Chicago Historic Districts

From the stunning architecture to the compelling tales of yesteryears, each of Chicago's historic districts offers a unique glimpse into the city's past.  Whether you are a history buff or simply looking to explore the city's diverse neighborhoods, each of these districts are worth adding to your itinerary.

Bryn Mawr Historic District 

The Bryn Mawr Historic District, established in the early 20th century, is a distinct part of Chicago's architectural and cultural legacy. Originally inhabited by Swedish immigrants, the district rapidly developed into a thriving commercial and residential hub. Today, the Bryn Mawr Historic District remains one of Chicago's most vibrant historic districts, and a defining part of the city's Edgewater neighborhood. Its mix of classic and modern elements continues to intrigue visitors and locals alike. Edgewater Beach Apartments and The Belle Shore Apartment Hotel, both listed in the National Register of Historic Places, showcase the district’s unique architectural style.

The iconic Bryn Mawr Avenue is lined with bustling shops and eateries housed in beautifully preserved buildings. The Bryn Mawr Historic District is more than just a collection of buildings—it's a living, breathing testament to the city's resilience, transformation, and enduring charm.

Printers Row Historic District 

Chicago's iconic Printers Row, also known as Printing House Row, is a historic district in the southern section of downtown Chicago. Originally a hub for the city's printing and publishing industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, its massive loft buildings housed numerous printing establishments, integral to the entire country's literary and scholarly progression. Today, Printers Row is a residential neighborhood blending old and new. The district's architectural charm is maintained through the adaptive reuse of the historic buildings, many of which have been converted into chic residential lofts.

The district's historic Dearborn Station, once a bustling transit point, now serves as a charming retail and office complex. Printers Row is also the host of the annual Printers Row Lit Fest, a literature-focused street fair that underscores the area's history. With its unique past and lively present, the Printers Row Historic District is a shining jewel in Chicago's architectural and cultural crown.

Historic Neighborhoods Chicago IL

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Astor Street District

The Astor Street District in Chicago's Gold Coast, named after the renowned investor John Jacob Astor, paints a vibrant picture of the city's rich history. Founded in the late 19th century, this district quickly became synonymous with Chicago's elite, housing the grand, elegant mansions of the city's most affluent families. Today, Astor Street is celebrated for its beautifully preserved Victorian architecture, a testament to Chicago’s past. Notable highlights include the Three Arts Club and the Charnley-Persky House.

Walking through the district, one is seamlessly transported back in time, experiencing the lavish lifestyle of Chicago's golden age while nestled in the heart of a bustling modern city.

Astor Street Historic District Chicago

Uptown Historic District 

The Uptown Historic District in Chicago is a testament to the city's vibrant and flourishing past. In the Roaring Twenties, it was the epicenter of entertainment, home to several theatres, nightclubs, and concert halls, attracting the nation's top performers and a bustling crowd. The district's architectural gems, such as the ornate Uptown Theatre and the iconic Green Mill Jazz Club, reflect its opulent past and continue to serve as cultural touchstones. Today, Chicago's Uptown neighborhood maintains its cultural dynamism while embracing modernity. The Green Mill Jazz Club is still in operation, hosting exceptional live music, and the Riviera Theatre continues to draw big names in music.

Uptown is also known for its diverse culinary scene, featuring everything from Vietnamese pho at Tank Noodle to Ethiopian dishes at Demera Restaurant. Immersed in history yet pulsing with contemporary energy, the Uptown Historic District embodies Chicago's resilience, transformation, and gritty spirit.

Uptown Historic District Chicago

Bissell Street District 

Chicago's Bissell Street District, often called "Bissell Street Architecture District," is a delightful snapshot of the city's past. This small section of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, bounded by Halsted Street, Willow Street, Lincoln Avenue, and Lill Avenue, gained recognition for its 'worker's cottage' style of architecture, characteristic of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The district was home to immigrants and reflected their aspiration for a comfortable life in the New World. Today, the Bissell Street District maintains its historic charm while effortlessly blending into the modern milieu. The picturesque cottages, some of which have been meticulously restored, stand alongside contemporary townhouses, creating an architectural tapestry.

The district is in close proximity to the DePaul University campus, bringing a youthful and lively atmosphere to the neighborhood. Additionally, its prime location affords easy access to a plethora of dining and shopping options along Armitage Avenue. Bissell Street District is thus a microcosm of Chicago's history, a quaint throwback amidst the city's dynamic evolution.

Posted by Helaine Cohen on
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