|Community Area 07 – Lincoln Park|
Location within the city of Chicago
|• Total||3.19 sq mi (8.26 km2)|
|• Density||20,000/sq mi (7,800/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|ZIP Codes||parts of 60614|
|Median household income||$82,707|
|Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services|
This community is named after Lincoln Park, a vast public park bordering Lake Michigan. That park, in turn, is named after US president Abraham Lincoln. The area 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.
The area now known as Lincoln Park in Chicago was primarily forest with stretches of grassland and occasional quicksand until the late 1820s.
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 ClarkcomStreet, it stretched as far as Green Bay, Wisconsin, and was part of what still is Green Bay Avenue in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.
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 the city's 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.
In 1874, the Lincoln Park Zoo was opened.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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 published newspapers, mounted sit-ins and takeovers of institutions and churches at Grant Hospital, Armitage Ave. Methodist Church, and McCormick Theological Seminary. 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.
As of 2015, the neighborhood population is primarily made up of young urban professionals, recent college graduates, and young families. The slang terms Trixie and Chad have their origins in Lincoln Park.
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.
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, such as Neo, the oldest nightclub in Chicago.
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.
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).
The Lincoln Park neighborhood is accessible via mass transit, 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.
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.
Additionally, two zoned elementary schools (grades K-8), Abraham Lincoln Elementary School and Louisa May Alcott School. are found in the neighborhood. LaSalle Language Academy, Oscar Mayer Elementary School, and the Newberry Science Academy, all magnet schools, serve the neighborhood.
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, a 9–12 school, is in the area.
Lincoln Park has numerous restaurants; some of the best known and respected include Alinea and North Pond Cafe. 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. 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. Demon Dogs was a popular hot dog restaurant that stood under the Fullerton El station from 1983 until 2006.
Jelly Roll Morton recorded early jazz work in 1926 at the Webster Hotel ballroom (now Webster House) at 2150 N. Lincoln Park West.
Lincoln Park was home to a number of important historic figures including:
A statue of William Shakespeare in the Lincoln Park Conservatory's Grandmother's Garden, Chicago
Abraham Lincoln: The Man after restoration in 1989 by the Lincoln Park Conservancy.