Albany Park, Chicago
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|Community Area 14 - Albany Park|
Eugene Field Park house
Location within the city of Chicago
|• Total||1.93 sq mi (5.00 km2)|
|• Density||27,420/sq mi (10,586/km2)|
|Educational Attainment 2015|
|• High School Diploma or Higher||75.9%|
|• Bachelor's Degree or Higher||30.3%|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
parts of 60625, 60630
|Median household income||$51,969|
|Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services|
Albany Park (// (listen) AWL-bə-nee) is one of 77 well-defined community areas of Chicago. Located on the Northwest Side of the City of Chicago with the North Branch of the Chicago River forming its east and north boundaries, it includes the Albany Park neighborhood, one of the most ethnically diverse in the United States. It has one of highest percentages of foreign-born residents of any Chicago neighborhood.
Although the majority of those foreign-born residents are from Latin America, mostly from Mexico (especially from the state of Michoacán), Guatemala, and Ecuador, substantial numbers are from the Philippines, India, Korea, Cambodia, Somalia, the former Yugoslavia (Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia), Romania, Pakistan and the Middle East (especially Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon). Over 40 different languages are spoken in its public schools.
Due to the diverse population and immigrant population attraction, the population of the neighborhood increased by 16.5% during the 1990s. It is part of the 60625 ZIP code, which is known as one of the most diverse areas in the entire country.
The area was settled in 1893 when several investors purchased land in the area as areas closer to downtown became more heavily populated. DeLancy Louderback from Albany, New York was one of the investors and chose the name.
The developers added electric streetcars in 1896 and the Northwestern Elevated Railroad extended the Ravenswood branch to the Kimball terminal on December 14, 1907. This led to a building boom in the area. At this point in development, the north branch of the Chicago River meandered greatly, and therefore the Chicago Sanitary District straightened the river. This expanded and defined property lines and sewage in Albany Park.
By 1930, the population of the neighborhood reached 55,000, and many schools, religious institutions, and parks opened. Haugan Elementary School became the biggest elementary school in the city and Roosevelt High School's overcrowding led to Von Steuben Elementary being converted into a high school. Resident began moving to northern suburbs after World War II and the population declined quickly, leaving many stores uninhabited and properties empty. It wasn't until the 1970s, when a new immigration wave from Asia (mainly Korea) and Central America began to increase the population again. Today, Albany Park is the most diverse neighborhood in the city, and one of the most diverse in the entire country.
The traditional neighborhoods within the official community are (including rough boundaries):
- Albany Park: North: North Branch of the Chicago River (about 5100 N); South: Montrose Avenue (4400 N): East: North Branch of the River (about 3000 W); West: Pulaski Road (4000 W).
- Mayfair: Lawrence Avenue (4800 N), Montrose Avenue (4400 N), Pulaski Road (4000 W), and Cicero Avenue (4800 W).
- North Mayfair: Bryn Mawr Avenue (5600 N), Lawrence Avenue (4800 N), Pulaski Road (4000 W), and Cicero Avenue (4800 W).
Korean commercial district
The neighborhood was once known as the "Koreatown" of Chicago, beginning in the 1980s. The majority of Korean shops in Albany Park were found on Lawrence Avenue (4800 North) between Kedzie Avenue (3200 West) and Pulaski Road (4000 West), and many are still there. This particular section of Lawrence Avenue has been officially nicknamed "Seoul Drive" by the city of Chicago because of the multitude of Korean-owned enterprises on the street. Although many of the Korean Americans in the neighborhood have been moving to the north suburbs in recent years, it still retains its Korean flavor. Every year there is a Korean festival, and the neighborhood is home to a Korean radio station (1330 AM) as well as two Korean-language newspapers. There are still many Korean businesses interspersed among the newer Mexican bakeries and Middle Eastern grocery stores. Approximately 45% of the businesses on this particular stretch of Lawrence Avenue are owned by Korean-Americans.
