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Entries : Skokie's Border with Chicago
Skokie's Border with Chicago

Skokie's Border with Chicago

Although Chicago's size and population make it the central city of the metropolitan region, it has not been the focus of all annexations. In 1954, for example, Chicago annexed land from the village of Skokie, but it was able to do so only because Skokie itself had begun annexing adjacent land three decades earlier, until it bumped up against the edges of seven neighboring municipalities.

Skokie's growth began in 1922, when voters approved a referendum annexing a large swath of unincorporated territory surrounding the original core of Niles Center. A series of smaller annexations in 1925, 1926, 1928, and 1930 brought the village to its maximum size. One of the 1925 annexations made Niles Center adjacent to its closest municipal neighbor to the south, Tessville ( Lincolnwood ). In 1928 and 1933, Niles Center decreased in size, disannexing two portions of territory to Evanston at the request of the affected voters and property owners.

Skokie lost more land in 1954, when Chicago annexed a quadrilateral bounded by Lunt, Carpenter, Dowagiac, and Central for a hospital that was never built; Skokie, however, retained a block of Ionia south of the annexed land and the strip of Central Avenue required to keep the block contiguous with the rest of Skokie. Ionia connects to Central at an odd angle, accounting for its nickname, the “hockey stick.” A subsequent disannexation in 1972 reduced the width of the connecting strip from 100 feet to 1 foot. Finally, in 1974, the village of Niles ceded to Skokie a triangle of land under the westernmost house on the block, in order to clarify responsibility for the street's maintenance.