Recent Village History
The Village in the 20th Century
In the early 1900s, the original plats for the Village of Westmont were laid out and streets were dedicated. These plats remain basically unchanged today. Early growth and development centered around the railroad station of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad, which for many years was the major transportation route to Chicago.
In 1921, an election was held and the proponents for incorporation won by a narrow margin. The act of incorporation became official on November 10, 1921, and Vince Pastor was chosen as the first Village Board President and held office for two years.
During the next 25 years, the Village did not encourage concentrated commercial or industrial growth. However, it continued to grow as a commuter residence, or bedroom community, area.
Industrial & Commercial Business Growth
During the 1940s, there was little growth and few new sub-divisions. During the late 1940s and 1950s, some light industrial and wholesaling firms and some service industries located in Westmont. This, along with a wider range of retail establishments, provided a more diversified economy.
It was not until the 1960s and 1970s when growth began to force itself upon Westmont. There came a period of property annexations, new subdivisions, and new multiple-family housing units, which lead to the doubling and tripling of the population. The growth rate has now stabilized as the Village of Westmont and most of the County has become landlocked.
Current Village Summary
The Village of Westmont is a community of six square miles in area located approximately 22 miles west of the Chicago Loop in the southeastern portion of DuPage County, on the fringe of the Chicago Metropolitan Area. The name Westmont comes from being the highest point of elevation on the Burlington-Northern railroad west of Chicago.
Westmont is a blend of old and new, with rectilinear or gridiron streets and older housing in the central part of the village, with high rise apartments on the periphery and curvilinear street subdivisions interspersed both north and south, indicating newer development. Westmont’s attractiveness both as an industrial and residential community is largely due to its location. This desirability is in large part transportation based.
Westmont is adequately served by highway, rail, and air facilities. The East-West Tollway, located north of the Village, Interstate 55 to the South, Interstate 294 to the East, and Interstate 355 to the West, provide convenient access to any portion of the Chicago Region. In addition to the tollway, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad also provides fast, convenient transportation for commuters.
Air service is available at nearby O’Hare International Airport and Midway Airport, as well as smaller airport facilities in neighboring communities. Westmont is generally bounded on the north by the Village of Oak Brook, on the east by the Village of Clarendon Hills, on the south by the City of Darien, and on the west by the Village of Downers Grove. It is nearly wholly within the Township of Downers Grove.
The Westmont Historical Society operates and maintains the Gregg House Museum, 117 South Linden Avenue. The museum is the actual former home of William L. Gregg and is the oldest building in Westmont. The museum is open to the public. For more information, contact the Westmont Historical Society at 630-969-8080.
Also, Westmont was home to the "Godfather of the Blues" Muddy Waters. Waters lived in Westmont from 1973, until he passed on in 1983. While living in Westmont, Muddy Waters experienced his greatest success as a musician, both in terms of critical acclaim and financial income.
The Westmont Special Events Corporation and the Westmont Historical Society have partnered to create an historical exhibit in honor of the blues legend. Located in Westmont Centre, One South Cass Avenue, the exhibit features over 40 rare and unique artifacts including obscure photos, clothing, memorabilia, and even one of his Grammy Awards. For more information, contact Westmont Special Events at 630-829-9378.