Uptown IL Homes & Real Estate

Uptown Neighborhood Guide Uptown Homes For Sale 77 Chicago Community Areas Homes Your Home's Value

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Uptown is situated within one of Chicago's 77 designated community areas. Its boundaries encompass Foster Avenue to the north, Lake Michigan to the east, Montrose Avenue (from Ravenswood Avenue to Clark Street), and Irving Park Road (from Clark Street to Lake Michigan) to the south. On the western side, its borders extend along Ravenswood Avenue (from Foster Avenue to Montrose Avenue) and Clark Street (from Montrose Avenue to Irving Park Road). Edgewater lies to the north, Lincoln Square to the west, and Lakeview to the south. Along the lakeshore, Uptown incorporates parts of the northern stretches of Lincoln Park, housing attractions like Montrose Beach and several natural reserves. The area features a blend of both commercial and residential developments, hosting a vibrant entertainment scene with its assortment of clubs and concert venues. Additionally, Uptown holds historical significance as an early hub for film production. Truman College, a two-year city college, is situated within its boundaries, while the southwest corner of the area encompasses the renowned Graceland Cemetery, dating back to the 19th century.

History of Uptown

Broadway serves as the focal point of Uptown, housing its historical, cultural, and commercial core, with Uptown Square positioned at its heart. In 1900, the Northwestern Elevated Railroad erected its terminal at Wilson and Broadway, now integrated into the CTA Red Line. Uptown evolved into a summer retreat for urban residents and acquired its name from the Uptown Store, the community's primary commercial hub. During a certain period, all northbound elevated trains from downtown terminated in Uptown. The area gained renown as an entertainment hub, attracting luminaries like Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson, who filmed at the Essanay Studios on Argyle Street. Noteworthy entertainment venues such as the Aragon Ballroom, Riviera Theater, Uptown Theatre, and Green Mill Jazz Club cluster within close proximity to Lawrence and Broadway. Additionally, Uptown boasts Graceland Cemetery, a revered final resting place.

Initially, Uptown's neighborhood boundary extended further north to Hollywood Avenue. Following the World's Columbian Exposition in the early 20th century, a housing construction boom swept through the area, culminating in the construction of opulent entertainment venues in the mid-1920s. These venues contributed to the ornate and historic Uptown Square buildings that endure today, showcasing craftsmanship reminiscent of the Exposition's pavilions.

For more than a century, Uptown has served as a vibrant entertainment district, shaping various cultural epochs, from the Gilded Age to the rock and roll era. It has also been a prominent filming location for numerous movies and has connections to esteemed athletes, such as those affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks, as well as notable theater performers and comedy clubs. Notably, it's home to "The People's Music School," offering tuition-free classical music training to deserving individuals.

Uptown Entertainment District:

The Uptown Entertainment District, once a bustling tourist hotspot, boasts a variety of music venues, nightclubs, restaurants, and shops. Experiencing a renaissance, new dining and retail establishments continually join the scene. Uptown Square, situated at the heart of the district, earned recognition as a National Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. Additionally, Uptown is a highlight on Chicago Gangster tours, featuring locations associated with notorious figures like John Dillinger, Al Capone, and others.

Aragon Ballroom:

The Aragon Ballroom remains a prominent music venue, renowned for hosting acclaimed jazz acts during the 1920s and 1930s. Live radio broadcasts from the Aragon propelled its entertainers to fame across the Midwest. Over the years, it has welcomed a diverse array of performers, from iconic Big Bands of the past to contemporary artists like The Rolling Stones and Snoop Dogg. The ballroom is conveniently located at the intersection of Lawrence and Winthrop Avenues, adjacent to the Lawrence Red Line 'L' stop.

Riviera Theater:

Originally a Jazz Age movie palace, the Riviera Theater underwent conversion into a concert venue in the 1980s, shedding its seats for a new purpose.

Uptown Theatre:

The Uptown Theatre, a grand movie palace boasting nearly 4,500 seats, stands as a landmark of architectural splendor. Designed by renowned architects Rapp and Rapp, it is among the largest theaters in Chicago. Efforts to restore and reopen the theater have been ongoing, with a $75 million renovation plan led by Friends of the Uptown Theatre and other local groups. Despite legal hurdles, including disputes and city liens, plans remain to transform it into a spectacular entertainment venue akin to the Chicago Theatre downtown.

