|From||Grace Street at Broadway (3800 North) in Chicago|
|To||287th Street in Beecher|
In Chicago's grid system, Halsted Street marks 800 West, one mile (1.6 km) west of State Street, from Grace Street (3800 N) in Lakeview south to the city limits at the Little Calumet River (13000 S) in West Pullman, a length of 168 north-south Chicago blocks. (From Grace north to Lawrence Avenue (4800 N) in Uptown, 800 W is marked by Clarendon Avenue.)
In Lakeview Halsted passes through Wrigleyville, as intersecting with Addison Street, it is only two blocks east of Wrigley Field home of the Chicago Cubs. Halsted is then lined with restaurants, bars and gay bars and clubs as one enters Boystown, Chicago's main gay and lesbian community. Boystown runs from Belmont Ave. to Irving Pk (4000N) and beyond to as far as Wilson Ave (4600N) and one of the city's busiest shopping districts. As it continues south past Diversey (2800 N), it goes past DePaul University and through the Lincoln Park area, as a primary thoroughfare through the community area.
At North Avenue, Halsted passes Clybourn Avenue, through the Old Town area. The former site of the Cabrini–Green housing project is at Halsted and Division (1200 N) in the Near North Side neighborhood. Halsted Street has two bridges to mark its passage over Goose Island; it is one of only two streets to completely traverse this, the Chicago River's only island.
Continuing south, Halsted soars high above feeder ramps to the Kennedy Expressway, Union Pacific Railroad and Canadian National Railway and finally the Kennedy Expressway itself to enter the West Loop. One then passes through Chicago's Greektown at Jackson Blvd (300 S). South of a high bridge over the Eisenhower Expressway, Halsted forms the eastern border of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The Jane Addams Hull House, America's first settlement house, was located at Polk (800 S) and Halsted. The "Hull House Neighborhood," which was served by the Jane Addams' settlement house, consisted of recently arrived immigrants at the turn of the 20th century.
Taylor Street (1000 S) was the port-of-call for Chicago's Italian American immigrants and became known as Chicago's Little Italy. Italians were the only ethnic group that remained after the exodus of Jews, Greeks, Irish, etc. that began shortly before the Great Depression of the 1930s. Greektown and Maxwell Street business establishments continue to exist as remnants of the mass emigration of Southern Europeans, terminated by an act of Congress in 1924.
South of an underpass allowing Halsted to cross the BNSF Railway tracks at 16th street, parallel to the Dan Ryan Expressway, Halsted grazes the eastern edge of the Pilsen neighborhood, then crosses the Chicago River's south branch.
Here Halsted Street enters Bridgeport, traditionally a working-class Irish, Lithuanian and Italian community, it has been home to five of the city's mayors. Continuing south, Halsted passes along the borders of the Canaryville neighborhood between 40th and 49th Streets, which historically housed many Union Stock Yards workers. The Stockyards themselves were located to the west of Halsted between Pershing (39th) and 47th. Further south, Halsted Street passes into Englewood. Kennedy-King College has its campus in the heart of Englewood at 63rd Street and Halsted Street. Further south, Halsted intersects with 71st Street, which was honorarily named for Emmett Till, a martyr in the African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968). Just south of 95th Street is the Carter G. Woodson regional branch of the Chicago Public Library. It continues south towards the city limits at the Little Calumet River near 129th St, where it then continues into the south suburbs. Illinois Route 1 begins at Halsted Street's interchange with Interstate 57 (at 99th Street) on the far south side, and follows Halsted through much of its length through the suburbs. In the city of Chicago Heights, Route 1 breaks off and is called Chicago Road, then Dixie Highway, ending at the Ohio River, at the border with the state of Kentucky. Halsted Street continues through downtown Chicago Heights and crosses the Lincoln Highway. The road continues intermittently and ends, marked as Halstead Street, at 287th street north of Beecher, Illinois.
Halsted Street is served by major transportation lines. The Chicago Transit Authority's Red, Purple, and Brown Lines run nearby on the north side. The Red, Blue, Orange, and Green Lines all have stops at various points along Halsted Street. These include North/Clybourn on the Red Line, Grand/Milwaukee and UIC-Halsted on the Blue Line, Halsted/Archer on the Orange Line, and 63rd/Halsted on the Green Line. The CTA also provides service on three Halsted routes: the #8 Halsted between Waveland Avenue (3700 N) and 79th Street; the #8A South Halsted between the 79th/Dan Ryan Red Line station and Halsted/119th (with certain trips continuing to 127th Street); and the #108 Halsted/95th between the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line Terminal, with certain trips continuing to 127th and special service continuing to Carver High School and Hegewisch. There is a Halsted Street stop on Metra commuter rail's BNSF Railway Line; and, the West Pullman stop on the Blue Island branch of Metra's Electric District commuter rail line is at Halsted and where 121st Street would be. Pace provides suburban bus service along Halsted Street from the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line Terminal to the south suburbs. The #352 Halsted Street operates between the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line Terminal and the Pace Chicago Heights Bus Terminal at Halsted/16th Street near Lincoln Highway (U.S. 30). The #359 Robbins/South Kedzie Avenue also runs along Halsted between the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line Terminal and 124th Street before turning west.
Conrad Friberg, aka C.O. Nelson produced a film in 1934 traveling from the south end of Halsted Street to the North, across Chicago.
The street derives its name from William H. and Caleb O. Halsted, Philadelphia bankers who made large investments in Chicago real estate through William B. Ogden, Chicago's first Mayor. The street ran through their property, and they ceded valuable rights to the city.
Halsted has had several names, originally known as "Egyptian Road" because it led to the Little Egypt area of Illinois, it was subsequently known as First Street, then Dyer Street, after Charles Volney Dyer, a prominent Chicago physician and abolitionist.
- Hayner, Don and McNamee, Tom Streetwise Chicago, A History of Chicago Street Names Loyola University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-8294-0597-6