Chicago’s trendy Bucktown neighborhood has come a long way from when Polish immigrants first dubbed it Kozie Prery — roughly translated as Goat Prairie, according to the Bucktown Community Organization. This nickname was fitting through the 1860s, when living in Bucktown meant the average next-door neighbor was a herd of goats. But that all changed dramatically after 1871’s Great Chicago Fire destroyed more than 17,000 buildings, killed more than 300 people and caused $200 million in damage.
As the city began to rebuild, energy started to pour into building up Bucktown. Various ethnic groups, from European immigrants to transplants from Cuba and Puerto Rico, have called Bucktown home in the years since the fire, and in the 1990s, an influx of artists brought a new wave of development to the neighborhood, the Bucktown Community Organization notes.
Bucktown borders Wicker Park on the south and is adjacent to West Town, Logan Square and Humboldt Park. Its boundaries are Fullerton Avenue on the north, North Avenue to the south, Kennedy Expressway to the east and Western Avenue to the west.
Bucktown boasts a population of just over 17,000 residents, and is one of Chicago’s trendiest neighbhorhoods – with many young professionals and artists calling the area home. The average sales price for homes is $490,741, with the standard price per square foot at $354.
Chicago Public Schools is the second largest school system in the nation, boasting over 600 schools serving just over 380,000 students. Bucktown is also home to the Drummond Montessori School, a magnet institution that is the city’s first public Montessori school and serves students from early childhood to middle school.
Living in Bucktown offers residents easy access to some of the city’s top destinations and events. The Bucktown Arts Fest, the Bucktown Garden Walk and ChillFest are among the most notable neighborhood events.
The arrival of The 606 has made active lifestyles a reality in the neighborhood. This elevated trail converted from an old railway connects Bucktown to Humboldt Park, Logan Square and Wicker Park and is ideal for biking, walking and jogging. Chicago truly comes alive in the summer, so when the weather is nice, the 606 is buzzing with family-friendly events like the Circus Experience Wheel Jam and Big Table Dinners.
Strolling along top shopping streets Armitage and Damen Avenue will lead to a host of locally owned shops and boutiques, from funky resale stores to upscale outfits showcasing one-of-a-kind designs.
Brand new to the area are two boutique hotel properties: the Hollander and the Robey, each offering dining and drinking options for locals as well as guests. Other eating and imbibing attractions include Goddess and Grocer, Presidio and the James Beard award-winning Mindy’s HotChocolate.
Movie buffs will appreciate the cinemas in the immediate area, and theater fans can rejoice in live stage performances at Gorilla Tango and Trap Door. Nearby Gallery Cabaret, the Hideout and Subterranean are all popular destinations for live music.
Getting Around Town
Residents use all modes of transportation in Bucktown. There are designated bike lanes on major streets like Damen, Elston and Armitage. Public transportation is easily accessible on the Blue Line elevated train, as well as multiple bus lines. Grocery stores and other shops are easy to find. The expressways I-90 and I-94 are the main routes in the neighborhood. Traffic on the expressway is typically busy, especially during morning and evening rush hours. Drivers must pay for parking on all major streets in Bucktown. If you’re thinking about making your home in this neighborhood, head to Owners.com to find the perfect fit.
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