History

We are proud to have been a part of the fabric of the greater Chicago area for over 90 years. Our history, combined with amazing staff and community support, is what makes Smith Senior Living retirement communities such a great place to live.

1917

Susie Woodman of the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago approaches Dr. William Gregg with the idea to build a home for the elderly. They recruit notable Illinois residents like Senator Joseph McCormick, Jane Addams, Governor Charles Deneen, John G. Shedd and attorney Clarence Darrow to help them obtain a charter from the state.

1919

With the end of World War I came a push to raise the funds to purchase the land and build the facility Susie Woodman had envisioned.

1924

Oakhaven Old People’s Home opens to residents with the purpose of providing a pleasant, dignified place to live. It is located at 113th Place and South Western Avenue, which is today the current location of Smith Village.

1929

Emilie Jane Smith dies, leaving her $1.75 million estate to Oakhaven in the name of her late parents, Washington and Jane Smith. In today’s dollars, Smith’s trust would be about $20 million dollars. Oakhaven changes its name to honor the Smith family and expanded the building. The surplus dollars provide an endowment to protect the home’s residents.

1957

The Morrison Trust utilized funds from the Edward Morrison estate to build an addition to the Washington and Jane Smith Home. Morrison was a scion of the family who provided Chicago with its first fire chief. Edward Morrison died in 1929, and his will provided for the establishment of a senior citizen's residence. The Morrison wing added twenty resident's rooms and hospital facilities for twenty more.

1958-1989

The community continues to grow and change. Major donors provide the funds for large expansions.

Late 1990's

The Smith Board launches a plan for unprecedented growth in the community, providing what is needed to serve the needs of the changing senior community.

2004

Smith Crossing opens on a 32-acre site in Orland Park. The $60 million retirement community is so successful that plans are immediately made for expansion.

2005

The Beverly campus, including the original structure built in 1924, undergoes a $68 million redevelopment of the historic five acre site in Chicago. This location is renamed Smith Village.

2007

Residents move into Smith Village’s new independent living apartments.

2012

Smith Crossing undergoes a $37 million expansion to increase capacity by over 60 percent.

PRESENT

Smith Senior Living is now the premier Life Plan Community organization, providing robust programs for seniors that include total health and wellness along with innovative programs and activities.