Lincoln Park, Chicago

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This article is about the neighborhood. For the park, see Lincoln Park.
Lincoln Park
Community area
Community Area 07 – Lincoln Park
Location within the city of Chicago
Location within the city of Chicago
Coordinates: 41°55.2′N 87°39′W / 41.9200°N 87.650°W / 41.9200; -87.650Coordinates: 41°55.2′N 87°39′W / 41.9200°N 87.650°W / 41.9200; -87.650
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 one of the 77 community areas of Chicago, Illinois, United States, situated on its north side. Named after Lincoln Park, a vast park bordering Lake Michigan, 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.


This is an 1880's photo of 653 W Wrightwood (now 655 W Wrightwood) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Note the wooden sidewalk, dirt road and lack of buildings surrounding the edifice.
The Ferris Wheel in Lincoln Park, Chicago, looking north from Wrightwood Avenue
Couch Mausoleum in Lincoln Park, October 2013. This mausoleum is the only standing remnant of the cemetery that used to exist in Lincoln Park in the 19th century.

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.[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.

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.

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

The Biograph Theater on Lincoln Avenue and (adjoining businesses) in 2008, redressed to appear as it did in 1934 for the 2009 film Public Enemies.

In 1968, a violent confrontation between demonstrators and police in Lincoln Park occurred during the week of the 1968 Democratic National Convention.[7]

"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[8]

Ethnic composition[edit]

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%

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 "Casssubian 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."

In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, 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. They mounted sit-ins and takeovers of institutions and churches at Grant Hospital, Armitage Ave. Methodist Church, and McCormick Theological Seminary.

Today, a very small number of Puerto Ricans reside in Lincoln Park.[10] The neighborhood population is primarily made up of young urban professionals, recent college graduates, and young families.

Community area[edit]

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.[11]

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 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.[12]

Lincoln Park (Chicago Park District)[edit]

Main article: Lincoln Park

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, the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, the North Pond Nature Sanctuary, 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).[13]


Train stopped at the Fullerton (CTA) station

The Lincoln Park neighborhood is accessible via mass transit,[14] 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.[15]

Additionally, two zoned elementary schools (grades K-8), Abraham Lincoln Elementary School[16] and Louisa May Alcott School.[17] are found in the neighborhood. LaSalle Language Academy, Oscar Mayer Elementary School,[18] and the Newberry Science Academy, all magnet schools, serve the neighborhood.

Private schools[edit]

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago operates the Saint Clement School,[19] 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,[20] a 9–12 school, is in the area.

Public libraries[edit]

Chicago Public Library operates the Lincoln Park Branch at 1150 West Fullerton Avenue.[21]


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.[22] 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.[23]


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.

Jelly Roll Morton recorded early jazz work in 1926 at the Webster Hotel ballroom (now Webster House) at 2150 N. Lincoln Park West.[24]

Notable residents[edit]

Gay Pride parade in Lincoln Park in 1985 on Clark Street

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

  • Roger Brown, an important Chicago Imagist painter lived at 1926 N. Halsted. The house is now site to the Art Institute of Chicago's Roger Brown study center.[25]
  • Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, the first American saint lived at 2520 N. Lakeview.[26] This address was part of the Columbus Hospital site which is now a high-rise condominium development.[27] The National Shrine of Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini, the former chapel of Columbus Hospital is adjacent the newer development.[28]
  • Henry Darger, the outsider artist lived at 851 W. Webster[29] and worked as a janitor at Children's Memorial Hospital.
  • Henry Gerber, the founder of the first homosexual rights organization in the US lived at 1710 N. Crilly Court.[30]
  • Bruce Graham, the famous Skidmore, Owings and Merrill architect lived in a house designed by himself in 1969.[31]
  • Richard Hunt, the famous sculptor, has his studio at 1017 W. Lill Street.[32]
  • László Moholy-Nagy, the Bauhaus and IIT designer lived at 2622 N. Lakeview.[26]
  • Walter Netsch, the famous Skidmore, Owings and Merrill architect, and his wife Dawn Clark Netsch, an important Illinois Democratic Party/civic leader, lived at 1700 N. Hudson Street. The house was designed by Walter Netsch in 1974.[33]
  • Albert Parsons and Lucy Parsons, the prominent union organizers and socialist leaders lived at 1908 N. Mohawk.[26]

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



  1. ^ Paral, Rob. "Chicago Demographics Data". Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Paral, Rob. "Chicago Census Data". Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Green Bay Road". 
  4. ^ "Green Bay Road 2". 
  5. ^ "Paradises Lost" by Stan Barker in Chicago History March 1993, p.32)
  6. ^ Hyde Park Historical Society Ferris Wheel Follow-up. Retrieved on 2012-05-26.
  7. ^ [1]. Retrieved on 2014-08-06.
  8. ^ Abbie Hoffman's testimony at the Chicago 7 trial. Retrieved on 2012-05-26.
  9. ^ Paral, Rob. "Chicago Community Areas Historical Data". Chicago Community Areas Historical Data. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Community Area 7 – Lincoln Park". City of Chicago – Department of Planning and Development. 2003. Retrieved August 28, 2009. 
  12. ^ "The Most Expensive Blocks In The U.S. –". August 31, 2007. 
  13. ^ The Statues of Chicago's Lincoln Park. Retrieved on 2012-05-26.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Lincoln Park High School: Best High Schools –". 
  16. ^ Abraham Lincoln Elementary School. Retrieved on 2012-05-26.
  17. ^ Alcott School. Retrieved on 2013-05-28.
  18. ^ Oscar Mayer Magnet – Home. (May 28, 2013). Retrieved on 2013-05-28.
  19. ^ Saint Clement School. Retrieved on 2012-05-26.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Lincoln Park Library". Chicago Public Library. Retrieved November 15, 2008. 
  22. ^ Schmidt, Kate. (October 13, 2011) Sixteen venerable Chicago restaurants still ticking, Chicago Reader. Retrieved on 2012-05-26.
  23. ^
  24. ^ Jelly Roll Morton Recordings and Discography. Retrieved on 2012-05-26.
  25. ^ Roger Brown Study Collection – Roger Brown Resources at SAIC. Retrieved on 2012-05-26.
  26. ^ a b c [2] Chicago Tribute Markers of Distinction
  27. ^ Lincoln Park2520
  28. ^ The National Shrine of Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini
  29. ^ [3] INTUIT, the Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Henry Darger Room
  30. ^ "Henry Gerber", Chicago Landmarks web,
  31. ^ AIA Guide to Chicago, page 187 (1993 edition)
  32. ^ Richard Hunt Sculpture Map. Retrieved on 2012-05-26.
  33. ^ AIA Guide to Chicago, page 177 (1993 edition)

External links[edit]