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Far North Side


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Far North Side District's



Rogers Park Community

Rogers Park Neighborhoods
Arcadia Terrace, Glenwood Arts District, Jarvis Square, Loyola, and Rogers Park 

Chicago Public Library, Rogers Park Branch


Rogers Park Neighborhood
Early settler Philip Rogers bought this lakeside land in 1836 for $1.25 an acre. His son-in-law Patrick L. Touhy developed the area, gave it the family name, and started its rise to the bustling residential community that would eventually be incorporated into Chicago.

Glenwood Arts District Neighborhood
Rogers Park's thriving arts and entertainment district is along Glenwood Avenue, from which it gets its name. There are three award-winning theaters, a variety of live music venues, art studios, and galleries in the district.

The District annually sponsors the spectacular Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest, a free, weekend-long arts festival that features 100+ artists, open studios, and live entertainment on three outdoor stages. The 13th annual Fest will take place the weekend of August 15-17, 2014

Jarvis Square Neighborhood
The name for the area evolved from the numerous week-end Flea Markets that were held during the summers of 2003-2005 by The Harvest, an antique resale shop once located on the southeast corner. New businesses have generated a revival in the Jarvis Square economy since 2000. 

Loyola Neighborhood
Loyola University originally opened as St. Ignatius College in 1870 and was named after Ignatius of Loyola, a Spanish knight and nobleman who turned priest and theologian. Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits' Order, and helped establish Jesuit schools and universities all over Europe and the world.

Unfortunately, no historical information was found on the Arcadia Terrace Neighborhood.





West Ridge Community

West Ridge Neighborhoods
Arcadia Terrace, Golden Ghetto, Peterson Park, Rosehill Cemetery, West Rogers Park, and West Ridge

Impressive Entrance of Rosehill Cemetery

West Ridge Neighborhood
The neighborhoods of West Ridge and Rogers Park were combined until the 1890s when a conflict concerning their park districts erupted. Later known as the Cabbage War, the dispute resulted in their division into two neighborhoods. Historically, however, West Ridge is still referred to as West Rogers Park and is sometimes also called North Town.

Golden Ghetto Neighborhood
The Golden Ghetto acquired its name from the thriving Jewish community that settled here from about 1930 to the mid-1970s. As they began to drift into the suburbs in the 1960s, and the neighborhood became home to South Asians and Russian Jews. The heyday of the area is the topic of Adam Langer's Crossing California, told from the perspective of the second-generation residents during their middle school and teenage years.

Peterson Park Neighborhood
In the 1850s, European pioneers from Germany, Luxembourg, and Sweden came across this gorgeous riverside setting and established their farms along the mineral-rich banks. Swedish horticulturalist, Pehr Samuel Peterson, started a landscape business and thanks to the 500 acres of property he obtained and cultivated, his nursery helped blanket the city’s parks and neighborhoods with plants and trees. Following his death in early 1900, Peterson’s heirs gave a significant piece of land to the city, which was later turned into Peterson Park Grounds, located just southwest of the neighborhood’s southern boundary.

Rosehill Cemetery Neighborhood
A Victorian era cemetery, Rosehill is the largest cemetery in the City of Chicago. The area was originally called "Roe's Hill," named for farmer Hiram Roe who sold the land with the stipulation that the cemetery be named in his honor. However, a City Clerk’s error resulted in the name change to “Rosehill,” which remains uncorrected to this day.





Uptown Community

Uptown Neighborhoods
Buena Park, Clarendon Park, Graceland Cemetery, Margate Park, New Chinatown, Ravenswood, Sheridan Park, and Uptown

Uptown Theater: a Massive, Ornate Movie Palace Built in 1925


Uptown Neighborhood
For most of Chicago's early history, Uptown neighborhood stores were the northern destinations for commercial rail lines carrying Chicago shoppers. The neighborhood derived its name from the Uptown Store, which was the commercial center for the community. Later, Uptown became a summer resort town for downtown dwellers when wealthy Chicagoans flocked to the area and bought residential property.

Buena Park Neighborhood
The development of Buena Park actually predates Uptown when Robert A. Waller, a prominent real estate developer and others, began building homes there during the 1870s. Waller contributed to the expansion of the suburb in 1887 when he subdivided his considerable property and offered it up for residential growth. For his role in Buena Park’s progression, Waller is considered the neighborhood’s founder though the area does not bear his name.