Green Mill Cocktail Lounge:

Situated on the site of the former Green Mill Gardens, the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge continues to captivate visitors with its rich history. Once owned by "Machine Gun" Jack McGurn, a close associate of Al Capone, it was a hub for entertainment during the Jazz Age. Today, it hosts top jazz performers and a weekly Poetry Slam, carrying on its legacy of artistic expression.

Baton Show Lounge and Double Door:

In a recent development, two esteemed Chicago entertainment venues are making their home in Uptown. The Baton Show Lounge, renowned for its drag performances since 1969, and the indie music hotspot Double Door, established in 1994, are set to breathe new life into the Wilson Avenue Theater. Initially built for vaudeville in 1910, the theater's classical architecture has seen varied use over the years, including stints as a bank, and now promises to once again be a cultural hub in Uptown.

Uptown Neighborhoods

Buena Park

Buena Park, bounded by Montrose Avenue, Irving Park Road, Graceland Cemetery, and Lake Shore Drive, encompasses the Hutchinson Street Historic District, renowned for its tree-lined streets boasting a remarkable collection of Prairie-style mansions, contrasting with the surrounding skyscrapers. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1984, Buena Park is accessible via the Sheridan stop on the CTA's Red Line.

The development of Buena Park commenced in 1887 under Robert A. Waller, who subdivided his property. The original Waller residence site now houses St. Mary of the Lake church, constructed in 1917. Buena Park predates much of Uptown and hosts one of Chicago's most active neighborhood organizations, Buena Park Neighbors.

Sheridan Park

Sheridan Park, bordered by Lawrence Avenue to the north, Clark Street to the west, Montrose to the south, and Broadway to the east, primarily comprises residential areas featuring six-flats, single-family homes, and courtyard apartment buildings. A burgeoning business district is emerging along Wilson Avenue, intersecting Sheridan Park. Truman College, part of the City Colleges of Chicago, is located within Sheridan Park. Accessible via the Wilson or Lawrence stops on the CTA's Red Line.

In 1985, the Sheridan Park Historic District, a National Landmark District, was established to safeguard the area's unique architecture. The district encompasses the area bounded by Lawrence Avenue to the north, Clark Street to the west, Montrose to the south, and Racine to the east, with some Uptown Square structures designated as contributing.

Margate Park

Situated in Uptown's northeast corner, Margate Park is bordered by Lincoln Park and Sheridan Road to the east and west, and Foster Avenue and Lawrence Avenue to the north and south, respectively. Its historic architecture and diverse housing options reflect its development during Uptown's entertainment heyday in the early 1900s, now experiencing revitalization. Notable landmarks include The Aquitania, a co-op building constructed in 1923 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Margate Park is a thriving community and a popular home for many of Chicago's LGBT residents. Accessible via the Lake Shore Drive underpass near Argyle Avenue, adjacent to Margate Playground, and the Foster and Lawrence Avenue beaches.

Argyle Street's Vibrant Asian Scene: New Chinatown

Argyle Street, stretching from Sheridan to Broadway and extending onto Broadway itself, boasts a diverse array of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Laotian, French Vietnamese, and Cambodian eateries and bakeries. Alongside these culinary delights, visitors can explore numerous Asian groceries, shops, and trading companies offering a wide range of unique Asian products. Locally, this area goes by various names, including New Chinatown, North Chinatown, Little Chinatown, Little Saigon, New Saigon, Little Cambodia, Vietnamese Town, Little Vietnam, or simply "Argyle" within the Asian community. The surrounding neighborhood, which has been a magnet for Asian immigrants and refugees for decades, is officially recognized as the West Argyle Street Historic District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Easily accessible via the Argyle stop on the Red Line 'L.'

One block east of the Argyle 'L' stop, at the intersection of Argyle and Winthrop, stands The Roots of Argyle mural. This community-produced artwork vividly depicts 100 years of immigration and daily life on Argyle Street.

Uptown: Schools and Education:

Education in Uptown, Chicago is overseen by the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system. The following schools serve the community, but you can also learn about gifted and selective enrollment education options for CPS :

K-8 Schools:

High Schools:

  • Most residents attend Senn High School
  • Residents west of Ashland are zoned to Amundsen High School

Additionally, there are CPS magnet schools including:

  • Walt Disney Magnet School

Uplift Community High School also serves the Uptown area.


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Chicago's 77 Community Areas