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Calumet City is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 39,072 at the 2000 census. The ZIP code is 60409.

Calumet City (commonly referred to locally as "Cal City" or "Wild Cal"[citation needed]) was founded in 1892 when the villages of Schrumville and Sobieski Park merged under the name of West Hammond, since it lies on the west side of the Illinois-Indiana border from Hammond, Indiana. In 1924, West Hammond officially changed its name to Calumet City.

In addition to being bordered to the east by Hammond, it is also bordered by Burnham and Chicago to the north, Lansing to the south, and South Holland and Dolton to the west.

The Smiley Towers

A notable landmark and point of pride among Cal City residents is their two large water towers painted like the popular "Have a Nice Day" smiley faces: The Smiley Towers (external link) The following history of the Smiley Towers was found in the 1995 Calumet City Community Guide:

"The Story Behind the Smile"

Some huge smiles have been shedding a positive light on Calumet City since 1973.

The lemon-yellow Smiley Face water towers — one at River Oaks Center and the other at Paxton Avenue and Dolton Ave — were an idea suggested by Kim Fornero. Then a child, she could see one of the towers from her home and thought it would “look cute with a smiley face on it,” recalled Dennis Bonic, director of the Calumet City Water Department.

The 1970s were the era of the smiley face. These happy faces appeared on everything from buttons to lunch boxes.

Fornero appealed to then Mayor Robert Stefaniak, and he and the city council agreed to have the towers painted. The move made national headlines.

“There was a big to-do about it when they went up on 1973,” Bonic said. “It went national. It was on network TV before I even came to the Water Department.”

It was one of the first times anybody thought to use a water tower as a municipal billboard, he said. Other cities soon followed Calumet City's example and began putting symbols, slogans and insignias on their water towers.

The Smiley Face towers were heralded as a “progressive community project and a daily reminder to smile,” Bonic said.

The River Oaks tower, known as "Mr. Smiley Face”, sports a bow tie on its “neck”. The other tie-less tower is affectionately known as either “Mrs." or "Miss” Smiley Face”.

"I think everyone likes to see a smiley face and think about the city in a positive light,” he said "It's just a reminder to look on the bright side of things."

 

Geography

Calumet City is located at 41°36′51″N 87°32′47″W

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.4 square miles (19.1 km²), of which, 7.3 square miles (18.8 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (1.63%) is water.

Demographics

As of the 2000 census,[3] there were 39,071 people, 15,139 households, and 10,006 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,378.0 people per square mile (2,077.9/km²). There were 15,947 housing units at an average density of 2,195.1/sq mi (848.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 38.74% White, 52.91% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 5.37% from other races, and 2.15% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.86% of the population, including 9.4% of Mexican descent.

The top four European ancestries reported in Calumet City as of the 2000 census were Polish (12.7%), German (6.5%), Irish (5.1%) and Italian (3.8%).[4]

There were 15,139 households out of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.3% were married couples living together, 22.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.9% were non-families. 29.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the city, the age distribution of the population was 28.7% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 86.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,902, and the median income for a family was $45,998. Males had a median income of $37,231 versus $30,555 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,123. About 9.8% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.3% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Calumet City is in Illinois' 2nd congressional district.

Popular references

Calumet City is featured or mentioned in a number of major movies. John Belushi's "Joliet Jake" character from The Blues Brothers was born in Calumet City, and the orphanage that they save through donating the money from their concert is also located in Calumet City. Mount Prospect (a village in Cook County) was also mentioned in the film, it is where Elwood bought the Bluesmobile. In the book and film The Silence of the Lambs, Buffalo Bill is thought to be hiding in Calumet City, when he is actually in Belvedere, Ohio (However, the Calumet City scenes in the film were filmed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). Lily Tomlin's prim but assertive housewife/spokesperson "Mrs. Judith Beasley" is said to be a resident of Calumet City. ("Hi. I am not an actress, but real person like yourself.")

Calumet City is also referenced by a number of popular music acts. The Black Crowes included a video of the Smiley Towers in their 1990 video for "Hard to Handle". A photograph of the "Dolton" smiley water tower is featured on the back of the Dead Kennedys album Plastic Surgery Disasters. Kanye West's reference to Calumet in his 2005 song "Drive Slow", does not refer to Calumet City, but rather Calumet High School, which is located on the South side of Chicago and not in Calumet City. Rapper Twista has also referenced Calumet City.

The Smiley Tower is also featured in the movie Natural Born Killers; it is seen out the window of Mallorys' family home (part of that movie was filmed in Hammond, Indiana). In the Nine Inch Nails music video on the director's cut of the same film, the Smiley Tower and Dolton Avenue/State Street is featured.

In 2004, Alan Keyes purchased a raised ranch house in Calumet City to establish residency in Illinois so he could run for the U.S. Senate in place of Jack Ryan against Barack Obama, although instead of residing in the house, he officially moved into an apartment elsewhere in town, on Garfield Avenue.

