Located just west of the Chicago River and a little North of The Loop, West Town is full of character. The Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village and Noble Square neighborhoods all make up the community area of West Town. The 207-acre Humboldt Park is located here and within it the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture. Metra District-North and District-West line commuter trains stop here at Western Ave, which one can take out to the suburbs or into downtown. The CTA Blue Line ‘L’ trains makes getting to the Loop easy, as well as out to O’Hare Airport.
West Town has a variety of rental options and most apartments are in buildings with less than 10 units, although there are some high rises as you get close to Fulton Market. Nearly all buildings are pre-war and it is more common to rent than to own an apartment or condo here. Median rent paid in West Town is around $1,100 but one can expect to pay a premium for an apartment with great amenities.
West Town was historically home to a large Polish enclave: Pulaski Park often was referred to as “Polish Downtown” and Wicker Park, with its lower population density, “Polish Gold Coast”. Much of the area’s history is owed to the post Great Chicago Fire push to build homes outside the Loop, then later by the nearly 150,000 displaced Polish that arrived between 1939-1959.
West Town is a popular choice among those looking for great restaurants and affordable apartments. The sense of community is strong here, especially within the Hispanic community. There are exceptional school choices available, including the Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School and Noble Street College Prep School. There is a higher than average occurrence of property crime such as theft, but proportionally quite a low amount of violent crimes.
West Town has a population of 98,374, and a density of 21,606 per square mile, nearly double city’s average. The Hispanic population makes up the majority here, and the median income of $67,640 is higher than the city average of $47,099.
Hoyne Avenue in the Wicker Park neighborhood is known colloquially as ‘Beer Baron Row’ since many of the wealthy Chicago brewery owners built mansions there.
Bring your appetite to West Town, as there’s no shortage of great food options here. If you’ve tired of Chicago style pizza, stop into Coalfire for a Fiorentino style pizza. Have a pork belly gyro sandwich at Publican Quality Meats, and tour the Goose Island Beer Co and sample the selection in The Taproom.