Lincoln Park in Chicago

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Lincoln Park, is one of the 77 community areas on Chicago, Illinois North Side, USA. Named after Lincoln Park, a vast park bordering Lake Michigan, the community area is anchored by the Lincoln Park Zoo and DePaul University. Lincoln Park is bordered by the community areas of Lakeview to the north, North Center to the northwest, Logan Square to the west, West Town to the southwest, and Near North to the south.


The area now known as Lincoln Park in Chicago was primarily forest with stretches of grassland and occasional quicksand until the late 1820s when the Europeans arrived.

In 1824 the United States Army built a small post near today's Clybourn Avenue and Armitage Avenue (formerly Centre Street). Indian settlements existed along Green Bay Trail, now called Clark Street (named after George Rogers Clark), at the current intersection of Halsted Street and Fullerton Avenue. Before Green Bay Trail became Clark Street, it stretched as far as Green Bay, Wisconsin, and was part of what still is Green Bay Avenue in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

In 1836, land from North to Fullerton and from the lake to Halsted was relatively inexpensive, costing $150 per acre ($370 ha) / 1836 prices, not adjusted for inflation). Because the area was considered remote, a small pox hospital and the city cemetery were located in Lincoln Park until the 1860s.

In 1837, Chicago was incorporated as a city, and North Avenue (to the south of today's Lincoln Park neighborhood) was established as its northern boundary. Settlements increased along Green Bay Trail when (1) the government offered land claims and (2) Green Bay Road was widened. The area north of Chicago, including today's Lincoln Park, was eventually incorporated as Lake View Township. The city, nonetheless, owned extensive tracts of land north of North Avenue, including what is the now the park. The Township was annexed to Chicago in 1889.

In the period following the Civil War, the area around St. Josaphat's parish around Southport and Clybourn was home to Chicago's Kashubian community, who although Polish in national orientation, possess their own distinct culture and language marked by the distinct influences of their maritime way of life as well as their German neighbors.

Lincoln Park was home to L. Frank Baum (author of "The Wizard of Oz," from which Oz Park takes its name), Buckminster Fuller and the controversial outsider artist, Henry Darger, who worked as a janitor at Children's Memorial Hospital.

In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Lincoln Park was also home to the first Puerto Rican immigrants to Chicago. Jose (Cha-Cha) Jimenez transformed the local Young Lords gang into human rights activists for Latinos and the poor. They mounted sit-ins and takeovers of institutions and churches at Grant Hospital, Armitage Ave. Methodist Church, and McCormick Theological Seminary.

In 1968 a violent confrontation between demonstrators and police took place in Lincoln Park and the streets of Chicago during the week of the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Today, a very small number of Puerto Ricans reside in Lincoln Park. The neighborhood population is primarily made up of young urban professionals, recent college graduates, and young families.

Community area

Lincoln Park's boundaries are precisely defined in the city's list of official community areas. It is bordered on the north by Diversey Parkway, on the west by the Chicago River, on the south by North Avenue, and on the east by Lake Michigan.

It encompasses a number of neighborhoods, including Lincoln Central, Mid-North, Old Town Triangle, Park West, RANCH Triangle, Sheffield, West DePaul and Wrightwood Neighbors. The area also includes most of the Clybourn Corridor retail district, which continues into the Near North Side.

Lincoln Park is home to Lincoln Park High School, Francis W. Parker School, and DePaul University. Many students who attend these schools now live in this neighborhood. Lincoln Park is also home to four architecturally significant churches: St. Vincent de Paul Parish, St. Clement Church, St. Josaphat's (one of the many so-called 'Polish Cathedrals' in Chicago), and St. Michael's Church in the Old Town Triangle area of Lincoln Park. Visible from throughout the neighborhood, these monumental edifices tower over the neighborhood, lending the area much of its charm. The neighborhood also houses Children's Memorial Hospital and the currently closed Lincoln Park Hospital, which is slated for redevelopment to condominiums, medical offices, retail and commercial to be renamed Webster Square.

The neighborhood contains large number of upscale national retailers, boutiques, bookstores, restaurants and coffee shops. An Apple Store opened in October, 2010, as well as a Lacoste store across the street. There are also many bars and clubs in the area, especially along Lincoln Avenue between Wrightwood and Webster.

Lincoln Park is one of the wealthiest and most expensive communities in which to live. While the average single family house is priced around 1 million dollars, many homes in the area sell for more than 10 million dollars. In 2007, Forbes magazine named the area between Armitage Avenue, Willow Street, Burling Street, and Orchard Street as the most expensive block in Chicago.

Lincoln Park (Chicago Park District)

Lincoln Park, for which the neighborhood was named, now stretches miles past the neighborhood of Lincoln Park. The park lies along the lakefront from Ohio Street Beach in the Streeterville neighborhood, northward to Ardmore Avenue in Edgewater. The section of Lincoln Park adjacent to the Lincoln Park neighborhood contains the Lincoln Park Zoo, Lincoln Park Conservatory, an outdoor theatre, a rowing canal, the Chicago History Museum, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, ponds, North Avenue Beach, playing fields, a very prominent statue of General Grant, as well as, a famous statue of Abraham Lincoln (and many other statues).


The Lincoln Park neighborhood is accessible via mass transit, including the CTA's Red, Brown and Purple lines at the Fullerton station, the Purple and Brown lines at the Armitage and Diversey stations, as well as CTA bus service.

Via car, Lincoln Park can be reached by using Lake Shore Drive or Interstate 90/94.


Lincoln Park residents are served by Chicago Public Schools, which includes neighborhood and city-wide options for students.

Lincoln Park High School serves as the sole neighborhood secondary education institution and is ranked one of Chicago's best public high schools. Nationally, Lincoln Park High School is ranked as the 90th best high school in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

Additionally, two zoned elementary schools (grades K-8), Abraham Lincoln Elementary School and Oscar Mayer Elementary School are found in the neighborhood. LaSalle Language Academy and the Newberry Science Academy, both magnet schools, serve the neighborhood.

Private schools

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago operates the Saint Clement School, a K-8 school, in the Lincoln Park area.

Saint James Lutheran School, a K-8 school, is located at 2101 N. Fremont St.

Francis W. Parker School, a K-12 school, is in the area.

Public libraries

Chicago Public Library operates the Lincoln Park Branch at 1150 West Fullerton Avenue.



External links