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Deerfield is a village in Lake and Cook counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. A northern suburb of Chicago, Deerfield is located on the North Shore, about 28 miles north of downtown Chicago. The population was 19,196 at the 2020 census
Deerfield is home to the headquarters of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Baxter Healthcare, and Fortune Brands Home & Security. Deerfield is often listed among some of the wealthiest and highest-earning places in Illinois and the Midwest. The per capita income of the village is $68,101 and the median household income is $143,729
In a 1917 design by Thomas E. Tallmadge of the American Institute of Architects, Deerfield (and adjacent Highland Park) served as the center for a new proposed capital city of the United States. By that year, all of Deerfield's original farms had been converted either to residential areas or golf courses.
Pickens Memorial Plaque.
On May 26, 1944, a US Navy plane crashed in Deerfield on the current site of the Deerfield Public Library, killing Ensign Milton C. Pickens. Following World War II, a portion of Waukegan Road (Route 43) that runs through Deerfield has been designated a Blue Star Memorial Highway.
In 1959, when Deerfield officials learned that a developer building a neighborhood of large new homes planned to make houses available to African Americans, they issued a stop-work order. An intense debate began about racial integration, property values, and the good faith of community officials and builders. For a brief time, Deerfield was spotlighted in the national news as "the Little Rock of the North. Supporters of integration were denounced and ostracized by angry residents. Eventually, the village passed a referendum to build parks on the property, thus putting an end to the housing development. Two model homes already partially completed were sold to village officials. The remaining land lay dormant for years before it was developed into Mitchell Pool and Park and Jaycee Park. At the time, Deerfield's black population was 12 people out of a total population of 11,786. This episode in Deerfield's history is described in But Not Next Door by Harry and David Rosen, both residents of Deerfield. On June 18, 2020, the Deerfield Park District Board voted to remove James Mitchell's name from the park and later renamed it to Floral Park, which was the name originally intended for the sub-division that would have been built at that location.
Since the early 1980s, Deerfield has seen a large influx of Jews, Asians, and Greeks, giving the community a more diverse cultural and ethnic makeup.
On June 27, 1962, ground was broken by Kitchens of Sara Lee (now Sara Lee Corporation) for construction of the world's largest bakery. The plant, located on the current site of Coromandel Condominiums on Kates Road, began production in 1964 using state-of-the-art materials handling and production equipment. It was billed as the world's first industrial plant with a fully automated production control system and was designed by Stanley Winton. President Ronald Reagan visited the plant in 1985. The plant closed in 1990 as Sara Lee consolidated production in Tarboro, North Carolina. By 1991, headquarters employees had moved to downtown Chicago. In 2007, Sara Lee severed its final tie to its former home town with the closure of the Sara Lee Bakery Outlet Store.
In 1982, Deerfield began an experiment with a community farm. Two hundred residents applied for plots on a 3-acre (12,000 m2) community garden. The project had such a strong initial success that the village opened additional community farms on vacant land in the village.
As of 1987 Deerfield was mostly made up of single-family houses. As of that year the resale prices of Deerfield houses ranged from $100,000 to $300,000. 43.5% of the town's land consisted of single-family houses, while 1.1% contained multi-family housing. As of that year little of the remaining land was available for further residential development