Chicago Neighborhoods







Albany Park Andersonville Avondale Bucktown
East Village Edgewater Gold Coast Humboldt Park
Irving Park Lakeview Lincoln Park Lincoln Square
Logan Square Loop North Center Old Town
Old Town Triangle Pilsen Ravenswood River North
River West Rogers Park Roscoe Village Sauganash
South Loop Streeterville Tri-Taylor Ukrainian Village
University Village Uptown Wicker Park Wrigleyville

Albany Park

The Albany Park community is on the northwest side of Chicago. It is well-located, being halfway between O'Hare International Airport and the Chicago Loop, and 5 minutes from the Kennedy and Edens Expressways. Albany Park also sits at the end of the CTA's Brown line (Ravenswood), with stops at Kedzie Avenue and the Kimball Station terminal. The neighborhood is bordered by the Chicago River, which makes for some very picturesque and peaceful spots in the proximate parks. Albany Park with a population of 58,000 is a culturally diverse community. People of different cultures have been making Albany Park their second home since 1907, when the Ravenswood el began to bring development to the neighborhood around Kimball and Lawrence avenues. Once a predominantly middle-class Jewish neighborhood, today Albany Park has developed a more diverse ethnic feel as immigrants have made it their home. The 1990 census reports that Albany Park consists of a mix of Hispanics (31%), Asians (24%), Europeans (40%), and African Americans (3%) making it one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the country, with more than 24 languages regularly spoken in the area. Bosnians have been the most recent ethnic group to move into the neighborhood. This cultural diversity enriches the neighborhood. The combination of restaurants, most of them around the intersection of Lawrence and Kedzie Avenues, is evidence of that distinction. You can find a Korean barbecue house, Thai restaurants, pizza, as well as Middle Eastern bakeries and ethnic markets. The commercial hub and heart of the community is Lawrence Avenue, which was renamed Seoul Drive because of the many Korean-owned business that line the streets. Albany Park's large quantity of affordable housing is also an attraction. Average single family home prices in Albany Park in 1995 were $129,900, when average home prices were $132,000, according to the Chicago Association of Realtors, Multiple Listing Service statistics. In addition to a diverse housing market, Albany Park has retail shops and new development on the east and west sides of the neighborhood

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Andersonville

Andersonville is located a half square mile of the southwest corner of Edgewater. It’s an old Swedish neighborhood that was first settled in the mid-19th century. Most of the Swedes are long gone now, but Andersonville has kept it’s ethnic flavor with it’s architecture and it’s many neighborhood bakeries, gift shops and the Swedish American Museum located at 5211 North Clark Street. The neighborhood has evolved into an ethnic mix easily seen in it’s restaurants ranging from old Swedish(Svea) to Persian(Reza’s) to Asian(Tipanan). You can grab a Swedish treat, with a shot of espresso, hear some radical feminist poetry at an avant-garde theater, and finish your night eating Andean or Persian, all within just a few blocks. Andersonville could have been named after two different Andersons. According to the Chicago Historical Society, it was named after the Andersonville School, which took its name from a Reverend Anderson, whose church was a hub for recent Scandinavian arrivals around 1900. Another possibility, according to the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, is that it was named after local farmer and landowner John Anderson, and became known as Andersonville back in the 1850s. Whichever Anderson it was named after, it remains true to its Scandinavian heritage, and is where you still hear Swedish spoken by many shopkeepers. But if you don't know Swedish, don't worry, you can come to this neighborhood to take lessons. The neighborhood is a sort of mecca for women business owners, many of whom own restaurants, shops and book stores on Clark Street. The rainbow flags of the gay and lesbian community also line Andersonville streets. There is an open, progressive, relaxed, even homey feel to Andersonville, where everyone is valkommen (Swedish for welcome).

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Avondale

Northwest of downtown Chicago, Avondale is north of the booming Logan Square neighborhood. It lies northwest along the Kennedy Expressway (routes 90/94) and the CTA Blue Line that runs between O'Hare and downtown. Its main borders are Western, Diversey, Addison and Pulaski avenues, while Belmont and Milwaukee run right through it. Avondale is a stable community that offers an excellent variety of housing types and price points. Factories and brickyards that sprang up by the railroads were responsible for the initial wave of immigrants in Avondale, mostly Germans, Scandinavians and Poles. The neighborhood maintains the patina of Old World Europe. Aromas from the neighborhood's old-time sausage-makers still fill the air, but are now mixed with the flavors of many other cultures. Residents still sit outside on their stoops or lean out second-floor windows, to say hello. Avondale has a Polish history that is reflected in many dining options and it's strong sense of community. It has convenient access to the city, the suburbs and downtown. Residents enjoy a wonderful range of businesses, restaurants and shops, from large national chains to more personal "mom-and-pop" establishments. Avondale is enjoying moderate growth as residents from denser, more expensive Chicago neighborhoods look for better-priced options. Avondale provides accessibility and proximity to the trendier neighborhoods, often with a lower price tag. Avondale offers a wide variety of housing types and price points, including frame houses, modest brick bungalows, multi-units, two flats and condominiums.

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Bucktown

The borders of Bucktown are often confused for those of nearby trendy Wicker Park. But, Bucktown is a neighborhood with a character all its own. Once a neighborhood of predominately Polish immigrants, Bucktown was named for the goats that were kept in many of the poorer residents' backyards (a male goat is called a "buck"). Later, Spanish-speaking families replaced most of the Polish community. More recently, due to the low rent and diversity, artists began to inhabit the area. The gentrification of Bucktown has caused many of the artistic residents who came for the diversity and low rents to abandon the area for neighboring Wicker Park. These days, upscale restaurants, trendy nightclubs, and high-end clothing boutiques attract a more style-conscious sect. Rent prices have increased dramatically and real estate bargains in this area are becoming increasingly hard to come by. Plenty of nightclubs can be found between Bucktown and bordering Wicker Park. When the sun goes down, the Northside Bar and Grill is a favorite hangout for neighborhood veterans. There you will find an eclectic group of people drinking everything from Bloody Mary’s to Old Style Beer and enjoying a wide variety of comfort foods. The Map Room is just one of the many cozy neighborhood bars in the area, offering coffee, beer, pool tables and live weekend music. As an artist’s haven, Bucktown hosts quite a few galleries and artistic shops. Besides the landmark Flat Iron Building at 1579 N. Milwaukee Avenue, which houses numerous galleries, Bucktown boasts a number of artist-run stores. Bucktown art galleries open their doors during the Around the Coyote festival in early September, a good time to check out the local Bucktown artist scene.

