Ravenswood defies definition. Although nearby neighborhoods may claim it as their own, the North Side neighborhood has its own unique feel.
Bordered by Foster Avenue, Montrose Avenue, Clark Street and the Chicago River, the wooded area was home to ravens when real estate speculators saw its potential as an exclusive commuter suburb. The neighborhood became that and so much more after it was annexed to the City of Chicago in 1889. Metra tracks run through Ravenswood Avenue at the heart of the neighborhood, surrounded by community gardens, businesses, eateries, bars and both new and old homes.
The community has also established itself as a creative hub. Once its machine shops moved on and factories shuttered, artists moved in. Today, artists of all kinds thrive in the neighborhood – from microbrewers and distillers to furniture makers, metalworkers and performers. The community is home to an architectural artifact salvage firm that occupies a warehouse from the early 1900s, and a wedding and event venue that is housed in a former factory with sweeping windows.
When it comes to housing, Ravenswood features spacious lots on tree-lined streets. Homes include courtyard buildings, Victorian and Prairie School homes, brick row houses, two- and three-flats, single-family homes, lofts and condominiums. Many homes have been rehabbed to add modern amenities while retaining their vintage charm.
As early developers imagined, the neighborhood’s convenient location just 10 miles from downtown makes it a popular choice for commuters. Public transportation includes multiple CTA bus routes, nearby CTA Brown Line stops and the Ravenswood Metra station. Various local events also make Ravenswood a destination for residents of surrounding communities. Each year the community hosts The Taste of Ravenswood, Ravenswood ArtWalk and Ravenswood on Tap, featuring live music and craft beer.