A LITTLE ABOUT IRVING PARK
If you’re a fan of classic Victorian homes, and classic Two-Flats, look no further than Irving Park. Located in the Northwest Side. Packed with an immense amount of architectural history, which can even be traced back to years before the great fire of 1871, everything from residences listed in the National Register of Historic Places, to eye catching family estates. Its menus are anything besides uniform, ranging from Mirabell, and Austrian-German restaurant that perfectly reflects the neighborhood’s European roots, to its most well known spot, Arun’s. It boasts a great variety of restaurants, that will make sure, even those with an expansive pallette, find something new to try. When it comes to entertainment, you can take a tour through Chicago Hauntings, known for being Chicago’s most notorious, Dark history, Ghost and haunting tours. You won’t fall short of finding new things to experience in Irving Park.
IRVING PARK HISTORY
When Charles Race purchased a parcel of land outside Chicago in 1869, he intended to set up a modest farm. Race’s business sense got the better of him, however, when he realized that the nearby Chicago & North Western Railroad was a potential jackpot. He set up a depot and named his newly minted town Irvington, in honor of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow author Washington Irvingâ€”somewhere down the line the name was changed to Irving Park.
As the town’s population grew, the community advertised itself as a hip new suburb of Chicago, notable for upscale homes, tree-lined streets and easy train access to the city. The Irving Park neighborhood became a mecca for upper class Chicagoans tired of the downtown grind but wary of the longer commute to Evanston or Oak Park. Community groups and arts societies began cropping up, establishing Irving Park as a small-scale cultural center.
The suburb was annexed to the city in 1889 and thereafter settled into a quiet, mostly residential Chicago neighborhood. The stylish yet affordable surroundings made the Irving Park neighborhood a popular address for both the affluent and the city’s growing middle class. Thousands of new homes were built in the 1890s, attracting scores of new residents, with German and Scandinavian immigrants comprising a large chunk of the populace. An influx of Eastern European immigrants in the 1930s brought a strong Polish and Russian influence to the neighborhood, and more recently the area’s Hispanic population has boomed, with Latinos now accounting for nearly half of Irving Park residents.
Today’s Irving Park remains a low-key but vibrant community. The western third of the neighborhood, known as Old Irving Park, is slightly more affluent and houses a good portion of the area’s merchants. Business is mostly limited to main thoroughfares, especially Irving Park Road. Neighborhood taverns and a few live music venues are the extent of Irving Park nightlife, but the galleries and theaters of Logan Square and Wicker Park are only a brief train ride away.
IRVING PARK FACTS
Bordering Neighborhoods: Avondale, Old Irving Park, Albany Park, North Center, St. Benâ€™s
Boundaries: Montrose Avenue to the north, the Chicago River to the east, Addison Street to the south, and Pulaski Street to the west
Crime Statistics: Go to CLEARMap to search specific streets and areas for crime incidents
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Irving Park Real Estate
These days, the neighborhood is a fairly prototypical northwest side community. Irving Park real estate is comprised mostly of two- and three-flat condos, frame houses, and bungalows. Homes in Irving Park feature some of the city’s most beautiful architecture, reminiscent of the stately family manors of Oak Park. The five-acre Villa Historic District, located east of Pulaski Road and north of Waveland Avenue, boasts more than 120 architecturally significant bungalows, including two buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
While there are some warehouses and industrial stretches, mostly along the diagonal-running Elston Avenue, the bulk of the neighborhood is middle-class residential favoring family-oriented dwellings. The streets are lined with trees, and once you turn off the main roads, car traffic is minimal. Most blocks are friendly, ethnically mixed communities unto themselves, with backyard barbecues in the summer and pre-work shoveling parties in the winter.
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