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East Village

West Town, a fairly large area just northwest of the Loop, is a group of smaller neighborhoods including East Village, Noble Square, and Ukrainian Village. East Village’s borders are Ashland (1600 W) to Damen (2000 W) and Division (1200 N) to Chicago (800 N). East Village is representative of how borders and names have shifted in Chicago. East Village is located directly east of Ukrainian Village, this area was originally known as East Ukrainian Village, then later simple East Village. New names such as East Village have appeared across the cityscape as real estate developers re-name old neighborhoods in order to attract upscale residents. East Village is also one example among many in Chicago of the resurgence in vintage neighborhood living, where communities, built more than a century ago, are now being redeveloped. These old neighborhoods, where housing has always been in place, are now being redeveloped into modern living environments, complete with new retail and other local amenities. Areas like this are attracting not only singles and couples but now families even with small children. This neighborhood primarily consists of charming 2 and 3 flats along tree-lined streets. Renovated apartments and single-family homes can also be found, as well as some new brick and limestone constructions. Property owners in East Village have carefully rehabbed the historic homes that abound in this area. But, you are still able to find apartments with great views of the city at very attractive prices, all within 10 minutes from downtown. The great residential streets are all within walking distance of the nearby shops and restaurants with more coming in soon. There is easy non-permit street parking. Just three blocks from Blue Line Stop and close to Metra.

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Edgewater

Edgewater is a sprawling area with almost suburban amenities, such as wider streets, spacious yards and friendly neighbors. It is bounded by Lake Michigan, Foster, Ravenswood and Devon. The name Edgewater originated with developer J.L.Cochran, who wanted to create a small town in 1880. By 1910, the name Edgewater was being used through the area. Today, Edgewater is composed of many lovely neighborhoods, including Andersonville. Residents are likely to participate just as ardently in block parties and garden walks as they are in local politics. It even has its own historical society. True to its name, Edgewater is found on Lake Michigan's shoreline, giving its residents many opportunities for volleyball, biking, fishing and more. Plus, it's very close to Wrigley Field. Edgewater residents have a quick a 10-minute drive via Lake Shore Drive to downtown Chicago. It also boasts excellent access to trains and public transportation. Loyola University is nearby. It is home to many distinct businesses and restaurants, diverse mix of households and income levels, and a strong network of community-based organizations. Initially built up during the 1920s, the area underwent several rounds of new construction along the lakefront and on major streets, leaving mixed housing with high-rises, condominiums, mid-rise multi-units and single-family homes. Within its borders are many smaller neighborhoods and homes like those found in Andersonville with its clean-swept, two-flat buildings. Lakewood-Balmoral is a leafy neighborhood of single-family homes and two-flats. And Edgewater Glen is a neighborhood with brick and frame single-family homes. To the east is Edgewater Beach, whose streets are lined with condominiums that overlook Lake Michigan.

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Gold Coast

Over the years, the boundaries of this exclusive neighborhood have expanded, so that it now encompasses the area from Michigan Avenue west to LaSalle Street, and North Avenue south to Chicago Avenue. Some say that the Gold Coast got its name from the African coast of the same name, but it also describes the area's wealth. The Gold Coast is one of the oldest areas in Chicago dating back to 1882. In the late 19th century, prosperous Chicago residents—the ones with the most gold—began moving north along the lakeshore, further inspiring the growing community's label as The Gold Coast. The Gold Coast is a beautiful, quiet, convenient, and expensive neighborhood where prices are high and steadily rising. Since its beginnings, it remains an elite place to live, the mark of wealth and sophistication. Covering less than two square miles, this exclusive area has some of the city's best and most expensive shopping and restaurants. The Magnificent Mile is a one-mile stretch of tree-lined streets that starts at the Chicago River and runs north to Oak Street. It includes exclusive shops, upscale hotels and fine dining. This is also a center of tourist attractions, casual eateries, movie theaters and museums. The Water Tower building survived the Great Fire of 1871 and it is now the home to a tourist office and continually changing art exhibits. The John Hancock Center on Michigan Avenue opened in 1970 and was the tallest building in the world at the time. It is a multi-purpose facility with homes, offices and shops. Some of Chicago's most desirable real estate and historic architecture are found here, much of it by the lake. Almost any type of Chicago architecture is available: modern high-rise condominium buildings, cooperatives, townhouses, brownstones, greystones, and lavish mansions. In this area, most residential properties are one-of-a-kind and have been preserved and designated Chicago Landmarks. Residents along Lake Shore Drive generally have beautiful views across the lake. The Gold Coast has the advantage of a beach right down the block. Oak Street Beach is an ideal area for biking, running, walking or just enjoying the lake.

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Humboldt Park

Due west of Chicago’s Loop is Humboldt Park. This is a Chicago neighborhood that is benefiting tremendously from the gentrification of the areas near the city’s center. People who are tired of the soaring prices of city real estate are taking up residence in its much more affordable homes and buildings. Not far from the hipper neighborhoods of Wicker Park, Bucktown and Logan Square, Humboldt Park has many eclectic and multi-cultural shops and restaurants on its own. It’s also home to the California Clipper, an out of the ordinary nightclub that is a throwback to Chicago’s prohibition years. The area is built around the magnificent Humboldt Park which features vast landscape designs, walking and running paths, and a picturesque pond. Overseeing the pond is the Humboldt Park Boathouse Pavilion, an exceptional example of the Prairie School style of architecture. It was designated a Chicago landmark in 1996. One of Chicago’s largest; the park features 207 acres with a beach, an outdoor swimming pool, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, playgrounds and bike paths. It also has an assembly area, ice skating in winter, 10 picnic areas and a fieldhouse with two gyms. Humboldt Park officially became part of Chicago in 1869, and is filled with older frame and brick houses, flats, courtyard buildings and somewhat newer brick bungalows.

