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is a village in Illinois located in both McHenry and Kane counties. It is a northwest suburb of Chicago, located approximately 40 miles from the Loop. The 2010 Census placed the Village's population at 30,046, growing considerably from the 2000 Census figure of 23,276.
The village is known as "The Gem of the Fox River Valley", since its downtown is nestled in the heart of Illinois' Fox River Valley. Established in 1890 and long known as a small river community, the village is making the transition into a major regional hub, as it has experienced considerable suburban growth over the past 20 years. Now stretching all the way west to the busy Randall Road corridor, Algonquin has become a major commercial center, with popular shopping centers and restaurants, as well as a growing corporate campus. Additionally, the village continues to see considerable residential growth. With this growth, the village has had to deal with challenges including traffic congestion and overburdened schools, yet has managed to increase the commercial tax base, preserve its character and history, and substantially increase its recreational offerings and quality of life.
In the past 20 years, the history of Crystal Lake has consisted mainly of the growing of suburban subdivisions, as the population increased to 38,000 in the 2000 Census from 21,823 in the 1990 Census. In order to deal with the growth, Crystal Lake South High School was opened in 1978. Previously, Crystal Lake Community High School (now Crystal Lake Central High School) had served the entire city of Crystal Lake since 1924. Even more recently a third high school, Prairie Ridge High School, opened in 1997 north of the city to accommodate the spread moving into the area between Crystal Lake and the two communities directly to its north, Prairie Grove and Bull Valley.
Some challenges currently facing the city of Crystal Lake include a large and sudden increase in immigration, and an inconvenient road system leading to frequently snarled traffic. However, the overall quality of life and education in the city remains quite high. In addition, a robust city park system and continued revitalization of the downtown area, including a new city hall, have continued to make Crystal Lake an attractive community for new residents. Another positive note for the city is that Crystal Lake is the city where the tradition of giving gold coins to the Salvation Army anonymously began in 1982.
The Raue Center for the Arts, in the downtown district, has distinguished itself as a regional and national tourism draw. The National Piano Conference has been held in the Raue Center since 2012.
In 2015, Crystal Lake was ranked tenth best city among 1,268 U.S. cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 by WalletHub.
In 2016, it was reported that there were zero retail vacancies in the downtown district of Crystal Lake. This was the case until 2017.
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