North Center offers a variety of accommodating neighborhoods and an impressive selection of century-old Victorian houses, single-family homes, and townhomes. This area is known around the city for its top-rated schools, which include the Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School and the DeVry University Advantage Academy.
Known for its friendly, small-town vibe, North Center is beloved by locals and highly sought after by everyone else. This neighborhood, less than 8 miles northwest of the Chicago Loop, is a cozy residential retreat that keeps the Windy City’s urban and commercial advantages within arm’s reach.
This neighborhood has a lively character of its own. It has prominent music and theater performance venues nearby, as well as a slate of fun summer festivals on its annual calendar.
A brief history of North Center
In the 19th century, North Center was sparsely occupied by German, Swedish, Irish, and English farming families. It was a top producer of celery throughout the mid- to late- 1800s and truck farming was the primary economic driver.
After the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, North Center capitalized on the increased demand for brick buildings around the city. Its location along the north banks of the Chicago River was ideal for a brick-making industry to flourish.
In the early 1900s, the clay pits left by the brickyards closed down and the few remaining truck farmers also began to warm up to new economic opportunities. Light-manufacturing firms started populating North Center’s eastern border, turning Ravenswood Avenue into an industrial corridor.
Cultural diversity in North Center grew between the 1940s and 1990s. As older residents began moving to the suburbs, the neighborhood eventually accommodated an influx of families of Hispanic and Asian descent.
North Center, Chicago real estate
Homes in North Center reflect the architectural aesthetic embraced by the area’s earliest occupants. Peaceful streets lined with beautiful mature trees make an ideal setting for well-preserved and restored red brick Victorian houses. Single-family houses, as well as attached row homes, are common options in this market.
Choosing the right home in North Center is also a matter of knowing if its districts match your living preferences. Those seeking a quiet environment will do well to search in the Horner Park or Roscoe Village areas. For buyers who want to stay in the thick of all the community festivals and events, living close to the North Center Town Square is the way to go.
Lifestyle in North Center
From must-visit dining and shopping centers to exciting community events, North Center has everything you could ever want in an urban neighborhood.
- Where to eat
North Center’s German heritage has a prominent influence on this neighborhood’s dining scene. Laschet’s Inn is a local favorite, presenting an impressive German-American menu. For more adventurous palates, Bad Apple has creative takes on the all-American burger, plus a wide selection of craft beers.
- Where to shop
Lincoln Avenue is the place to go for shopping in North Center, with unique boutique stores to explore. Town Square is also fun to check out in the warmer months as it hosts a weekly farmers’ market.
- Local schools
North Center is home to some of the most sought-after schools in Chicago. The Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School, celebrated nationwide as one of Chicago’s best schools, is one of this area’s main draws. Lane Tech College Prep High School and the DeVry University Advantage Academy are also notable schools.
- Signature attractions
The Retro on Roscoe Festival is this neighborhood’s most popular event. Scheduled every August in Roscoe Village, this weekend-long party showcases top local talent on three live music stages. The signature vintage car show puts the “retro” in Retro on Roscoe, making it a true crowd-pleaser for both Chicagoans and outsiders alike.
Start exploring the diverse range of homes for sale in North Center, Chicago with Cain Chicago Residential. George Cain will guide you to the top listings that match your real estate goals with his expert local knowledge and industry savvy. Inquire today at 773.818.9005 or email GeorgeCain(at)CainChicago(dotted)com.
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