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Irving Park

Northwest of downtown Chicago, just west of the Kennedy Expressway (routes 90/94), is Irving Park, a large community bursting with single-family homes. The area is undergoing a renewed phase of redevelopment as urbanites are realizing the affordability, convenience and beauty of the area. With thoroughfares that include Addison, Montrose, Cicero and Milwaukee avenues, Irving Park is an expansive area with many different types of neighborhoods. Smaller neighborhoods within Irving Park include parts of Albany Park, Avondale, Old Irving Park and the Villa Historic District. A proud community, the Irving Park Historical Society holds an annual housewalk to showcase the area's architecturally significant homes, including many fine examples of the Prairie School. The Villa Historic District has over 120 architecturally significant bungalows alone. The houses and estates throughout the area are some of Chicago's largest and loveliest. Irving Park boasts many smaller shopping districts, each with its own flavor of delis, bakeries, pubs, independent businesses and retail shops. A quiet area, it has many thriving gardens that provide a nice background for raising families. It is known for its historic homes, convenient shopping areas, rehabbed buildings, fun bars and restaurants. Irving Park's neighborhoods have an excellent number of transportation options. Union Pacific trains stop on Avondale and there is CTA bus service on Cicero, Montrose and Irving Park Road. The Kennedy Expressway and the CTA's Blue Line also run right through the middle of the neighborhood. This is an area where Victorian homes co-exist with apartment buildings and bungalows. Irving Park features many architectural wonders with Queen Anne, Victorian and Italianate homes; vintage farmhouses and elegant bungalows. Many are in various stages of renovation or preservation.

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Lakeview

Named for its close proximity to Lake Michigan, Lakeview is one of Chicago's larger neighborhoods, now comprised of smaller neighborhoods within its boundaries. They include Wrigleyville, Roscoe Village and Lakeview East. The name Lakeview is thought to have come from the Hotel Lakeview, built on the lakeshore in 1853. By 1887 the town of Lakeview was incorporated into the city. About four miles north of the Loop, Lakeview is one of the most livable neighborhoods in Chicago. Many people have moved into Lakeview in recent years, and the nightclubs and restaurants have followed. It is home to a large part of Chicago's gay community known as Boys Town located on Halsted Street between Belmont and Waveland. The windows are full of rainbow stickers, a symbol for gay-friendliness. The annual Gay & Lesbian Pride Parade is held here in June. Chicago's city government recently paid for the installation of rainbow-colored pylons along Halsted. Wrigleyville is the name given to the neighborhood around Wrigley Field--home of the Chicago Cubs--at Sheffield Avenue and Addison Street. Real estate investors appreciate the wide variety of housing with some rehabs, Victorian greystone, brick multifamily buildings, expensive new construction, lakefront highrises and higher rents. Some buildings date back to the 1800s. The older buildings range from little frame cottages to huge stone mansions on double lots. Many rental buildings have been converted to condos. Most 1-bedroom units are in older high rises. Lakeview has always been a very popular place to live, however, the rising real estate prices have pushed some people north to Andersonville. West Lakeview officially begins at Clark Street. Dozens of buildings are being renovated and new single-family homes are under construction. Rents in West Lakeview are more affordable than those in Lake View East. One and one half miles of lake and park on the eastern border offers recreational facilities of boating, jogging, skating, swimming and biking. Chicago loop area is readily accessible from Lakeview by car, bus, train or the Red Line El.

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Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is one of Chicago's swankiest and most popular neighborhoods, with more bars and restaurants per capita than almost any other neighborhood in Chicago. Lincoln Park is the heart of Chicago’s North Side. The neighborhood has almost anything your heart desires. Houses range from highrise condos to two-and three-flat brownstones to cottages on beautiful tree-lined streets. After more than 30 years of gentrification, you can imagine, there are few, if any, real estate bargains to be found in Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park is a young and extremely lively neighborhood. There you'll find restaurants and bars to match any evening’s taste and budget. You'll see bars and clubs that range from prep to sport to punk to blues; and there's little you won't find shopping along Clark Street. (Except readily available parking.) Lincoln Park’s most obvious attraction is the park itself. The 1,200 acre park has extensive playing fields, picnic areas where ever you can find a place to throw down a blanket, and even a large zoo that boasts free admission. Lincoln Park is steeped in Chicago History. A fenced-off mausoleum on LaSalle Drive behind the Historical Society, stands as a reminder that Lincoln Park once served as a city cemetery. In fact, before it was called, Lincoln Park, it was named Cemetery Park. Its old name, Cemetery Park, was changed in 1885 to honor the assassinated president. The grave of the last survivor of the Boston Tea Party is marked by a boulder near Clark Street and Wisconsin Street. And the Great Fire of 1871 reached its northernmost extent at roughly Clark and Belden. Two blocks south at 2221 North Clark Street, now a lawn, stood the garage where the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre took place. And a little known fact, for you trivia buffs, the area from Diversey Avenue north to Ardmore Avenue was constructed completely on landfill. Although parts of Lincoln Park may seem over populated and congested at times, the area is the preferred place to live for many Chicagoans.