After Jefferson Township was purchased and annexed by the city of Chicago and development began in the area that became Albany Park, immigrant German and Swedish farmers flocked to land. Many built their own homes. At the beginning of the 20th century, more upwardly mobile Russian Jews arrived in Albany Park to escape the crowded conditions of the very-heavily Jewish Near West Side/Maxwell Street area. This pattern continued as other residents in other Jewish-populated neighborhoods such as Lawndale and parts of West Town followed suit. These families began moving to northern suburbs such as Skokie after World War II. Starting in the 1970s, immigrants from Asia and Latin America, mainly Korea and Guatemala, began moving into the neighborhood's largely vacant properties and storefronts. Immigration continued from all around the world, and by the 1990s, there were large populations from the Philippines, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Poland, Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia, Mexico (largely from the state of Michoacán), Ecuador, and Colombia. Since the 1992-1995 war in Yugoslavia, roughly 1,200 Serbians who lived in Croatia resettled in Albany Park along with more than 4,000 Bosnians of all three backgrounds. Into the 2000s, the western part of the neighborhood became home to a substantial number of Indian and East African immigrants.
Currently, the community area has about 52,000 residents. The racial makeup of the community area is 48% Hispanic/Latino, 29.5% White/non-Hispanic, 15.8% Asian/non-Hispanic, 4.3% Black/non-Hispanic, and 2.5% other.
The Chicago Transit Authority's Brown Line terminates at Lawrence and Kimball Avenues. Albany Park is accessible through the Kimball, Kedzie and Francisco stations of the Brown Line, the Montrose CTA Blue Line Station, as well as by the Edens expressway (Interstate 94). The name "Albany Park" refers both to one of Chicago's 77 official community areas and the traditional name of a neighborhood within that community.
The official community is bounded very approximately by Foster Avenue and the North Branch of the Chicago River on the north, Montrose Avenue on the south, Elston Avenue on the southwest, and the North Branch of the Chicago River on the east. It is in Jefferson Township, which was annexed into Chicago in 1889.
CTA bus routes in Albany Park include: #53 Pulaski, #78 Montrose, #80 Irving Park, #81 Lawrence, #82 Kimball/Homan, #92 Foster, and #93 California/Dodge.
Albany Park is divided between 3 wards; the 33rd, the 35th and the 39th. The wards are represented by socialist Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez in the 33rd ward, socialist Carlos Ramirez-Rosa in the 35th ward and Margaret Laurino in the 39th ward.
It is similarly divided in the state legislature. In the Illinois Senate it is represented by John Cullerton, Iris Y. Martinez, Ira Silverstein and Heather Steans. In the Illinois House of Representatives it is represented by Jaime Andrade Jr., Ann Williams, John C. D'Amico and Greg Harris. On the Cook County Board of Commissioners, it is represented by Luis Arroyo, Jr..
In 2019 Deb Mell lost in a run-off race (a first since the 1930's in the 33rd) to democratic socialist Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez after all mail-in-ballots were counted and recounted. Sanchez won by 13 votes, defeating the Mell family dynasty that ran the ward since 1975.
- Public Schools - Chicago Public Schools operates public schools
- Hibbard Elementary School
- Haugan Elementary School
- Budlong Elementary School
- Newton Bateman Elementary School
- North River Elementary
- Waters Elementary
- Volta Elementary
- Chappell Elementary
- ASPIRA at Haugan Middle School
- Haugan Middle Campus
- Albany Park Multicultural Academy
- Roosevelt High School
- Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
- Edison Regional Gifted Center
- Global Village
- John M. Palmer Elementary
- Private Schools
- North Shore Junior Academy
- Little Angels
- Telshe Yeshiva
- Gateway to Learning
- St. Matthias Transfiguration
- St. Edward School
- Eagle's Wings Urban Academy
Parks and recreation facilities
- Albany Park Branch - 3401 W. Foster Avenue
- Mayfair Branch - 4400 W. Lawrence Avenue
- Police Department
- 4650 N. Pulaski Road - 17th District
- Fire Department
- Engine Co. 110
- 2322 West Foster Avenue
- Engine Co. 124
- 4426 North Kedzie Avenue
- Engine Co. 69
- 4017 North Tripp Avenue
- Marine Corps
- U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 2nd Battalion 24th Marines
- 3034-60 W. Foster Avenue
- Jensen Community Gardens
- Drake Community Garden
- Turtle Park Community Garden
- Global Gardens Community Garden and Urban Farm
Active neighborhood organizations
- Albany Park Autonomous Center
- Albany Park Community Center
- Albany Park Chamber of Commerce
- Albany Park Neighbors
- Albany Park Theater Project
- American Indian Center
- American Legion
- Cambodian Association of Illinois
- Christ Church
- Church of the Beloved Albany Park
- Communities United (formerly Albany Park Neighborhood Council)
- Foresight Design Initiative
- Friedman Place
- Full Gospel Chicago Church
- Hanul Family Alliance
- Healthy Albany Park Coalition
- Irish American Heritage Center
- King Oscar Lodge
- Korean American Community Services
- Latino Union Worker Center
- Lawrence Avenue Development Corporation
- Lawrence Hall Youth Services
- Mayfair Civic Organization
- Mexico-US Solidarity Network
- New Life Community Church
- North Branch Projects
- North Mayfair Improvement Association
- North Park Friendship Center
- North River Commission
- People of East Albany Park (PEAP) neighborhood organization
- Ravenswood Manor Improvement Association
- Svithiod Independent Order
- Territory Albany Park
- True North Christian Fellowship
- Young Women's Empowerment Project
- West River Park Improvement Association
- World Relief Chicago
- Cecil Heftel, member of the United States House of Representatives from Hawaii's 1st congressional district (1977-1986). He was raised in Albany Park and attended Roosevelt High School.
