A visit to Carol Stream and Carol Stream

Carol Stream, Illinois

Carol Stream's founding has a number of wonderful stories associated with it.

Developer Jay Stream became frustrated with delays on a Naperville project and, when reportedly told by a clerk to "build your own town," did just that. He assembled a large parcel of land in an unincorporated area outside Wheaton, envisioning its future as a mix of homes and light industry.

While construction was underway Stream's then 14-year old daughter was involved in a serious car accident. He decided to name the community after her so that she'd have some good news when she emerged from a coma. And so, Carol Stream is the only municipality in America that bears the first and last name of a person who was living at the time it came into being.

Carol Stream never lived in Carol Stream. She moved to Arizona as an adult, affording a rising star at the Chicago Tribune a brief escape from Chicago's brutal winters. When assigned to visit Carol Stream and write one of the Tribune's community profiles, Eric Zorn visited Carol Stream in Arizona and her namesake village in Chicago's western suburbs.

When Carol Stream's first homes came to market 50 years ago, they were priced from $15,000 to $19,000. There are currently 158 single-family homes on the market in Carol Stream, ranging from an as-is foreclosure priced at $109,900 to a 4-bedroom, 2 ½ bath home built in the 1990s and priced at $545,000.

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