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Lincoln Square

West of Andersonville and slightly to the south, where Lincoln, Western, and Lawrence avenues intersect, is Lincoln Square. The Lincoln Square neighborhood is bordered by Foster Avenue to the north, Montrose Avenue to the south, Damen Avenue to the east, and the Chicago River to the west. This East Ravenswood Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One of Chicago's first planned neighborhoods, the area’s character and quaint charm is due to the leafy residential streets and its remarkable architecture: from beautiful old wood-frame Victorians, to brick and greystone two- and three-flats. Lincoln Square is home to an assortment of residences, commercial and public buildings, some dating back to the 1850s. Its diverse architecture reflects traditions passed down through generations of immigrants. The area is lucky to have the last masterpiece from famous Chicago architect Louis Sullivan, now a museum devoted to the decorative arts. Lincoln Square is the only identifiable remains of Chicago's once vast German-American community. For years, Lincoln Square has been the center of Chicago’s German community. The facades of the buildings further south on Lincoln still bear the names of the families that constructed them in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but the majority of German shops are now concentrated in the Lincoln Square shopping district. In early September, the German influence is still very much alive as huge tents are erected on Lincoln and Leland avenues for the annual German-American Fest. There is also an authentic German maypole and a mural that depicts images from across Germany. Germanic atmosphere In recent years, many immigrants from Greece, Eastern Europe, Mexico, and Korean who have brought the character of their cultures to the neighborhood’s businesses have settled the Lincoln Square area. The Western station on the el's Brown Line is located right in the heart of Lincoln Square. The 11 (Lincoln), 49 (Western), 81 (Lawrence), 92 (Foster), or 78 (Montrose) buses also serve the area.

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Logan Square

Logan Square is famous for its wide, tree-studded boulevards and parkways lined by distinguished mansions and elegant vintage buildings. Historically, many wealthy Chicago merchants built massive greystones, creating many modern opportunities for single- and multi-family homes. Logan Square is just west of the Kennedy Expressway (Routes 90/94). Kimball, Fullerton and Diversey avenues are its main thoroughfares. The actual Square is a picturesque traffic circle at Kedzie and Logan Boulevard, with a small hill and elegant marble column. Recently, vintage lighting fixtures have been installed along the Boulevard to enhance its historic character. With stops on the CTA's Blue Line and immediate access to the highway system, residents are able to commute to many areas in the city and suburbs from Logan Square. Entrepreneurs and artists pioneered gentrification of the area; so there are many eclectic, restaurants, shops and coffeehouses that appeal to residents and visitors alike. The annual art, music and craft fairs are among Chicago's best. Logan Square is known for distinguished mansions and elegant two- and three-flat buildings constructed before World War I. Off the boulevards are quiet residential streets with smaller homes and two-and three-flat brownstones.

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Loop

The heart of the business district is the Loop, taking its name from the loop the elevated tracks make around downtown. Physically bounded between Franklin on the west, and Wabash on the east, Van Buren on the south and Lake Street on the north, the downtown area continually expands beyond these boundaries. This is the downtown area, the commercial and business heart of Chicago and lies largely south of the Chicago River. The city's rationalized street numbering system starts in the Loop at State and Madison. During the 1950’s, just after the Second World War, the United States witnessed one of its largest suburban sprawls. Chicago's magnificent downtown--like those of other major cities--fell into decline as people fled to live in the suburbs. Towards the end of the 20th century the downtown area began to turn around, as projects aimed at revitalizing got under way. As with other metropolitan areas around the country, Chicago's downtown is seeing a trend towards residential living. The 1996 renovation of State Street created a demand for retail, office, and residential space in the Loop. Executives are choosing to be near the office. Old office buildings are currently being renovated into luxury condominiums and hotel use. Additional structures are being turned into state-of-the-art high-tech office centers. Increasing numbers of apartments are being developed around the fringes of the loop. Printers' Row, which extends south of Congress along Dearborn, may have started the trend in the early 1980s with its rehabbed vintage apartments and lofts. Chicago's New East Side can be considered part of Downtown. This area just east of Michigan Avenue has also had a resurgence in construction and residences are being built near Millennium Park. The Loop is now one of the world's largest outdoor museums for contemporary art. Chicago 1967 Picasso marked the beginning of downtown Chicago becoming an open-air sculpture gallery, with hundreds of pieces spread all around the Loop, including Alexander Calder’s bright red “Flamingo” in the Federal Center Plaza. Marc Chagall's mosaic sculpture ”The Four Seasons” depicts the changing seasons of Chicago.

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North Center

North Center is a large community with many comfortable and convenient neighborhoods that are just a mile or so from the lakefront and an easy commute to downtown. Surrounded by Diversey, Ravenswood, Montrose and the Chicago River, the neighborhoods in North Center tend to have large parks and tree-lined streets, plus all the amenities that make city life satisfying. North Center's pocket neighborhoods have their own distinct character with shopping areas that feature charming boutiques, delis, bakeries and coffee shops. Its neighborhoods include St. Ben's, Roscoe Village and West Lakeview. The geographic center of the community is the 6-corner intersection of Lincoln Avenue, Irving Park Road and Damen Avenue. It's an area that is proud of its families and has both good schools and economic stability. The community has an abundance of small businesses that keep it an active, vibrant area during day. For entertainment, residents can choose from a large selection excellent restaurants, pubs, summer festivals, music venues, bowling alleys, and theaters. The Chicago River runs through North Center and provides many picturesque views and parks, with many sporting and recreational activities. The CTA's Brown Line goes downtown and has stops at Addison, Irving Park and Montrose. Buses run on most of the major streets. St. Ben's is a popular, well-established community that is characterized by brick two-flats and frame single-family homes. Roscoe Village, with its small-town feel, has older single-family homes, renovated (and un-renovated) two- and three-flats, newer townhomes and loft conversions.

