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The 1970s & 1980s

As Countryside continued to expand population-wise, it was simultaneously growing in land size during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1971, the City annexed an area located south of Joliet Road, and by the 1980s, Countryside stretched over four square miles. This addition sparked further development in the community, leading to a surge of growth in the retail and industrial sectors.

Changes at City Hall

Mayor Michael Caduto served in his position until 1978, when Mayor Carl LeGant—who served as an alderman for 15 years prior—took over. It was around this time, in the late 1970s, that both the Public Works Department and the Recreation Commission were organized, and utility billing, payroll and budgeting all became computerized.

By 1985, City government was bursting at the seams in its current structure. Instead of relocating, the City underwent a large-scale expansion and renovation. A second floor was added in the summer of 1985, meeting the needs of the City administration, the police force and the new computer system.

Countryside Park

Located between 59th and 61st streets, Countryside Park is the flagship of the City’s Recreation Department. This 11-acre park is home to two softball diamonds, a soccer field, a playground, lighted tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, a skate park, an inline hockey rink, a bocce ball court and a lighted walking path. Plus, its two gazebos host the widely popular Thursday night Concerts in the Park series each summer.

Flagg Creek Heritage Society

The Flagg Creek Historical Society was officially established in 1976 and in recent years underwent a name change to the Flagg Creek Heritage Society. The non-profit organization strives to preserve and promote the past, present and future of the Flagg Creek area, which includes the communities of Burr Ridge, Hinsdale, Indian Head Park, Willow Springs, Western Springs and Countryside. The Heritage Society is an affiliate of the Pleasant Dale Park District and currently operates the Flagg Creek Historical Museum and the historic Robert Vial House. The organization is currently in the early stages of raising funds for its ambitious new Flagg Creek Heritage Center.

Countryside Plaza

Once a Route 66 drive-in theater, Countryside Plaza has certainly grown over the years since its establishment in 1977. Developed by the Simon Property Group, the original plaza was developed in an L shape, which was modified as it expanded into an attractive retail center along LaGrange Road.

Today, Countryside Plaza is a community lifestyle center anchored by Best Buy, Old Country Buffet, JoAnn Fabrics, The Home Depot, PetSmart, Value City Furniture and Office Depot. The 548,000-square-foot, 43-acre shopping center is in the midst of implementing a key redevelopment project, as part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Among the areas experiencing revitalization are the facade and signage, exit and entranceway, as well as the landscaping.

Countryfest

Countryfest was held successfully for 25 years with bringing the community together the main reason. The annual festival started off fairly simple in its earliest days as a one-day event. According to former Mayor Carl LeGant, the City and Chamber of Commerce cooked up about 400 pounds of bratwursts and 50 pounds of hotdogs throughout the day in Countryfest’s inaugural year.

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