Graceland Cemetery Neighborhood
Graceland Cemetery was established originally outside city limits in 1860. As the Chicago grew northward, the area was engulfed by the city's boundaries. Graceland is typical of those of the early 19th century. Instead of poorly maintained headstones and bodies buried on top of each other on a tiny piece of land, the cemetery became a graceful, pastoral landscaped park dotted with memorial markers, with room left over for picnics—a common usage of cemeteries. Many of the tombs were created by famous architects and sculptors of the time.

Margate Park Neighborhood
The Margate Park neighborhood took its name from Margate Public Park, which was part of the Lincoln Park renewal plan in 1869.

New Chinatown Neighborhood
New Chinatown should not be confused with Old Chinatown on Chicago’s south side. This particular neighborhood is centered on Argyle Street and is somewhat of a misnomer given that it is largely represented by people of Southeast Asian heritage.

Sheridan Park Neighborhood
Sheridan Park was named in honor of Civil War hero Philip Henry Sheridan in 1912. Sheridan was a successful Union Army cavalry commander and was the subject of Thomas Buchanan Read's poem "Sheridan's Ride."

Unfortunately, no historical information was found on the Clarendon Park neighborhood.

Details on the Ravenswood neighborhood will be found later in this series.




Lincoln Square Community

Lincoln Square Neighborhoods
Bowmanville, Budlong Woods, Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, and Ravenswood Gardens


Entrance to Lincoln Square Shopping and Restaurant Area


Lincoln Square Neighborhood
This neighborhood was originally known as Celeryville or Pickletown in the 1800s. At the time, proud farmers claimed that it was the celery capital of the United States. Eventually, the cluster of neighborhoods around Celeryville and Pickletown took the name of the main commuter road that ran through it, Lincoln Avenue.

Bowmanville Neighborhood
Established in 1850, Bowmanville was one of many communities annexed by Chicago in 1889. A local inn keeper, Jesse Bowman, sold tracts of land here in the 1850s and then skipped town after buyers learned the land was not his to sell. His name lives on as the namesake of the neighborhood.

Budlong Woods Neighborhood
It's probably safe to say that Budlong Woods is the only Chicago neighborhood named for pickle farmers. The first non-native settlers arrived in what we know today as Budlong Woods back in the 1850s and 1860s. Most were farmers from Germany, Sweden, and Luxembourg. Two of these settlers, Lyman and Joseph Budlong, started growing cucumbers; and in 1857 they founded the Budlong Pickle Farm and Factory, one of the area's first major employers. The business took off, and the factory became the primary supplier of pickles and pickled beets in the Chicago area.

Ravenswood Neighborhood
The Ravenswood neighborhood began as one of the city's first suburbs in 1868 when the Ravenswood Land Company, a group of businessmen and developers, started buying land for residential use. Later, Ravenswood Gardens and Ravenswood Manor (Albany Park community), two new residential subdivisions, were developed and capitalized on the Ravenswood name, which by then was synonymous with quality residential building.




Edison Park Community

Edison Park Neighborhoods 
Edison Park and Norwood Park West

Edison Park Metra Station


Edison Park Neighborhood
The Edison Park neighborhood was named after Thomas Alva Edison, who consented to the neighborhood title in 1890. Edison Park was a fitting title as it was one of the first neighborhoods in Chicago to install electric streetlights at six major intersections. Because of this, Edison Park was originally marketed as Chicago's first "electric suburb."

Details on the Norwood Park neighborhood will be found later in this series.




Norwood Park Community

Norwood Park Neighborhoods
Big Oaks, Norwood Park East, Norwood Park West, O'Hare, Old Norwood Park, Oriole Park, and Union Ridge

Norwood Park Fieldhouse


Norwood Park Neighborhood
This community—incorporated into Chicago in 1874—was named after Norwood, or Village Life in New England, a book by Henry Ward Beecher. Thus, the names of the neighborhoods of Norwood Park East, Norwood Park West, and Old Norwood Park are based on this common source.

Big Oaks Neighborhood
Big Oaks was originally named for the Big Oaks Golf Course, which was demolished in the 1950s to make way for housing. As the name suggests, it is a residential area composed of quiet and charming tree-lined streets.

Oriole Park Neighborhood
The identity of the Oriole Park is tied to the public park that was established in the center of the community in the early 1930s when the area was sparsely settled and semi-rural. With the advent of the newly affordable automobile about the same time, people did not have to be dependent on public transportation and could, and did settle in relatively undeveloped areas in the city. Thus, Oriole Park grew into a residential area.