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Old Town

Old Town is bordered from Division north to Armitage and from Clark Street west to Halsted. German farmers and merchants settled this neighborhood in the mid-1800s. The great Chicago Fire destroyed this neighborhood, but the brick walls of St. Michael's Catholic Church remained and it was rebuilt. After WWII, North Town became known as Old Town. Over time, the area experienced a decline as the business mix and economic climate changed. This area was a hippie haven in the 1960s and 1970s. Then, with an aggressive beautification program, it began to revive itself and became one of Chicago’s first renovated neighborhoods. Today, Old Town is lively, city neighborhood with a strong residential and business base that continues to grow and prosper, yet somehow maintains a certain small-town feel. West of LaSalle Street is the residential district of Old Town, boasting some of the best-preserved turn-of-the-century architecture. The neighborhood is known for its renovated historic charm of town homes, quiet courtyards, and walk-ups. The residential areas rapidly gentrified once the nearby housing project - Cabrini Green - was finally razed. Shopping of all kinds is abundant, as well as cinema, theater, popular restaurants and bars. The center of nightlife in Old Town is Wells Street, where there is as well a string of reliable restaurants and bars. The major strips of commerce are definitely abuzz with the activity of a big city: Wells and Division streets, North Avenue, and the intersection of North and Clybourn avenues. Old Town is home to the famous Second City, the training ground for such comedians as John Belushi, Joan Rivers and other popular stars. The Second City was started in a former Chinese establishment on the edge of Old Town in 1959.

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Old Town Triangle

Old Town Triangle is bounded by Clark Street, North Avenue, and old Ogden Avenue. Old Town is a small neighborhood contained within Lincoln Park. The area includes the "Old Town Triangle", designed a Chicago landmark district in 1977, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Rich in history, it was established in the mid 1800's by German merchants and farmers in search of a better life. Fifty years ago, just after the end of World War II, there was a housing shortage in Chicago, Lincoln Park was ethnic melting pot of Germans, Italians, Jews, Poles, Slovaks, Serbians and Romanians, and Old Town was a budding artist colony. Today, it has become one of the most popular historical city neighborhoods in Chicago. Old Town retains some of its original cobblestone streets and historical streetlights. Homes dating back to the early 1800's have been restored to their original charm. Housing is a mix of condominiums, two flats, rowhouses, townhomes, Victorian single family homes and mansions. Along the main streets there are a variety of highrises to accommodate the growing number of people wanting to live in this charming community. A short walk takes you to Lincoln Park and all of its one-of-a-kind upscale boutiques and restaurants. It is also home to the Second City comedy club. This strong residential and business combination continues to grow and prosper, yet somehow maintains a certain small-town feel. The area has become well known for the annual Old Town Art fair, taking place every June. The prestigious Old Town Art Fair is a juried fine-arts event held in the Old Town Triangle at Wisconsin Street and Lincoln Park West.

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Pilsen

The center of the Pilsen neighborhood is at 18th and Halsted. This is a vibrant family neighborhood with character, art, great food and surprisingly reasonable housing. Located on Chicago's near Southwest Side, Pilsen was originally inhabited by Czech immigrants, who named the district after the second largest city in their homeland. The Czechs were eventually replaced by Germans, who were replaced in turn by Irish and Poles. Today it is a growing neighborhood with a wonderful diversity of cultures, with many colorful restaurants, bakeries and shops. Close to the Loop (Chicago's downtown) and the world-famous Chinatown, residents don't have to go far to experience the finer offerings in Chicago. However, the neighborhood itself has a strong art community, a result of reasonable rents, which are slowly rising. It is also home to the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum. With its many artists and easy location, Pilsen is a popular destination for gallery walks and art shows. Pilsen offers mainly multi-unit housing dating from the late 1800s to post-World War II.

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Ravenswood

Ravenswood is located from Ravenswood Avenue west to the Chicago River, between Montrose and Bryn Mawr Avenues. Ravenswood history began in 1837 when a Swiss immigrant came to Chicago and bought 100 acres of land to farm. Scandinavians, Germans and Irish first settled Ravenswood. The rural, wooded village of Ravenswood was annexed by the city in 1889. Poet Carl Sandburg who was inspired to describe Chicago as the "City of Big Shoulders", lived in Ravenswood on Hermitage Avenue. Ravenswood is one of Chicago’s first planned neighborhoods, popular for its Victorian and Prairie School homes, brick row houses and wide lots. It is combination of grand old homes in residential areas and industrial warehouses along the railway tracks. Now known for its affordable homes, Ravenswood has experienced a real estate renaissance. Property owners have rehabbed the old, historic homes. Ravenswood also offers a great selection of well-maintained, renovated, spacious vintage apartments at reasonable rental rates, many in smaller courtyard buildings. The neighborhood's most expensive area is north of the Sulzer Regional Library. After succeeding waves of immigrants and refugees from eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and around the world, Ravenswood's shops, bars and restaurants represent a wide range of cultures. Ravenswood is home to the Lincoln Square mall where there is a concentration of shops, which sell delicacies from Germany. Attractions such as the internationally known Old Town School of Folk Music and Welles Park are provide cultural and recreational activities. The large park is divided up into playing fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, and a playground. The fieldhouse has a pool and several gyms. Public buses are available at almost every corner and the neighborhood is served by the Brown Line 'L' and the Metra Northwestern Line.

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River North

What began as a neighborhood filled with factories and warehouses has now turned into Chicago’s version of New York’s SoHo, a growing neighborhood filled with art galleries. One newspaper named the gallery area of River North SuHu because of the many art galleries on or near Superior and Huron. In fact, Friday afternoons, you can find many Chicagoans going from one gallery opening to another on their way home from work. River North contains more trendy restaurants and dance clubs than anyone could hit in a month of weekends. The neighborhood covers a wide area, with an artsy gallery area to the west and big-name tourist attractions to the east. River North is home to over-the-top attractions like the Rainforest Cafe, themed restaurants such as Hard Rock Cafe, Ed Debevic's, and huge stores like the eight-story Sportmart. The area around Ontario and Ohio streets has been called the Windy City's tourist trap—but it draws many locals as well. Whatever your tastes, whether you're with the kids or on a date, River North has old favorites and new adventures for you to try. The large building that sits on the north side of the river, The Merchandise Mart, has been renovated into a first-class shopping center. Formally owned by the Kennedy family, The Merchandise Mart and the Apparel Center across the street are the center of Chicago’s furniture and fashion design industry. Many of the warehouses in River West have been turned into loft space for apartments and offices. As with any up and coming neighborhood, the rents have risen steadily but especially in this neighborhood with its proximity to Michigan Avenue.

