Ravenswood is an up and coming neighborhood in Chicago’s North Side. It is part of the Lincoln Square community area and contains the historic and commercially zoned Lincoln Square district as well as Ravenswood Gardens. Apartments for rent are reasonably priced, consisting mostly of single-family homes. Median household income was $57,749 in 2010 and a great two-bedroom apartment can easily be found for less than $2,000 per month.
Ravenswood began as one of the first Chicago suburbs in 1868 when the Ravenswood Land Company, a group of businessmen and developers, purchased 194 acres of farm and wooded land. The company then made a deal with the Chicago and North Western Railroads to build a new stop there. The acres were split into large lots, which the generally wealthy passengers of rail transportation at the time found to be of good value. In 1889 it was annexed to Chicago as part of the Lakeview subdivision. In 1907 The L train’s service extended its reach here and the location became livable for those less affluent.
Ravenswood is known for it’s tree-lined streets and multiple parks. Lawrence Ave is densely populated with restaurant, cafes and other businesses. Ravenswood along with its surrounding Lincoln square have a clear German influence, with many businesses catering to and run by German families that have lived here for generations. You’re also just as likely to find Thai or Hispanic communities as you walk through Ravenswood. Due to its proximity to the L train, and lower priced rents, it is an attractive choice for Chicago residents looking for good value.
The next time you’re craving a beer and some German fare, visit the Brauhaus for a Knackwurst. During Oktoberfest you might even believe you’re in Germany. If you feel like bringing your own bottle, stop in to Caro Mio for a candlelit Italian home-style meal or Aroy for authentic Thai food.
Take a walk through the Ravenswood Gardens historic district to see some of the first and oldest homes. There you’ll also find some of the oldest businesses like the Lutz Café & Pastry shop, where you’ll feel as though you’ve entered a time warp.