Chicago always has been a city of contrasts. It began as a humble trading post
and through its resurrection from the devastation of the fire of 1871, this
city on the lake was formed by two commercial construction booms—the
period after the recession of the 1870s and the early 1890s in preparation for
the coming of the Colombian Exposition to Chicago. Now the third largest city
in the country, Chicago combines diversity and ethnic pride in 77 distinct
neighborhoods, many of which have, over the years, retained their unique
character. Chicagoans adhere to their cultural identities but welcome all.
Chicago constantly reinvents itself. Cabrini-Green, once a gang-ridden housing
project, now boasts residential units for a variety of incomes. Renovation and
new construction have spread to other urban neighborhoods as well.
The city area’s median home price is about $240,000, but a dramatic range
of options, from multi-million dollar mansions along downtown's Gold Coast and
Magnificent Mile to fixer-uppers in emerging neighborhoods such as
Wrigleyville, Old Town and Lakeview make that number just a starting point.
Apartments are undergoing a renaissance. One-bedroom rentals start at about $600
per month in "ethnic" neighborhoods like Chinatown, Little Italy and
Greektown and rise to $1,700 in downtown hot spots like River East, River
North, Streeterville and Printer's Row.
We’re focusing on the four neighborhoods that best mirror the Chicago
blend: upscale Lincoln Park, bustling Wicker Park/Bucktown, Oak Park and