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River West

On the west bank of the Chicago River's South Branch is the area known as River West. It is part of the West Loop community. Bordered by Division, Grand, and the Kennedy Expressway (Routes 90/94), it rubs elbows with trendy Wicker Park and artistic River North. Once a thriving market area, River West still boasts many charming traditional family-owned restaurants, bakeries, and flower and produce stands. Today, it is being rediscovered by a new generation of city-dwellers.  As Wicker Park, River North, Little Italy, Greek Town and the Loop are all just a few blocks away River West residents enjoy unparalleled access to some of the most exciting neighborhoods and districts in Chicago. On its own, it has many of the city's finer restaurants and cafés, particularly along Randolph Street where many old warehouses and markets have been transformed into premier dining destinations. River West is a place where art galleries live inside converted loft spaces, and many performance artists promote and teach their trades in unexpectedly large studios. Plus, River West boasts the United Center stadium, home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks and a venue for some of the world's most popular musicians and entertainers. Television diva Oprah Winfrey chose River West as the home for her Harpo Studios. Considered a less expensive option to River North, River West offers dozens of new office and residential loft conversions, many renovated two- and three-flats, newly constructed townhomes, and brand-new loft communities rising from old warehouses and factories.

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Rogers Park

Rogers Park is located on the northern most edge of Chicago’s city limits and its borders are from Devon on the South; Evanston Border on the north, Western Ave. on the West and the Lake on the east. Rogers Park is gaining more attention from would be home buyers and renters. Rogers Park housing ranges from wealthier upper middle class homes and condos found on the east side of Sheridan Road along the lake to some of the northside's lowest income housing north of Howard Street, with everything in between. A lot of development is going on currently. The classic style architecture includes large victorians, bungalows and large courtyard style. People are attracted to the area by the lake, beaches and affordable housing. Generally, the apartments in Rogers Park are less expensive than other areas because of the distance from the Loop. There is a high-rise construction ban from Sheridan Road east to the lake. Most buildings in the area are either low-rise or two- and three- flats. Several rental buildings have recently been purchased and renovated. The housing stock in Rogers Park is over 50% apartments or multi-unit buildings. Most of the housing stock was built in the 1920's and 30's. Rogers Park is the only Chicago community with direct access to the lake. In this neighborhood the buildings have been constructed right next to the beach. With 8 beaches, the lake is right at the end of the block. Culturally, it actually is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the United States among its 63,000 residents. According to the latest census figures, the neighborhood is 32 percent white, 30 percent black, 28 percent Latino, and 6 percent Asian (West Rogers Park is 23 percent Asian). Rogers Park offers everything from Indian, Pakistani, Russian and Orthodox Jewish markets and restaurants along Devon Avenue to art and coffee houses on Sheridan Road. Close to the lake is a lively hispanic community with a largely Mexican population. West on Devon is one of the largest Indian communities in the country. Further west is the heart of one of Chicago's historic Jewish communities, founded in the early 20th century. Rogers Park is also the home of Loyola University. More than 10,000 students live here among the immigrants from Asia and Latin American and Russia.

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Roscoe Village

Located between Belmont and Addison Avenues and west from Damen to Western Avenue. Roscoe Village is within the larger neighborhood of Lakeview in the western portion. Settled in the late nineteenth century largely by Germans, greenhouses covered much of Roscoe Village. After the 1871 Chicago Fire, there was some new construction to the area. On its western edge was Riverview Amusement Park, a Chicago landmark opened in 1904 and closed in 1967. Riverview billed itself as the "World's Largest Amusement Park." Roscoe Village is a peaceful, working class neighborhood that has become more and more appealing because of its tree-lined streets and reasonable prices. This area attracts working couples and families and a growing number of urban professionals. Roscoe Village features a charming small town area on Roscoe Street from Damen to Western with restaurants, antiques dealers and small shops. Antique Row is a five block stretch on Belmont from Damen to Western which is the largest concentration of antique stores in the Midwest. Less crowded than other Lincoln Park and Lake View areas, this peaceful neighborhood is comprised primarily of post World War II bungalows and 2 and 3 flats dating from the early 1900's. Many have been converted to single family homes. A great deal of rehabbing is underway in the residential area. In Roscoe Village, the average price in 1998 for a single family home was $257,339. Roscoe Village also has loft and work/studio spaces available at reasonable prices. The recent renovation of an old manufacturing building into condominium lofts together with the opening of Whole Foods supermarket on Ashland Avenue caters to the young professionals moving to this area. Many ethnic businesses, new restaurants, and a variety of services have opened as well. Parking in Roscoe Village is relatively easy, with plenty of metered and free spots along Roscoe or nearby side streets. Roscoe Village is four miles north of the Loop. Lake Shore Drive and the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) are within easy driving distance. There are ‘L’ stops at Belmont and Sheffield.

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Sauganash

Sauganash, named after the Sauganash Hotel, circa. 1831, is in the Jefferson Park community, northwest of Chicago’s downtown. Today, with its beautiful mature trees, and a broad collection of housing styles, many city-dwellers choose Sauganash over the suburbs. Sauganash is a family-oriented community with superior access to the Kennedy Expressway (routes 90/94), CTA and trains. Its borders include Devon, Bryn Mawr, Pulaski and Cicero. In the heart of the neighborhood is Sauganash Park. It provides residents with an excellent combination of arts and sports. Its fieldhouse includes a 150-seat auditorium, which offers lessons in everything from piano and guitar lessons to hip-hop and theater. The fieldhouse also provides opportunities for basketball, volleyball, floor hockey and other indoor sports. Although it has its share of condominiums and multi-units, Sauganash has one of the widest varieties of single-family home styles and vintages in the city. Ranch houses from the 1950s are most common but the neighborhood is also home to a number of Cape Cods, Georgians, bungalows and older frame homes.

