The History of Northlake West Leyden High School
Northlake (population 11,888) is located in far northeastern Illinois in western Cook County. U.S.
Routes 12, 20, and 45 pass through town as does Illinois Route 64. Interstate Highway 294 passes on the west side
of Northlake. Downtown Chicago is 12 miles east of Northlake.
According to the Northlake official website, http://www.northlakecity.com/history.htm , the town was incorporated in 1949, making it a fairly new city in Illinois' history. The town name comes from
a combination of the two main streets that pass through it, North Avenue and Lake Street.
The children of Northlake attended Leyden Township High School in Franklin Park from about 1924 through
1959. Due to the population increase in the suburbs surrounding Franklin Park and Northlake, it was decided in 1958
to build a new high school in Northlake. The high school in Franklin Park would be renamed East Leyden High School
and the new school in Northlake would be named West Leyden High School. Both schools would assume their
own identity, including their own athletic programs.
For financial reasons, it was decided after the 1980-81 school year that the two high schools, who
were under the same school district, would combine their athletic programs. The separate athletic programs were merged
beginning with the 1981-82 school year.
The arrangement of the separate high schools continues today. West Leyden High School and East
Leyden High School still exist today as separate and distinct high schools. This page will focus on the now
defunct athletic program of West Leyden High School that existed from 1958-59 through 1980-81.
West Leyden High School Quick Facts
High School Still Open
Athletic Program Merged: 1981
Franklin Park-Northlake Leyden Township
West Leyden HS team nickname: the "Knights"
School Team Colors: Blue
School Fight Song: