From an Art Deco theater to a 14-story bell tower with panoramic views at the top, cultural landmarks enhance the appeal of Chicago’s western suburbs.
Great schools, family-oriented neighborhoods, and abundant green spaces—these pull factors are well known to residents living in Chicago’s western suburbs. But a Japanese tea garden and an authentic Dutch windmill in the same town? You can find both in Geneva. Meet these cultural landmarks and add them to your list of reasons to “live and love local” west of Chicago.
Aurora’s Paramount Theatre provides residents and visitors with a chance to see Broadway shows performed by highly talented casts. Located on Stolp Island in the heart of Aurora, this Venetian-inspired Art Deco palace has been named one of the top ten theatres in Chicago.
When it opened in 1931, the Paramount hosted concerts, vaudeville shows, and even circus acts as well as movies. The theater was restored to its former glory in the 1970s. Patrons from more than 250 communities come to see shows in a setting adorned by a grand stage, hand-painted murals, and an ornate ceiling, as shown in the photo above.
Residents of Downers Grove can see the latest movies in a theater that dates back to 1928. Tivoli Theatre, located in the heart of Downers Grove, combines an elegant interior with modern movie theater features, including digital 3D. Known for retaining its original single screen, the Tivoli has a French Renaissance style interior.
A little-known fact: The Tivoli was only the second movie theater in the country to make the switch from silent films to movies with sound. Today the Tivoli hosts live theater performances as well as movies.
Located on the scenic Fox River and the county seat of Kane County, Geneva is a historic community that dates back to the 1830s. One of its main cultural attractions is the Fabyan Windmill, a 68-story structure that was restored in 2005, but still retains many of its original features, including Roman numeral marks in some of the beams.
The Fabyan Windmill is located in the Fabyan Forest Preserve, once part of a country estate owned by George and Nelle Fabyan in the early part of the 1900s. In addition to touring the windmill, visitors can also stroll through the Japanese Tea Garden designed in 1910 as a private garden retreat for the Fabyans.
Located in downtown Glen Ellyn, Glen Art Theatre shows contemporary films in a historic setting. This cinematic theater was originally built in the 1920s and has been a beloved part of Glen Ellyn’s history over the years. Behind the imposing marquee is a complex of four cinemas.
Moser Tower, home of the Millennium Carillon, stands 160 feet above the ground in downtown Naperville. Visitors can explore the tower’s interior on weekends from May to November, which involves climbing 253 stairs that wind through 14 stories to a spectacular view from an open-air observation deck, or visitors can take in the view by riding an elevator halfway up to an observation platform. Millennium Carillon is the fourth largest carillon in the world. Its 72 bronze bells ring out during concerts and recitals that take place during the summer.