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South Loop

The South Loop has been developing since the early 80’s and continues to experience a construction boom. A century ago, this neighborhood was Chicago’s most famous gambling and prostitution district. Today the South Loop consists of three neighborhoods – Dearborn Park, Printer’s Row and River City – and a new neighborhood called Central Station is being developed east of Michigan Avenue, south of Roosevelt Road across Lake Shore Drive from the Field Museum. Dearborn Park is a 20-year-old condo development built on land that was owned by several railroads. It’s just south of the Loop between State Street and Clark Street, and south of Polk Street to 15th Street. The neighborhood has a grammar school and housing for senior citizens. Printer’s Row is a condo and rental area in loft buildings. It is located directly southwest of the Loop. Every year the neighborhood hosts a large book fair. There are plenty of bookstores, restaurants, and bars. You’ll find this to be a very convenient location if you work in the Loop. River City, a little further south, has arresting views of the city and also has docking facilities for up to 70 boats on the south branch of the Chicago River. This neighborhood is a city within a city. Containing 70 apartments, restaurants, a health club, and many other amenities, if not for all the other great attractions in Chicago, there would be no real reason to ever venture out of River City. Central Station a 72-acre project boasts Mayor Richard M. Daley and his family who moved there after their longtime home in Bridgeport. With over 180 homes, and it’s proximity to Lake Shore Drive, this neighborhood should see more development in the form of retail and office space in years to come.

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Streeterville

Much of Streeterville was once Lake Michigan. The neighborhood was named for one of Chicago’s great eccentrics, George Wellington “Cap” Streeter. In 1886, Streeter ran his schooner aground on a sandbar near Michigan Avenue. Unable to dislodge the vessel, he turned it into a home. Slowly, landfill turned the lake into land and Streeter laid claim to 168 acres of land. After some clashes with the local police and battles in court, he was finally evicted. But he continued to lay claim to the area known as Streeterville until his death in 1921. (The case was just recently settled within the last few years.) Streeterville is the very heart of North Michigan Avenue. There you will find Chicago’s high-end shopping district, featuring Water Tower Place (Marshall Field’s, Lord & Taylor), 900 North Michigan Avenue (Bloomingdale’s, Gucci), as well as Neiman Marcus, Nordstroms, Saks Fifth Avenue, Crate & Barrel, Virgin Records, The Apple Store, and many, many more. In addition to restaurants and movie theaters, Streeterville also holds Northwestern University’s Chicago campus, which includes both law and medical schools. Also the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business calls Streeterville home. In fact you can find almost here, except a parking space. The parking in Streeterville is next to impossible and you could spend the whole afternoon looking for a spot, unless you rent a space.

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Tri-Taylor

Tri-Taylor has the following boundaries: Roosevelt (1200 S) to Harrison (600 S), Halsted (800 W) to Ashland (1600 W) As a port of entry for new arrivals, this area was packed with immigrants from all over the world at the turn of the century. Today's Near West Side, anchored by the University of Illinois at Chicago and Chicago's medical district, preserves its ethnic heritage in such charming enclaves as Greek Town and Little Italy. In a city such as Chicago where neighborhoods are a source of strong local pride, this section several miles west of the Loop did not even have a name until recently. The area has revived enough to be considered worthy of a name : Tri-Taylor. This neighborhood is energetic with new life due to new development as government, institutions and community work together. Tri-Taylor is full of affordable single-family homes and townhomes. And everything is within walking distance. Once known as Little Italy, Taylor Street still has some of the best Italian restaurants and bakeries in the city. Chicago's Greek Town was displaced north to its current location on Halsted and most of the present restaurants and business opened from 1970 to 1990. Tri-Taylor Historic District, a national landmark neighborhood, is located just west of the Medical Center on Oakley from Grenshaw to Congress Parkway Many of the buildings were constructed just after the fire of 1872 and are unique in being built of Joliet limestone. Like so many other neighborhoods in Chicago, it is undergoing extensive renovation of the buildings by homeowners. Residents are turning the neighborhood around, restoring abandoned buildings. The whole community is behind the effort.

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Ukrainian Village

The best-known neighborhood in West Town is Ukrainian Village and is a largely residential area that reflects the German, Polish and Ukrainian immigrants who settled on the North Side in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Ukrainian Village has recently become the target of real estate interests, so the boundaries of the neighborhood have become more fluid. Ukrainian Village is located on both sides of Chicago Avenue from Damen Avenue to beyond Western Avenue. It is approximately a 32-square-block area northwest of downtown. Ukrainian Village has an ethnically diverse population today, but remains a focal point for the Chicago area's Ukrainian community because of the Ukrainian businesses, organizations and churches that are based in the neighborhood. With 10,000 Ukrainians living here, it is one of Chicago's most original ethnic neighborhoods. The storefronts have Ukrainian signs, bakeries and delis carry pierogi, dumplings and other specialties, and radio shows broadcast in Ukrainian. The numerous churches are the centers of community activity. Their gilded domes rise above the neighborhood. Centrally located is the Ukrainian Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral, built in 1903. This church encouraged the first migration of Ukrainians into the area. The Cathedral and rectory were designed by Louis H. Sullivan, and became a Chicago Landmark in 1979. Ukrainian Village is a cohesive residential area of solid, Victorian-style housing, workers cottages and tidy red brick two- and three-flats. The vintage buildings display the high-quality workmanship and detailing that Ukrainians loved. It is a beautiful area and the streets, yards, and buildings are well-maintained with lovely gardens and balconies. Ukrainian Village is currently experiencing a trend toward rehabbing evident by the large amount of renovation and redevelopment going on. Vintage housing is rarely listed on the market, as they are passed on to family members or sold to neighbors. However, there is also construction of new townhouses. The style of the new buildings blends well with the older architecture in the area. The area west of Western Avenue offers comparative bargain prices and people are now moving west of Western, because east of Western is just becoming too expensive.