Union Ridge Neighborhood
The area was first settled in the 1830s by a man named Israel Smith, who built his home on a ridge. His choice of home site caused the area to be referred to as Smith's Ridge by later settlers. After the Smith clan left the area, its name was changed. One of the highest points in the Chicago, Union Ridge is sometimes considered to be an "island in the city."

Details on the O'Hare neighborhood will be found later in this series.





Jefferson Park Community

Jefferson Park Neighborhoods
Gladstone Park, Jefferson Park,
Norwood Park East

"Get your tickets here for the Journey of Discovery!"
says the ex-President.


Jefferson Park Neighborhood
Originally called Jefferson Township, this community and neighborhood was named after Thomas Jefferson and was separate from Chicago until 1889 when it was incorporated into the city.

Gladstone Park Neighborhood
The neighborhood was named after British Prime Minister William Gladstone, who served in the office a record four separate times. (In Chicago, that is considered short-term.)




Forest Glen

Forest Glen Neighborhoods
Forest Glen, Jefferson Park, Middle Edgebrook, North Edgebrook, Old Edgebrook, Sauganash, South Edgebrook, Wildwood

One of the Fine Homes of Forest Glen


Forest Glen Neighborhood
Forest Glen’s history goes back to 1866 when Union veteran of the American Civil War Capt. William Cross Hazelton built a barn, the first structure in the area. It is believed he used his mustering out pay to purchase the land that he would farm and that would later become the town of Forest Glen. Capt. Hazelton was an enterprising sort, and by 1881 he had not only the farm but had also built the first general store. His farm was said to have become the chief supplier of cherries for the Chicago market.

Edgebrook Neighborhood
The "brook" that this area "edges" is actually the North Branch of the Chicago River. Edgebrook was plotted in 1894 to be a golf course/adjacent suburb. The course remains, although the suburb has long since been absorbed by Chicago.

Sauganash Neighborhood
This neighborhood is named after Billy Caldwell, also known as Sauganash, meaning English speaking. He was born in Canada in 1780 to a Wyandot mother and an Irish father, moved to Chicago in 1820, and became a prominent citizen during the city's early days. The government granted him a 1200-acre reservation along the Chicago River, and part of this area bears his name to this day.

Middle Edgebrook, North Edgebrook, Old Edgebrook, and South Edgebrook take their names from neighboring Edgebrook.

Unfortunately, no historical information was found on the Wildwood neighborhood.




North Park

North Park Neighborhoods
Albany Park, Brynford Park, Hollywood Park, North Mayfair, North Park, Pulaski Park, River's Edge, Sauganash, and Sauganash Woods

North Park University in North Park, Illinois


North Park Neighborhood
In the late 1850s, German and Swedish farmers settled the land in the fork between the North Shore Channel and the North Branch of the Chicago River. In 1894, construction of North Park University began on 8.5 acres of land donated by the Swedish University Association of the Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant. The small town slowly replaced existing dirt paths with planned cobblestone streets. A sanitation system was created by installing sewer pipes, and boardwalks were laid to give the little North Park community the feeling of a real town.

Brynford Park Neighborhood
The Brynford Park Neighborhood is named after the Brynford Public Park and Playlot. The name is a mix of two major streets in the area: Bryn Mawr and Crawford Avenues.

Hollywood Park Neighborhood
John Lewis Cochran, a prominent developer of Chicago neighborhoods, named Hollywood Avenue and Hollywood Park after that Hollywood--he had lived in California for part of his life.

Pulaski Park Neighborhood
This neighborhood within North Park is named after Casimir Pulaski, a Polish nobleman and cavalry commander who fought and died for the Americans during the Revolutionary War. (Pulaski Park neighborhood is nowhere near Pulaski Park itself, which is in the West Town Community.)

No historical information on North Mayfair was found.

Sauganash Woods' name comes from the Sauganash neighborhood in the Forest Glen community.

Details on the Albany Park neighborhood will be found later in this series.




Albany Park

Albany Park Neighborhoods
Albany Park, Mayfair, North Mayfair, and Ravenswood Manor

Albany Park Bungalows


Albany Park Neighborhood
In 1893, a group of investors purchased 640 acres for development. The group included four prominent Chicagoans: streetcar magnate DeLancy Louderback, John J. Mitchell of Illinois Trust and Savings Bank, Clarence Buckingham of Northwestern Elevated Railroad, and Charles T. Yerkes, a transportation mogul. Louderback, a native of Albany, New York, named the development after his hometown. These investors brought transportation lines to Albany Park that proved essential to the area's early commercial and residential expansion.

