Evanston has long been regarded as one of Chicago’s most stable and attractive suburbs due to the prime location with a balance of urban amenities, proximity to the lakefront and great schools. In 2010 the average household size was 2.25 with average family size of about 3. At that time the estimated median income for a household in the city was $60,033, and the median income for a family was $102,706, although lower income areas in west and south-central Evanston influence this number.
Non-native Americans began settling here in the 1830’s and 1840’s when French explorers named the area “Grosse Pointe” after a chunk of land that juts into Lake Michigan. In 1851 Northwestern University was founded along with the Garrett Biblical Institute by a group of Methodist business owners. The founders of Northwestern submitted to the county Judge plans to rename the community Evanston, after John Evans, one of their leaders. The city’s growth mostly occurred due to its accessibility to Chicago by rail. The first NCAA Basketball final was hosted here in 1939 at Northwestern University. In 1972 the city council voted to overturn a ban on alcohol that had kept Evanston a dry community since Northwestern University’s original charter.
Northwestern University played an immense role in the development of the community and still has a large influence on the demographics here. It is the leading employer in the city with over 5,000 employees and drives much of Evanston’s economic growth. Evanston’s public school system is well respected and there are a number of great private schools fortunate to be in close proximity to a ‘Top 10’ University. Although Evanston has a college-town vibe; there are many single-family homes here, with more than a quarter of households having children. There are many apartments to rent, with most of the larger apartment complexes close to the university and near the lower income areas.
The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art has an extensive selection of works located within Northwestern University. Afterwards, walk the beautiful campus a bit or catch a Wildcat’s football game where you’re likely to see some future NFL players out on the field. The Northwestern lakefill is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon, where the university claimed 74 acres of land from the lake to create beautifully shaded picnic spots and breathtaking views of the city. Space is a cozy grown up venue where you can get up close and personal with live jazz and roots music.