Although part of Chicago since its incorporation as a city in 1837, it wasn’t until the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 that the Wicker Park District of the West Town Community Area began to see the influx of residential and commercial development that ultimately laid the foundation for the numerous trendy commercial and entertainment venues that Wicker Park is most well-known for today.
An area diverse in education, occupation and ethnicity, the majority of Wicker Park’s residents are in their mid-20s and mid-30s, no doubt drawn to the energy generated by the neighborhood’s galleries, clubs, restaurants and foot traffic.
Public Amenities, Services, Civic Organizations
Named for businessmen and developers Charles and Joel Wicker, Wicker Park was the name given to the four-acre parcel of land donated to the city of Chicago in 1870 to be used as a public park. Still at the heart of the neighborhood, Wicker Park offers a wide variety of features including outdoor basketball courts, a fenced dog park, baseball field and walking trails.
Wicker Park also contains a branch of the Chicago Public Library, which serves neighboring Bucktown as well.
With a population of nearly 90,000 Chicagoans (per the 2000 US Census), Wicker Park offers a wide range of options from new construction condos and townhomes to vintage single-family homes to a variety of rental opportunities.
Single family homes in the area generally fall between $200,000 and $1,500,000, while condos range from the mid-$200,000s to $700,000. Rentals are plentiful in Wicker Park, the majority of which fall in the range of $800 to $3,000.
Home to the six corners of the intersection at Milwaukee, North and Damen Avenues, Wicker Park is convenient to both public transportation and the Kennedy Expressway (I-90). With several CTA buses to choose from, as well as Blue Line elevated train stations at Damen and Division, Wicker Park has easy access to virtually anywhere in the city of Chicago. The location’s greatest asset, however, is its proximity to downtown Chicago, as the approximately three mile commute can be made by the variety of options offered by the CTA, as well as by bike or on foot.
Wicker Park is also convenient to O’Hare International Airport with the Blue Line and Kennedy Expressway both providing straight shots to O’Hare.
Shopping, dining, and nightlife
One of the neighborhood’s absolute strong suits is that there is no shortage of places to dine, shop or revel in Wicker Park. The neighborhood offers a wide range of attractions sandwiched between Ashland and Western Avenues, as Division Street, Milwaukee Avenue and North Avenue are loaded up and down with shops, restaurants, boutiques and bars. There is almost certainly something for everyone in the neighborhood whether it’s catching a game on TV and eating pizza at Piece, eating sushi at Mirai, watching live music at Double Door or Subterranean, record shopping at Reckless Records, or looking for vintage clothes at Ragstock.
The Wicker Park area is immediately served by the AN Pritzker School, Richard Milburn High School and Jonathan Burr School, with other public and private options nearby.