Oak Park business district along south Marion changes its name to 'Pleasant District'

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

While crews tear up the 100 block of South Marion, preparing to dress it up with brick streets and granite sidewalks, another, less visible change just occurred in the business district.

Leaders have started calling the shopping area — home to such businesses as Poor Phil's Bar & Grill and the Marion Street Cheese Market — the "Pleasant District."

Oak Park has been going through an effort to "rebrand" its main shopping districts, and leaders on South Marion thought it made sense, as part of that process, to switch up South Marion's name, said Mary Jo Schuler, president of what's now called the Pleasant District Association.

"It seems like good timing," she said.

The name is an allusion to historic Pleasant Home, located just east of the business district (at the corner of Pleasant and Home). Pleasant and Marion is the heart of the district. The business association's members voted on the name change last month, and recently started using it on their website and in their marketing efforts.

In the same vein, the Avenue Business District, near the intersection of Lake Street in Oak Park Avenue, is also changing its name. It will now be called the Hemingway District, according to Schuler.

Reader Comments

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Posted: August 13th, 2011 6:03 AM

Lori and Amy are right--everyone, including residents, think Downtown Oak Park is one thing. This is stupid.


Posted: August 11th, 2011 11:49 PM

They can't call it all Downtown Oak Park because people on north of the tracks will get their underwear in a bunch because they pay the special tax and the people south of the tracks are too cheap to so this is a....poor compromise. Call it whatever, like Lori said people will always think it's Downtown Oak Park...why fight that?

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: August 11th, 2011 10:08 AM

The primary premise for the current $5M street unification project for S. Marion St. was to re-brand N. Marion and S. Marion Streets, using the same streetscape materials (bricks, bluestone slate, etc.). Now they are changing the South Marion business district name to Pleasant District, which is contrary to this premise. Does not make sense, but apparently Pope's friend Mary Jo Schuler is calling the shots, using public funds.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: August 10th, 2011 10:52 PM

Marion is a classy name. Pleasant sound like the street Rickie Nelson and his family lived on in TV-land. The village clerk should have had a contest for the neighborhood naming. Do all neighborhoods get to name itself? I got a doozy for the southwest side.

epic lulz  

Posted: August 10th, 2011 10:01 PM

The name "Willis Tower District" has more cache.

John Singletary from Oak Park  

Posted: August 10th, 2011 8:56 PM

The Pleasant home isn't even on Marion St. The name is really hackey and unfortunate. As someone who lives on Marion, I think I like my street name better.

Eilene McCullagh Heckman  

Posted: August 10th, 2011 5:01 PM

I remember when "Downtown Oak Park" was the Oak Park Mall. It's always going to be "South Marion" to long time residents...but now with exciting confusing signage!

Sharing from Oak Park's Money  

Posted: August 10th, 2011 4:07 PM

Someone likes to give their cousin the sign business.

kc from oak park  

Posted: August 10th, 2011 3:32 PM

Are David Pope et al going to personally pay for the new signage? I'd like to decline participation in this waste of money.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: August 10th, 2011 11:31 AM

Fine and dandy but please don't put up more street signs. Is there a public commission working on the idea of reducing the overuse of signage throughout the Village? We're passing the glut threshold and venturing into ridiculous territory. A small banner is okay but nothing permanent,please.

Good from Oak Park  

Posted: August 10th, 2011 11:22 AM

A little sprinkle of Star dust, and you now will have people lined out to the streets wanting to spend their money. That's a beautiful thing.

Lori M  

Posted: August 10th, 2011 9:37 AM

Rebrand all you want the general public and tourists think of this entire area as downtown - I don't think anything is going to change that.


Posted: August 9th, 2011 10:05 PM

Where the hoes are.....

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