This year, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of renaming 12th Street to Roosevelt Road after President Theodore Roosevelt who had passed away in January 1919. On July 5, 1919 the Forest Park Review reported “The name ‘Twelfth street’ has never been especially musical to the ear, and Forest park will undoubtedly welcome the new name and thus form another link in the chain that will finally make Roosevelt road a reality from the lake front to the gulf.”
As Chicagoland was adjusting to increased automobile traffic, discussions, petitions and community meetings took place from 1926-1928 to widen Roosevelt road from 66 feet to 100 feet. At the time, the Chicago Motor Club carried out the educational campaign and collected petitions along Roosevelt road. They had a few goals, including breaking up the Crawford Avenue bottleneck at Roosevelt and to create a major thoroughfare from Michigan Avenue beyond Des Plaines Ave, all the way past the County Line of DuPage.
While Forest Park was successful in petitioning to widen Roosevelt, even with some hostile discussions, it in the end did expand it’s footprint at the cost of losing some street parking on the south side of Roosevelt.
Over the years, the Village of Forest Park removed buildings to make way for parking. In 1978 the Village of Forest Park took advantage of grant money to demolish two buildings on or near Roosevelt to make way for parking. One village parking lot at Marengo and Roosevelt, 7246 W Roosevelt, was the former Peterson Dairy Store. Another property purchased for demolition in 1978 was a residence at 1134 Marengo, which is now vertical parking along the alley behind Pit Zone.