- Jerry Krause, general manager of the Chicago Bulls from 1985 until his retirement in 2003. He was raised in Albany Park.
- Bob Sirott, broadcaster. As of September 2017, he is a midday radio host at WLS-AM.
- Sam Zell, billionaire and founder and chairman of Equity International. He lived in Albany Park until his family moved to suburban Highland Park, Illinois when he was twelve.
- "Community Data Snapshot" (PDF). cmap.illinois.gov. State of Illinois. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
-  Archived March 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived September 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Zangs, Mary (2014). The Chicago 77: a community area handbook. Charleston, SC 29403: The History Press. pp. 64–66. ISBN 978-1-62619-612-4.
- Borzo, Greg (2007). The Chicago "L". Arcadia Publishing. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-7385-5100-5.
- Ali, Tanveer (November 9, 2016). "How Every Chicago Neighborhood Voted In The 2016 Presidential Election". Chicago, Illinois: DNAinfo.com. Archived from the original on March 17, 2017. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
- "How Every Chicago Neighborhood Voted In The 2012 Presidential Election". Chicago, Illinois: DNAinfo.com. November 7, 2012. Archived from the original on March 17, 2017. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
- Maes, Nancy. "A JAPANESE SPRINGTIME IN CHICAGO FEST REVEALS THE MARRIAGE OF ART, NATURE". Chicago Tribune. May 15, 1987. Page 3 Friday. Retrieved on April 12, 2011. "Chicago Shimpo The Chicago Japanese American News 4670 N Manor St"
- "Chicago Shimpo Moved to Arlington Heights" (Archive). Chicago Shimpo. Retrieved on August 21, 2014. "New location: 2045 S. Arlington Heights Rd., Suite 108C Arlington Heights, IL 60005"
- "NOMINATE STAR NORTHWEST SENIORS". Chicago Daily Tribune. January 3, 1943. p. 2 – via ProQuest.
- Johnson, K.C. (March 21, 2017). "Jerry Krause, GM of Bulls dynasty, remembered for drive, work ethic, loyalty". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- Feder, Robert (November 6, 2001). "Sirott returning to radio to host show for laughs". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 53.
- Johnson, Steve (October 20, 2002). "What's so scary about Bob Sirott? John Callaway's shadow continues to loom as a host plucked from commercial TV takes over Ch. 11's 'Chicago Tonight'". Chicago Tribune. p. 1.
- Johnson, by Ben E. Money Talks, Bullsh*t Walks: Inside the Contrarian Mind of Billionaire Mogul Sam Zell Dec 31, 2009
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Albany Park, Chicago.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Chicago/Albany Park.|
- Albany Park Neighborhood Guide on ExploreChicago.org
- Official City of Chicago Albany Park Community Map
- Albany Park Living Map
- Healthy Albany Park
- Albany Park Community Center
- Albany Park Theater Project
- Albany Park Chamber of Commerce
- Albany Park Autonomous Center
- Albany Park art, culture, housing, gentrification, immigration articles
- Albany Park Issues