North Center got its name quite simply because it happened to be in the approximate center of the city’s North Side. Inhabited originally by a number of European groups, including German, Polish, Czech, Serbian, Greek, and French groups, the neighborhood has grown significantly and continues to become more culturally and ethnically diverse.
Evidence of this European ancestry can be seen in the architecture and building styles of the neighborhood. Walking through Northcenter, you’ll find quiet tree-lined streets, a multitude of small businesses and restaurants, and a number of parks. It’s the perfect neighborhood for raising a family or simply to settle down.
North Center is bounded by Addison to the South, Montrose to the North, the Chicago River to the West, and Ravenswood (1800 W) to the East.
While Northcenter may not boast the commercial robustness of a Wrigleyville or River North, the neighborhood has something for everyone. Here you’ll find an Eclectic mix of retailers, restaurants, live music, theater, and service businesses, everything from Half Acre Beer Company on Lincoln to Reverve Park right off of Irving Park Road.
The center of the action, however is found smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood where Lincoln, Damen, and Irving Park meet to form a six-way intersection.
Culture and Community
Northcenter is host to a fair number of cultural and community attractions as well. In the neighborhood, you’ll find the Lillstreet Art Center which hosts art classes for adults and children. You’ll also find the American Theater Company, home to many American-themed plays, as well as Architectural Artifacts – a large showcase of architectural salvage and home décor from around the world.
Community is a big part of living in Northcenter, and the North Center Chamber of Commerce puts on a large number of events every year. Mostly notably is the Ribfest Chicago, which takes place in June and aims to raise money for Northcenter schools and nonprofits.
The Brown Line of the Chicago El runs directly through Northcenter. Residents have access to the Irving Park, Montrose, and Addison stops. There are also a number of bus lines available in Northcenter, including the 152, 80, 78, 49, and 50.
Residents of Northcenter have a large number of school options available to them. For elementary school, Audobon Elementary, Bell Elementary, Coonley Elementary, Jahn Elementary, North Park Elementary, St. Benedict Elementary, and Hamilton Elementary.
For High School, residents have access to St. Benedict High School, Lane Technical High School, and James Adams Alternative High School.
The European influence is strong in North Center’s architecture and the neighborhood has been growing in popularity in recent years, so there is no shortage of available homes to buy or rent. The median home value in the area is $550,635, while the media rent for the area is $1,373.