Ravenswood is a neighborhood on Chicago’s north side. The neighborhood is nestled between Montrose Avenue on the south and Foster Avenue on the north; its western border is the Chicago River, and its eastern border is Clark Street. Ravenswood is commonly associated with its other residential neighbors, Andersonville and Ravenswood Manor. Lincoln Square also falls within its borders.
Founded in the late 1800’s as a commuter suburb, Ravenswood derives its name from the raven-filled woods that once sat in its place. The suburban and residential intent of its inception has stuck with Ravenswood, which still mainly serves families in its courtyard apartment buildings and attractive homes.
As of the last 25 years, Ravenswood real estate has risen in value drastically. In what was once a quiet and affordable immigrant neighborhood, single family homes are now commonly priced between $700,000 and 1,000,000, while multi-unit buildings or swankier estates may run up to 1.5 or 2 million dollars. In the eastern, historic district, things can get very pricey. Even Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and his family call the picturesque area home.
However, high real estate values are founded in some true benefits of life in the neighborhood. Convenient access to the Metra, and the Brown and Red Line trains also means quick travel to the suburbs, the loop, and other north side attractions, such as Wrigleyville. Ravenswood is also very safe, and boasts good schools, and beautiful parks.
Culture and Attractions
If Ravenswood sounds like a snooze, worry not, there are many attractions to keep you occupied and entertained.
Natural beauty is one of the greatest appeals of Ravenswood. Unlike many Chicago neighborhoods, Ravenswood is marked by its large yards, pastoral parks, and shady trees, a perfect place for its frequent summer block parties and barbecues. Living walking distance to Lake Michigan is also a plus. The nearest beach, Montrose Beach, is one of the most desirable beaches in Chicago, tons of fun with a bit less chaos than North Avenue Beach.
In addition to outdoor activities, one will also find street festivals and public performances abundant in Ravenswood. Welles Park consistently holds concerts, storytelling events, and sports. The park even has an indoor pool! For some winter warmth, head to Christkindl Market in Lincoln Square. To serve any taste, Ravenswood also hosts public culinary tours, beer festivals, and art walks.
As far as nightlife goes, Ravenswood is in close proximity to many theaters, restaurants, and event centers. The Davis Theater is a treasured Lincoln Square movie theater that holds regular special events, such as screenings of old, local, and art-house films. Live music is also easily accessible. For folk music, check out the Old Town School of Folk Music. For larger touring artists, Ravenswood sits steps away from the Aragon Ballroom, and Uptown’s Riviera theater. For smaller and local shows, Silvie’s lounge is a local favorite. For food and drink, the Lincoln Square commercial drag provides a cute strip of local bars and restaurants.