Education

Calumet City is served by several elementary school districts[1]:

     Calumet City School District 155[2]

        Woodrow Wilson Memorial School

        Wentworth Intermediate School

        Wentworth Jr. High School

     Dolton School District 149[3]

        Berger Vandenberg School

        Carol Mosely Braun School

        Caroline Sibley School

        Dirksen Middle School

     Lincoln Elementary School District 156[4]

        Lincoln Elementary School

     Hoover-Schrum Memorial School District No. 157[5]

        Hoover Elementary School

        Schrum Memorial Middle School

The city is served by two high school districts:

     Thornton Township High School District 205 (west of Torrence Avenue) [6]

        Thornwood High School

     Thornton Fractional High School District 215 (east of Torrence Avenue) [7]

Thornton Fractional North High School

 

Economic Data for Zip Code 60409

Household Income Graph

  • 1153
  • 679
  • 969
  • 610
  • 652
  • 948
  • 647
  • 904
  • 874
  • 1085
  • 1492
  • 1513
  • 735
  • 185
  • 230
  • 89
  • 0-10k
  • 10k-15k
  • 15k-20k
  • 20k-25k
  • 25k-30k
  • 30k-35k
  • 35k-40k
  • 40k-45k
  • 45k-50k
  • 50k-60k
  • 60k-75k
  • 75k-100k
  • 100k-125k
  • 125k-150k
  • 150k-200k
  • 200k+

Note: Household Income figures are based on total household income.

* All numbers in this section are 2016 projections provided by Geolytics Inc

Demographics Data for Zip Code 60409

  • 2576
  • 2996
  • 2885
  • 2816
  • 2690
  • 2502
  • 2350
  • 2230
  • 2241
  • 2321
  • 2229
  • 1899
  • 1498
  • 1028
  • 633
  • 373
  • 183
  • 470
  • 0-4
  • 5-9
  • 10-14
  • 15-19
  • 20-24
  • 25-29
  • 30-34
  • 35-39
  • 40-44
  • 45-49
  • 50-54
  • 55-59
  • 60-64
  • 65-69
  • 70-74
  • 75-79
  • 80-84
  • 85+

* All numbers in this section are 2016 projections provided by Geolytics Inc

Population Data for Zip Code 60409

  • 37,186
  • 33,920
  • 32,732
  • 2012 Census
  • 2014 Estimated
  • 2019 Projected

Households

  • Total (2010 Census):13,852
  • Estimated (Present):12,765
  • Projected (2019):12,244
  • Household Change (2010-Present) -7.85%
  • Household Change (2010-2017) -11.61%

Notes:

  • Figures in the Population Change graph represent total population for the zip code.
  • Estimated Change 2014 shows the percentage of population change between the 2012 Census and 2014.
  • Projected Change 2019 shows the projected percentage of population change between the 2012 Census and 2019.

* All numbers in this section are 2016 projections provided by Geolytics Inc

Public Schools in Zip Code 60409

  • Name
  • District
  • Grades
  • Address
  • City
  • Students
  • THORNTON FRACTNL NO HIGH SCHOOL
  • THORNTON FRACTIONAL TWP HSD 215
  • 9th-12th
  • 755 PULASKI RD
  • CALUMET CITY
  • 1,568

  • DIRKSEN MIDDLE SCHOOL
  • DOLTON SD 149
  • 6th-8th
  • 1650 PULASKI RD
  • CALUMET CITY
  • 1,031
  • SCHRUM MEMORIAL SCHOOL
  • HOOVER-SCHRUM MEMORIAL SD 157
  • 6th-8th
  • 485 165TH ST
  • CALUMET CITY
  • 329
  • WENTWORTH JR HIGH SCHOOL
  • CALUMET CITY SD 155
  • PreK-8th
  • 560 SUPERIOR AVE
  • CALUMET CITY
  • 459

  • CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN SCHOOL
  • DOLTON SD 149
  • 1st-5th
  • 1655 153RD ST
  • CALUMET CITY
  • 345
  • CAROLINE SIBLEY ELEM SCHOOL
  • DOLTON SD 149
  • PreK-7th
  • 1550 SIBLEY BLVD
  • CALUMET CITY
  • 857
  • HOOVER ELEM SCHOOL
  • HOOVER-SCHRUM MEMORIAL SD 157
  • PreK-5th
  • 1260 SUPERIOR AVE
  • CALUMET CITY
  • 613
  • LINCOLN ELEM SCHOOL
  • LINCOLN ESD 156
  • PreK-8th
  • 410 WEST 157TH ST
  • CALUMET CITY
  • 1,137
  • WENTWORTH INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL
  • CALUMET CITY SD 155
  • 3rd-5th
  • 530 SUPERIOR AVE
  • CALUMET CITY
  • 432
  • WILSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
  • CALUMET CITY SD 155
  • PreK-8th
  • 560 WENTWORTH AVE
  • CALUMET CITY
  • 441

Private Schools in Zip Code 60409

  • Name
  • Grades
  • Address
  • City
  • Students
  • KIDDY KONNECTIONTLC SCHOOL AGE
  • PreK-K
  • CALUMET CITY
  • 29
  • MARZET INFANT - PRESCHOOL
  • K-K
  • P O BOX 1161
  • Calumet City
  • 9
  • OUR LADY OF KNOCK SCHOOL
  • PreK-8th
  • 497 163rd St.
  • Calumet City
  • 192
  • ST. ANDREW THE APOSTLE SCHOOL
  • PreK-8th
  • 331 155th Pl
  • Calumet City
  • 258
  • ST. VICTOR SCHOOL
  • PreK-8th
  • 548 Price Ave
  • Calumet City
  • 338
Community demographic data is provided by Geolytics Inc. Information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.

Schools listed are those in the Zip Code of the listing, but may not serve this address.
School Data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. All properties are subject to prior sale or withdrawal. Data may not be reproduced or redistributed and may not be used for any purpose other than individual consumer's use.

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