includes these words too.


Bloomingdale was platted in 1845, incorporated in 1889, then reincorporated in 1922 after the northeast part of town became Roselle.

Today, one 1849 building showcases Bloomingdale's travel through time. It was a church, school and town hall/jail before it became the Bloomingdale Park District Museum.

If you were a local teen in the 1960s or '70s, you may feel deja vu as you pass the Bridgestone Retail Operations LLC building. This is the former site of Adventureland amusement park, where you spun on the Flying Bobs while rockin' to bands, including the Cryin' Shames.

Things to do

Bloomingdale children look forward to the village's annual Statewide Kite Fly and Touch-A-Truck events at Springfield Park in May. The Old Town Park and the public library host free summer concerts.

The Oasis Water Park includes a pool for competitive swimming and diving, a zero-depth pool and the Otter Island water playground.

Bikers and hikers frequent the North Central DuPage Regional Trail, which crosses the north end of town and skirts a lake in the Meacham Grove Forest Preserve.

Golfers choose between public courses at the Hilton Chicago/Indian Lakes Resort and the Bloomingdale Golf Club.


Bloomingdale's housing stock ranges from post-World War II trilevels and ranches to 1990s brick Colonials.

Recent sales included a 1958 raised ranch that sold for $107,500 and a 2007 custom two-story that went for $850,000.

"Most home sales in Bloomingdale are in the $200,000 to $400,000 range," said Tim Binning, of Re/Max All Pro in Bloomingdale. "It's a great time to buy here because there are incredible bargains and interest rates are still at all-time lows."

Nearly one-third of the village's housing is multifamily. Condos start at $47,500, said Binning.


Metra's Milwaukee District/West Line train runs north of Bloomingdale, stopping at Roselle and Medinah. Commuters are a short drive away from Interstate Highway 290 and Interstate Highway 355.


Bloomingdale is split into elementary school districts based in Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Keeneyville and Medinah.

High school students attend Lake Park High School's east (freshmen and sophomores) or west (juniors and seniors) campuses in Roselle, Glenbard North High School in Carol Stream or Glenbard East High School in Lombard.

Several parochial schools serve Bloomingdale, including St. Isidore School (pre-K-8) in Bloomingdale.

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