Unfortunately, no historical information on Mayfair or North Mayfair neighborhoods was found.





O'Hare Neighborhoods
O'Hare and Schorsch Forest View

O'Hare International Airport, Second Busiest in the World


O’Hare Neighborhood
O'Hare International Airport and its surrounding neighborhood were named after Edward "Butch" O'Hare, a Chicagoan and WWII Navy aviator. O'Hare received a Medal of Honor in 1942 for single-handedly attacking a squadron of advancing Japanese bombers while defending the Lexington. He was killed in battle a year later during a night interception mission. The city renamed Old Orchard Depot Airport for him, which is why the airport code is still ORD.

His father, Edward J. O'Hare, was one of Al Capone's lawyers and advisors. The elder O'Hare eventually turned important information over to the government that helped send Capone to jail for tax evasion. In 1939, Edward J. O'Hare was assassinated by two shotgun-wielding henchmen on the West Side, near Douglas Park.

Schorsch Forest View Neighborhood
Schorsch Forest View is an unusual Chicago neighborhood, solely for the fact that it is detached from the rest of the city by acres of forest preserves and suburbs. Situated on the far northwest side of Chicago, this community is known for its gently winding avenues, spacious lots, mature trees and landscaped yards that abut miles of untouched wilderness.



Edgewater Community

Edgewater Neighborhoods
Andersonville, Bryn Mawr Historic District,  Edgewater, Edgewater Beach, Edgewater Glen, Lakewood/Balmoral, and Magnolia Glen

Edgewater Beach Apartments, built in 1927


Edgewater Neighborhood
John Lewis Cochran can rightfully be credited with being Edgewater’s Founding Father: he gave the community its name--in reference to its location at the "edge" of Lake Michigan--and developed more land by far than any other of Edgewater’s other subdividers. He first built mansions on the lakefront for wealthy families and later had smaller houses built to the west. In contrast to other suburban developers, Cochran installed improvements such as sidewalks, sewers, and streetlights before customers moved in. Cochran also founded the Edgewater Light Company to ensure that his buyers could use the most modern conveniences. Cochran's final task was to provide adequate transportation to the area. He persuaded the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad to open a stop on Bryn Mawr Avenue and was instrumental in the creation of the Northwestern Elevated Railroad Company, which in 1908 opened up a connection through to Forest Glen.

Without question, the most luxurious hotel and most well-known building bearing the neighborhood name was Edgewater Beach Hotel. Built in 1916 the hotel had a private beach and offered seaplane service to downtown Chicago. Celebrities flocked to the Edgewater including Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davis, Nat King Cole, and U.S. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower. After the extension of Lake Shore Drive cut the hotel off from the beach, a reduction in business caused the hotel to close its doors in 1967. It was demolished over a 12 month period ending in the spring of 1971.

The Edgewater Beach Apartments, with which the hotel is often confused, however, still stands and is pictured above.

Andersonville Neighborhood
After the Chicago Fire, many of the city's Swedes moved to this area on the North Side to rebuild their lives. It was named for the Andersonville School which in turn was named for Reverend Paul Andersen Norland, who was integral in attracting folks to join the community during its early years. Or quite possibly, the name Andersonville may have come from the popular Swedish surname, Anderson as some historians maintain.

Bryn Mawr Historic District Neighborhood
Bryn Mawr Avenue was named in the 1880s by Edgewater developer John Lewis Cochran after Bryn Mawr station on the Main Line north of Philadelphia. Bryn Mawr is Welsh for Big Hill. Old fashioned green lanterns and lamp posts reminiscent of Chicago in the 1920s and 1930s line the Bryn Mawr Historic District streets. They're adorned with green banners and gold lettering proudly proclaiming the neighborhood's historic significance.

Edgewater Glen Neighborhood
Its name comes from tree lined Glenwood Avenue, which is a residential north-south street in the heart of Edgewater.

Lakewood/Balmoral Neighborhood
John Lewis Cochran—of Edgewater and Hollywood Park fame—purchased the land in 1885 and named the streets after train stops from outside his home town of Philadelphia: Lakewood and Balmoral.

Magnolia Glen Neighborhood
In the Spring of 1888 William Henry Cairnduff, another prominent developer in Edgewater, he bought and subdivided approximately thirty-eight acres of land and called his new subdivision "Cairnduff’s Addition to Edgewater." Today we call it Magnolia Glen. By naming his subdivision as an addition to Edgewater and promoting it as part of Edgewater, he cleverly piggy-backed on Cochran’s previous and concurrent promotional efforts.