Ravenswood defies definition. Although nearby neighborhoods may claim it as their own, the North Side neighborhood has its own unique vibe.
Located between Ravenswood Avenue and the Chicago River and Montrose and Bryn Mawr avenues, the wooded area was home to ravens when speculators saw its potential as an exclusive commuter suburb.
The neighborhood became that and so much more. Gracious homes, industry and arts are all at home here as are a variety of excellent eateries, bars and breweries.
Carl Sandburg lived on Ravenswood’s Hermitage Avenue when he penned his “Chicago” poems and dubbed Chicago the “city of big shoulders”.
Chicago’s industrious spirit is definitely alive in the neighborhood. Metra tracks run through Ravenswood Avenue at the heart of the neighborhood, surrounded by community gardens, businesses, eateries and both new and old homes.
When machine shops and industry moved on and factories shuttered, artists moved in, making this a creative hub. An architectural artifact salvage firm now occupies warehouses from the early 1900s. A former factory with sweeping windows is now a wedding and event venue.
Artists of all kinds thrive in the neighborhood – from microbrewers and distillers to furniture makers, metalworkers; and performers.
The neighborhood includes 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 on beautiful lots.
As early developers imagined, the neighborhood’s convenient location just 10 miles from downtown makes it popular with commuters. Public transportation includes multiple CTA bus routes, CTA Brown Line stops nearby and the Metra Ravenswood station.
Secondary public schools include Amundsen High School, Lake View High School and Senn High School.