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University Village

University Village, on the Near West Side, is undergoing an exciting period of development and rejuvenation. The ongoing, positive influence of University of Illinois at Chicago has dramatically changed the face of the area. Today, urban dwellers who want to live and play close to work are converging on the area, attracted by its amazing location and excellent opportunity for growth. It has becoming a dynamic and desirable residential district, complete with a beautiful, park-like environment. As University Village brushes up against Little Italy and Greektown, it is full of multi-cultural, artistic, family-owned restaurants and shops. Additionally, many cosmopolitan wine bars, restaurants and boutiques are sprouting up to add Chicago’s brand of chic to the area. University Village is an easy 10-minute commute or drive to Chicago’s Loop, giving excellent access to Chicago’s financial district, world-class restaurants, theaters and shops. Just as other communities of the city are being renewed, nearby Maxwell Street is being reborn. The famous street market now has a more permanent home with indoor/outdoor market stalls and ample parking. University Village is where luxury townhomes and loft conversions intermix with renovated vintage rowhouses and two-flats. As it is growing in popularity, many consider it to be an excellent place to live and invest.

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Uptown

Bounded by Irving Park Road to the south, Foster Avenue to the north, Clark Avenue to the west, and Lake Michigan to the east, Uptown includes areas such as Buena Park and Sheridan Park. Built as a luxury lakeside summer resort in the 1890s, it became the center of moviemaking after World War I. Chicago was a major force in film production where Charlie Chaplin shot his first films in 1915. The name Uptown seems to have come from one of the trendy department stores once in the area. Uptown has a long history as an entertainment center. The namesake Uptown Theater included nearly 4,500 seats. Frank Sinatra sang in the ornate Aragon Ballroom, another landmark. Uptown once was home to Gloria Swanson, Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin. Like other areas of Chicago, Uptown began to deteriorate after World War II and many of its affluent residents fled to the suburbs. With a shortage of more affordable housing, spacious old homes and apartments were converted into rooming houses. Uptown is today one of Chicago's most ethnically and economically diverse neighborhoods. Its 63,551 population (2000) includes immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia, Ethiopia and Bosnia and. Argyle Street, with its many ethnic businesses is the commercial heart of Chicago's Southeast Asian. Little Saigon on Argyle Street represents a sampling of Vietnamese culture, including restaurants and stores. The housing stock of Uptown is eclectic, from mansions along Lake Michigan to abandoned buildings along Broadway Avenue. In between there are upscale, single-family homes and lakefront condominiums, moderately priced private apartments, well-managed subsidized family apartments, and tenant-purchased building. While Uptown has a large percentage of buildings with 50 or more units, it also has smaller scale buildings. Many three flats are being renovated into affordable condominiums. There are many new residential buildings that have recently been completed or proposed. This mixed housing stock allows Uptown to accommodate various groups from different racial, ethnic, economic, and social backgrounds. New homebuyers are moving to Uptown because the prices are lower than other nearby communities and fewer crowds than Lincoln Park. Its location near both the lake and rapid transit, along with its beautiful architecture, makes it a perfect location for those trying to extend Lincoln Park north along the Lakefront. There is also a growing stock of new homes in Uptown. New residents also like the prices as there are still bargains to be found, but property prices are rising. Uptown is also home to the Truman City College of Chicago that provides a lot of different community activities.

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Wicker Park

The boundaries of Wicker Park are North Ave. on the North, Division St. on the South, Western Ave on the West, and Ashland on the East. The center of all the action is at the intersection of Damen, Milwaukee and North Avenues. Wandering the streets from this location, you’ll run across some appealing shops that add to the unique flavor of the neighborhood. It is one of the most eclectic, artsy areas of Chicago. Wicker Park is a fun, attractive area considered by some to be the hippest place to live in the city. The historic area of Wicker Park is noticeable by the attractive three-flats and old 1800 mansions, of note - Beer Baron Row (Hoyne Street between Pierce and Schiller). It is an architecturally diverse variety of Victorian homes and modern low-rise buildings. Cheap buildings, low rents and a convenient El stop brought bohemian chic to Wicker Park. This area is now called home by a large group of working artists and musicians. The annual Around the Coyote Art Show occurs in September when more than 300 local artists open their studios to the public. It is a huge event that brings thousands of art-lovers and collectors from all over the city. There is the newly renovated fountain in Wicker Park at 1425 N. Damen. The Victorian fountain was rebuilt after some of the original molds used in its casting were found at an ironworks company in Alabama. In the offbeat quality of this remarkable neighborhood, you will find a new upscale restaurant next to a little boutique selling all kinds of vintage and kitschy items. Its restaurants, bars, galleries, street musicians, and boutiques contribute to the amiability and charm of this considerably real neighborhood.

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Wrigleyville

The charming area of Wrigleyville is part of the larger Lakeview neighborhood. It centers on Clark Street in the area between Irving Park Road to the north, Roscoe Street to the south, Fremont Street to the east and Southport Avenue to the west. The neighborhood is named for Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs. It is located right in the middle of an urban neighborhood and has become a vital part of the neighborhood. The surrounding streets largely revolve around the ballpark. Fans from all over come to enjoy Wrigley Field, hot-dogs, and sport bars. This ballpark has had positive impact upon its surroundings. At one time when the area was down, Wrigley Field was the institution in the neighborhood that brought people in and supported the retail and service facilities. There is housing across the street from the stadium along with numerous restaurant and bars. Apartment buildings across from Wrigley Field sell for a premium because fans can sit on the roof and watch the game. Now, condos are being constructed amid the 100-yr-old three flats and two flats with original woodwork and bay windows. But it is much more then just a sporting neighborhood. Wrigleyville provides and a wide range of activities, from drinks and dinner to dancing. Clark Street has a wide range of ethnic cuisines and unique shops, all within a few short blocks. The southern edge reflects the influence of neighboring Boys Town. Wrigleyville is now home to many young professionals who enjoy its proximity to Lake Michigan. Yet even with Wrigleyville’s enormous variety, a charming neighborhood feeling pervades. Congestion and parking can be bad, especially during a ball game. Many residents supplement their income by renting out their garages to fans during the season. The area is very accessible by public transportation. The Red Line el stops at Addison, next to Wrigley Field. The 22 bus runs down Clark Street.


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