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posted: 12/27/2013 5:48 AM

Winston Hills boasts charm, friendly neighbors

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  • Castaldo Park, located near Winston Hills in Woodridge, hosts community events throughout the year and boasts a playground, volleyball court and disc golf course.

       Castaldo Park, located near Winston Hills in Woodridge, hosts community events throughout the year and boasts a playground, volleyball court and disc golf course.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Castaldo Park, located near Winston Hills in Woodridge, hosts community events throughout the year and boasts a playground, volleyball court and disc golf course.

       Castaldo Park, located near Winston Hills in Woodridge, hosts community events throughout the year and boasts a playground, volleyball court and disc golf course.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Homes in Winston Hills have three to four bedrooms in a variety of styles.

       Homes in Winston Hills have three to four bedrooms in a variety of styles.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Mature trees, affordable homes and a convenient location are hallmarks of the Winston Hills neighborhood in Woodridge.

       Mature trees, affordable homes and a convenient location are hallmarks of the Winston Hills neighborhood in Woodridge.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Winston Hills features a variety of home styles, including split-levels, ranches and two stories, along with a few new homes and apartments and condos.

       Winston Hills features a variety of home styles, including split-levels, ranches and two stories, along with a few new homes and apartments and condos.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

 
By Sherry Giewald
Daily Herald Correspondent

Jerry and Cati Heinrich moved to a home in Woodridge's Winston Hills almost 23 years ago after overcoming several personal hardships -- most with the support and help of people in the neighborhood.

Their challenges included an apartment fire where they lost everything, a daughter born with a rare liver disease for which her father donated part of his liver and owners wanting to sell the condo that the family rented.

When the media brought attention to the couple's plight, there was an outpouring of support.

"People opened their arms for us with such kindness including a dentist who bought the condo sight unseen so we could stay there and rent from him," Cati Heinrich said. "This is what endears us to Woodridge.

"When we were on our feet again and able to buy a house, the only option for us was to buy in Winston Hills. These are real people who know what it's like to work for a living and appreciate each other. They don't have the high disposable incomes that others have to the east and west of us."

Heinrich describes the experience of buying a home in Winston Park as "crawling to heaven on broken glass. We love it here. It's a true neighborhood, and people are terrific."

Winston Hills began when the Winston-Muss Corporation purchased many of the farms east of Route 53 between 63rd and 71st streets to build more than 2,000 homes. The first section of homes opened in early 1964.

Today this older established subdivision with mature trees offers buyers many affordable homes, good schools and parks and a convenient location, said Elizabeth Hanson, broker associate with Coldwell Banker Gladstone and 26-year resident of Winston Hills.

The subdivision offers a variety of home styles including raised ranches, split-levels, two-stories and ranches with pockets of newer homes along with some apartments and condos. Original models feature three to four bedrooms, two to three baths and one design with a basement.

For recreation, Castaldo Park is a wonderful neighborhood park that hosts a variety of events throughout the year such as the Fourth of July and fall celebrations, Hanson said. "It has a playground, volleyball, and even a Frisbee golf course. So even in the winter people can play Frisbee golf."

The community center offers more recreation and lots of family activities while fishing is popular at Lake Harriet. The village's bikeway system offers more than 21 miles of bike paths that link up with bikeways from the surrounding communities.

Seven Bridges Golf Club, Ice Arena, and Edwards Health and Fitness Center are located on the west side of Route 53.

Because of the size of the subdivision, several elementary schools serve the area. The first elementary school still exists as the core of the Goodrich School.

The Heinrichs liked Downers North for high school where their kids had great experiences being active in sports teams -- soccer, cheerleading and football.

Winston Hills sits near plenty of shopping. "Four corners at 75th and Lemont -- that whole area there is nothing but shopping," Hanson said.

Heinrich calls the shopping wonderful. "My husband worships at the altar of the Bass Pro Shops and was thrilled when a store moved just five minutes from us," she said. "He loves to fish."

Sandwiched between Route 53 and I-355, Winston Hills offers easy access to expressways.

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