Lincoln Park, Chicago

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Lincoln Park
Community area
Community Area 07 – Lincoln Park
Location within the city of Chicago
Location within the city of Chicago
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Country United States
State Illinois
County Cook
City Chicago
 • Total 3.19 sq mi (8.26 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 64,116
 • Density 20,000/sq mi (7,800/km2)
Demographics 2010[1]
 • White 82.88%
 • Black 4.29%
 • Hispanic 5.57%
 • Asian 5.14%
 • Other 2.12%
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP Codes parts of 60614
Median household income[2] $82,707
Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services

Lincoln Park is a designated community area in North Side, Chicago, Illinois.


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 Road in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.[3][4]

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 smallpox hospital and the city cemetery were located in Lincoln Park until the 1860s.[citation needed]

In 1837, Chicago was incorporated as a city, and North Avenue (to the south of today's Lincoln Park neighborhood) was established as the city's northern boundary. Settlements increased along Green Bay Trail when the government offered land claims and 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.[citation needed]

In 1874, the Lincoln Park Zoo was opened.[citation needed]

In the period following the Civil War, the area around Southport and Clybourn became home to a community of Kashubian immigrants. Arriving from what is now north-western Poland, Chicago's Kashubians brought their own distinct culture and language, influenced by their rustic traditions and by their close contact with their German neighbors. In 1882, St. Josaphat's Roman Catholic parish was established specifically for the Kashubian community. The resulting nicknames of "Jozafatowo" (Polish for "Josaphat's Town") as well as "Kaszubowo" (Polish for "Cassubian Town") made the neighborhood one of Chicago's Polish Patches. The current Romanesque Revival church building was completed in 1902. A Pomeranian Griffin Crest visible on the school south of the church is a nod to the parish that once anchored one of the communities in Chicago dubbed Little Cassubia."

From 1896 to 1903, the original Ferris Wheel was located at a small amusement park near Clark St. and Wrightwood Ave.[5] The site was from 2619 to 2665 N. Clark St., which is now the location of a McDonald's and a high-rise residential building.[6]

On February 14, 1929, six mob associates and a mechanic were gunned to death in an automobile garage at 2122 N. Clark St.[citation needed]

During the Great Depression, many buildings in Lincoln Park fell into disrepair. In 1954 the Lincoln Park Conservation Association was founded to prevent deterioration of housing in the neighborhood and by 1956, Lincoln Park received urban renewal funds to renovate and restore old buildings and schools.[7]

In 1968, a violent confrontation between demonstrators and police in Lincoln Park occurred during the week of the 1968 Democratic National Convention.[8]

I pointed out that it was in the best interests of the City to have us in Lincoln Park ten miles away from the Convention hall. I said we had no intention of marching on the Convention hall, that I didn't particularly think that politics in America could be changed by marches and rallies, that what we were presenting was an alternative life style, and we hoped that people of Chicago would come up, and mingle in Lincoln Park and see what we were about.

Abbie Hoffman from the Chicago 7 trial[9]

In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, Lincoln Park became 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.[10] They published newspapers,[11] mounted sit-ins and takeovers of institutions and churches at Grant Hospital, Armitage Ave. Methodist Church, and McCormick Theological Seminary.[12] In 1969, members of the Puerto Rican Young Lords and residents and activists mounted gigantic demonstrations and protested the displacement of Puerto Ricans and the poor including the demolition of buildings on the corner of Halsted and Armitage streets, by occupying the space and some administration buildings at DePaul University. There were civil rights arrests and martyrs including the unsolved murders of United Methodist Rev. Bruce Johnson and his wife Eugenia Ransier Johnson who were strong supporters of the poor. Today their history is archived at DePaul University's Richardson Library and at Special Collections at Grand Valley State University.

On June 29, 2003, a porch collapse occurred during a party at 713 W. Wrightwood Ave. The disaster was the deadliest porch collapse in U.S. history; 13 people were killed and 57 seriously injured.

