Welcome to Uptown, a large, historic North Side Chicago community known best for iconic live performances, gangsters of yesteryear and multi-cultural residents and restaurants. Notorious for being the nighttime playground of Al Capone and crew, the area's entertainment venues have also played host to Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones and Snoop Dogg. Graceland Cemetery, the final resting place of many prominent Chicago business tycoons, entertainers and politicians, is also located in the area. Uptown is comprised of several distinct neighborhoods: Buena Park, Little Vietnam, Margate Park, Sheridan Park and Andersonville Terrace (also known as North Uptown).
(Photo courtesy of Jojolae)
Uptown's boundaries are Foster Avenue to the north, Irving Park Road to the south, Lake Michigan to the east and Clark Street to the west. The area is adjacent to Lake View, which includes Boystown, Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville.
While Uptown is known for its vibrant dining and live-music scenes, it's also a very livable area of Chicago, with many quiet residential blocks consisting of highrises, historic mansions, brownstones and apartment buildings. Surrounding neighborhoods: Andersonville, Edgewater, Lake View, and Lincoln Square/Ravenswood.
(Photo courtesy of Hydrogen Ink)
The most prominent Uptown parks and recreation centers are located along Lake Shore Drive, in the northern part of Lincoln Park. They include Montrose Beach, Puptown Dog Park and Wilson Skatepark, as well as a number of soccer and athletic fields. Clarendon Park and Margate Park, located just west of Lake Shore Drive, offer additional recreational facilities. There are a number of elementary schools in Uptown, including Walt Disney Magnet School.
(Photo courtesy of Jeremy Atherton)
In Uptown, 46.8% of the population is single, with 34.3% of residents married, 11.8% divorced and 7.1% widowed. Almost 90% of the population is without kids.
Homes With Kids
Uptown is close to Lake Shore Drive (via Montrose Avenue), which connects to I-57. The neighborhood is within walking distance to both Metra and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) rapid transit stations (Red Line). A public transportation commute to the Loop from Uptown takes approximately 40 minutes via the Red Line. The Loop is only 7.1 miles away and easily accessible via the 22-Clark, 36-Broadway or 156-LaSalle bus lines.
The pulse of Uptown is near the intersection of Broadway and Lawrence avenues, where ethnic restaurants, live-music venues and more are located. From the Ethiopian-focused Demera restaurant to the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, a wide range of entertainment is available to residents and visitors. The Aragon Ballroom and Riviera Theatre are major music institutions that have played host to some of the biggest names in entertainment since the early 1900s. Little Vietnam, located in the West Argyle Street Historic District, is home to the largest concentration of Vietnamese and Cambodian restaurants, bakeries and shops in the city. Parking is challenging in Uptown, but a few venues provide valet service.
In 1861, the area now known as Uptown consisted only of Graceland Cemetery. The prime property surrounding it soon became a hot commodity, drawing European immigrants, who settled in Buena Park and Sheridan Park. Around the turn of the 20th century, developers took advantage of the ever-growing population and built a number of live-entertainment venues in hopes that the area would rival Broadway, New York's City's theater district. Shortly thereafter, the Aragon Ballroom and Riviera Theatre were built. The Great Depression wrought havoc on the neighborhood, and many of the most prosperous residents migrated north. Those who remained behind fought to keep Uptown intact, and landmark status was eventually placed upon the areas with historic mansions and brownstones, namely Buena Park and Sheridan Park.
The 1970s brought an influx of Asian immigrants to the area, and by the end of the decade Little Vietnam was established. A host of residences, shops, restaurants and bakeries make up what is now known as the West Argyle Street Historic District.
Development of the area continued in the 2000s, as new construction and renovation of mansions and brownstones attracted even more residents.
4001 N. Clark St. - Graceland Cemetery is the resting place of prominent Chicago figures, including boxing great Jack Johnson, Chicago Tribune founder Joseph Medill, architect Louis Sullivan, department store kingpin Marshall Field and hotelier Potter Palmer.
4450 N. Clark St. - Black Ensemble Theater was founded in 1976 by Jackie Taylor, an award-winning actress, producer and singer.
4802 N. Broadway - Green Mill Cocktail Lounge is a legendary jazz club that boasted Al Capone as a regular patron during his heyday.
1345 W. Argyle St. - Essanay Studios is where Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson and other silent-film stars produced movies of that era.