Lake View is a vibrant Chicago neighborhood, woven together from communities catering to many types of people. Even if you’re not a Cub’s fan, there’s a good chance that you’ve been to or heard of Wrigley Field. Within Lake View, you may find yourself in Wrigleyville, the upscale Lakeview East, or the colorful Boystown – each with an identity all its own.
You certainly won’t be alone if you’re looking for an apartment in Lake View, it’s recognized as one of the top ten big-city neighborhoods to live in. The median rental price for a one-bedroom apartment is quite attractive at roughly $1,300 but there’s a comfortable range on both the lower and higher end.
LThe name “Lake View” has been used progressively over the past 150 years to refer to the first of Chicago’s north suburban developments, an independent township, a city of its own, and the current community area. Lake View’s earliest residents were farmers hailing from Germany, Sweden and Luxemburg, growing mainly celery crop, as was also popular in surrounding areas. The construction of the Lakeview House hotel in 1854 gave the area its moniker and soon after became the Lake View Township. Up until 1889, Lake View was its own entity, but with the expansion of the railway lines, it was controversially annexed to Chicago.
The construction of Wrigley Field in 1914 and a new shopping district stimulated Lake View’s progression to what it is known today. Many single, working class people from other Chicago areas were attracted to the balance of urban character and lower cost housing. Countless affordable apartments in the form of high and low-rises were popping up in the 1950’s. As real estate boomed, different neighborhoods strived to gain identity. Populated mainly by single adults and non-family couples, it was an optimal environment to become the nation’s first officially recognized gay village.
The Lakeview Neighborhood provides an energy that can’t be matched. Rainbow flags fly throughout the neighborhood, making it an embracing atmosphere where your own choice is neither pressured nor discriminated. The whole city takes part in the annual Chicago Pride Parade every last Sunday in June. The diversity in race is a far second to the diversity in culture. Lake View has an 80% white population, and a median household income of $70,000, although the affluence certainly ranges between the communities that make up Lake View.
While the boundaries in Lake View are often blurred, with Boystown overlapping into Lake View East, Wrigleyville has a clear “sports fan” energy that’s hard to mistake. On a game day in Wrigleyville, the party will just be starting when the game ends. You can’t throw a stone without hitting a sports bar, prompting some prospective renters to look elsewhere for a peaceful street.
Wrigley Field is iconic with its ivy-laden outfield walls, but many people enjoy the games more viewed from one of the many rooftop establishments, many providing open bar and food packages for less than you’d pay at the park. If baseball isn’t your passion, the baseball fans themselves are a sight to see, especially during a crosstown classic, when Chicago’s Cubs play the Chicago White Sox.
Head East of Wrigleyville for a little sophistication. Lake View East has beautiful views of; you guessed it, the lake. Running and biking trails as well as Montrose Beach offer year-round fun for everyone. Take a sailing trip out of Belmont Harbor and harness some of the Windy City’s energy. For a unique theatre experience, check out Music Box Theatre for an indie, art-house cinema experience. The aforementioned pride parade is a do-not-miss, with an unrivaled amount of spectacle.