As of 2015, the neighborhood is primarily made up of young urban professionals, recent college graduates, and young families.[citation needed] The slang terms Trixie and Chad have their origins in Lincoln Park.[citation needed]

Community area

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 97,873
1940 100,826 3.0%
1950 102,396 1.6%
1960 88,836 −13.2%
1970 67,718 −23.8%
1980 57,146 −15.6%
1990 61,092 6.9%
2000 64,323 5.3%
2010 64,116 −0.3%

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.[14]

It encompasses a number of neighborhoods, including Lincoln Central, Mid-North, Old Town Triangle, Park West, RANCH Triangle, Sheffield, West DePaul (including half of the Julia C. Lathrop Homes) and Wrightwood Neighbors. The area also includes most of the Clybourn Corridor retail district, which continues into the Near North Side. Lincoln Park neighborhood associations include: Lincoln Central Association, Mid-North Association, Old Town Triangle Association, Park West Community Association, RANCH Triangle Community Conservation Association, Sheffield Neighborhood Association, West DePaul Neighborhood Association, and Wrightwood Neighbors Association. All but the West DePaul Neighborhood Association are affiliated with the Lincoln Park Conservation Association, while the West DePaul Neighborhood Association is affiliated with the Lake View Citizens' Council.

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 five architecturally significant churches: St. Vincent de Paul Parish, St. Clement Church, St. Josaphat's (one of the many so-called 'Polish Cathedrals' in Chicago), St. James Lutheran Church 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. Five Lincoln Park churches are affiliated with the Catholic Church (St. Bonaventure Church, Saint Clement Church, St. Michael in Old Town, St. Teresa de Avila Catholic Parish, St. Vincent de Paul Parish). The neighborhood also houses Children's Memorial Hospital (recently moved to Streeterville and was renamed Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago) and the currently closed Lincoln Park Hospital (f/k/a Grant Hospital and before that German-American Hospital), which is slated for redevelopment to condominiums, apartments, medical offices, and retail to be renamed Webster Square.

The neighborhood contains a 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.

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, many homes in the area sell for more than $10 million. In 2007, Forbes magazine named the area between Armitage Avenue, Willow Street, Burling Street, and Orchard Street as the most expensive block in Chicago.[15]

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 the 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, the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, the North Pond Nature Sanctuary, North Avenue Beach, playing fields, a very prominent statue of General Ulysses S. Grant, as well as a famous statue of Abraham Lincoln (and many other statues).[16]

Many smaller parks, such as Bauler Park (named for 'Paddy' Bauler, former Alderman of the 43rd ward) and Jonquil Park are scattered throughout the Lincoln Park neighborhood.[citation needed]


Fullerton station

The Lincoln Park neighborhood is accessible via mass transit,[17] 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 the Kennedy Expressway.

Soo Line 1540 passes through west Lincoln Park


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 & World Report.[18]

Additionally, two zoned elementary schools (grades K-8), Abraham Lincoln Elementary School[19] and Louisa May Alcott School.[20] are found in the neighborhood. LaSalle Language Academy, Oscar Mayer Elementary School,[21] and the Newberry Math and Science Academy, all magnet schools, serve the neighborhood.

The French-American School of Chicago, a program for advanced French speakers, holds its classes at Lincoln Elementary and Lincoln Park High.[22]

Private schools

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago operates the Saint Clement School,[23] 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.

Global Citizenship Experience High School,[24] a 9–12 school, is in the area.

Public libraries

Chicago Public Library operates the Lincoln Park Branch at 1150 W. Fullerton Ave.[25]


Lincoln Park has numerous restaurants; some of the best known and respected include Alinea[citation needed] and North Pond Cafe.[citation needed] The Lettuce Entertain You restaurant chain started at R.J. Grunts at 2056 N. Lincoln Park West, which is also home to the one of the first salad bars.[26] The Wieners Circle on Clark and Wrightwood is a fast food restaurant that is known for its polish sausage and the mutual verbal abuse between staff and customers.[27] Demon Dogs was a popular hot dog restaurant that stood under the Fullerton El station from 1983 until 2006.


Lincoln Park currently has a number of music venues including the Park West, Lincoln Hall, Neo nightclub, Kingston Mines and B.L.U.E.S.[citation needed]

Jelly Roll Morton recorded early jazz work in 1926 at the Webster Hotel ballroom (now Webster House) at 2150 N. Lincoln Park West.[28]

In 1972, Chicago folk singer Steve Goodman wrote the song "Lincoln Park Pirates" about Lincoln Towing Service.[citation needed]

Notable residents

Lincoln Park was home to a number of important historic figures including:

A large number of significant business and civic leaders currently live in Lincoln Park, including Penny Pritzker, Fred Eychaner, and Joe Mansueto.



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External links