Cicero, IL is a suburb of Chicago located about 32 miles northwest of the Chicago “loop”. As of the 2010 census 83,891 people lived in Cicero. Cicero is named for the town of Cicero, New York, which in turn was named for Marcus Tullius Cicero, the Roman statesman and orator.
Originally, Cicero Township occupied six times its current territory. No political leadership and few town services resulted in cities such as Oak Park and Berwyn voting to split off from Cicero, and other portions such as Austin were annexed into the city of Chicago.
Government scandal’s loom over the town’s reputation. Most recently, Town President Betty Loren-Maltese was sent to federal prison for misappropriating millions in funds.
Cicero does feature many landmarks. St. Mary of Czestochowa, a Neo-Gothic church. J. Sterling Morton High School, East Campus, was built in 1894. Chodl Auditorium, located inside Morton East High School, was completed 1927. Chodl Auditorium is among the largest non-commercial proscenium theatres in the Chicago Metropolitan Area and is listed with the National Register of Historic Places. Unity Junior High School was opened in 2003 and is the largest middle school in the country. Hawthorne Works Tower, one of the original towers of the enormous Western Electric manufacturing plant is still located behind the Hawthorne Works Shopping Center near the corner of Cermak Road (22nd Street) and Cicero Avenue.
On the south side of Cicero were two racetracks. Hawthorne Race Course, located in Cicero and Stickney, is a horse racing track still in operation. Just north of it was Chicago Motor Speedway at Sportsman’s Park is now closed.
Top employers in Berwyn include MacNeal Hospital, Turano Baking, and High School District 201.