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Wicker Park

The name has nothing to do with woven baskets but instead comes from the neighborhood's founding fathers, Joel and Charles Wicker. In 1870, the Wicker brothers bought eighty acres of land in the center of what is now the Wicker Park neighborhood. The Wicker's donated four acres to the development of a park, (the triangular-shaped Wicker Park) and began developing the rest. Their efforts were recognized as middle and upper class families migrated to the neighborhood, especially after the Great Chicago Fire devastated downtown and pushed residents outward from Chicago’s center. The influx of new populations to the area hasn't stopped since. With a gentrification process that began in the late 1980s, Wicker Park has managed to maintain some of its bohemian charm with vintage and resale shops, record stores and live music venues coexisting with an influx of chain stores, banks and high-end boutiques. Read more

Bucktown

First known as Kozie Prery (Goat Prairie) to its original Polish inhabitants, the shorter and much catchier moniker, Bucktown, soon prevailed as the neighborhood's nickname. This was a no-brainer for Bucktown's 19th century residents, who were largely goat herders. The term for a male goat is “buck” and the new “town” designation suited their rural yet developing lifestyle. While it has been a long time since Bucktown was home to any livestock, traces of the 1700s can be seen in the neighborhood's architecture and the small town community feel that persists among the old churches, grassy parks and tree-lined side streets. Read more

Ukrainian Village

Ukrainian Village got its start as a working class neighborhood after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 when settlers (mostly

German) began their push outward from the city's fire ravaged downtown.

Unlike its more upscale neighbors to the north in Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village was more of a working class community. Soon after the German immigrants came an influx of people from Russian and Ukrainian descent. The Ukrainians quickly comprised the bulk of the new population and consequently, the area soon took on the name and character of its new Eastern European residents. While many Ukrainian establishments still exist in the neighborhood today, and it is still possible to hear Ukrainian spoken on the streets, you are just as likely to hear Polish and Spanish as well. Ukrainian Village is home to several beautiful European style churches, the most notable is Holy Trinity Cathedral which was constructed in 1903 and was funded in part by Russian Czar, Nicholas II. Read more

West Loop

The area that is now the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago started out as a warehouse district in the 1700s. What that means for today's residents is a hip urban environment with a wealth of art galleries and true loft spaces the kind with exposed bricks, completely open layouts and wood beam ceilings. Close enough to the Loop for a quick work commute but not engulfed by towering high-rises, the West Loop is a perfect middle ground for many of Chicago's young working adults and families just starting out. Read more

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Navy Pier

Chicago Botanical Garden

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Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago Public School


What to see in West Town?

  • Sompolski Alliance Bakery
  • Brown and Koppel Restaurant
  • Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral
  • Old Tuley High School
  • Lutheran Church
  • WW1 Cannon (1878)
  • Century Old Cobblestone Alley
  • Association House Social Settlement
  • 1870's Farm House
  • Flat Iron Building
  • Chicago Fire Station
  • Club Lucky
  • St. Mary of the Angels Church
  • Drummon Public School
  • Hostein Park
  • Margies (best candy store)

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