Near North Side - Chicago neighborhood

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Near North

The Near North Side is one of 77 well-defined community areas of Chicago, Illinois,
United States. It is located north and east of the Chicago River, just north of the central
business district (the Loop). To its east is Lake Michigan and its northern boundary is the
19th-century city limit of Chicago, North Avenue. With the exception of Goose Island and
Cabrini–Green on the west, the Near North Side is known for its extreme affluence,
typified by the Magnificent Mile and the Gold Coast. Navy Pier, a popular visitor
destination, is also here.

Gold Coast

The Gold Coast consists mostly of high-rise apartment buildings on Lake Shore Drive,
facing Lake Michigan, but also includes low-rise residential blocks, inland. As with many
neighborhoods, its exact borders are subject to dispute; but, generally they extend from
North Avenue, south, to Division Street and west to Clark Street; and, it also includes the
areas east of State Street, south, to Oak Street and east of Michigan Avenue, south, to
Walton Place.[citation needed]

The Gold Coast became the home of the super-rich in 1885, when Potter Palmer, former
dry goods merchant and owner of the Palmer House hotel, built a fanciful castle on Lake
Shore Drive. Over the next few decades, Chicago's elite gradually migrated from Prairie
Avenue to their new homes north of the Loop.

Along almost every boulevard of the Gold Coast, upscale boutiques and shops have
opened up. Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Hermès, Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Cartier SA, Van
Cleef & Arpels, Yves Saint Laurent, Harry Winston, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, DKNY, Ralph
Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Stuart Weitzman, Rolex, Max Mara, Vera Wang, Jimmy Choo,
Versace, Paul Stuart, Betsey Johnson, and Lilly Pulitzer are just a few of the dozens of
designers that have locations in the exclusive neighborhood. Also, Lamborghini, Ferrari,
Bentley, Porsche, and Bugatti have dealership locations in the Gold Coast.

The "Gold Coast Historic District" was listed on the National Register of Historic Places
on January 30, 1978.

Gold Coast is zoned to the following Chicago Public Schools schools: Ogden School, O.
A. Thorp Scholastic Academy (a magnet school) and Lincoln Park High School.

Old Town

Old Town is a neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, bounded by the Ogden Avenue right-of-
way on the northwest, Larrabee Street on the west, Division Street on the south, Clybourn
Avenue on the southwest and Clark Steet on the east and northeast. It crosses portions
of the community areas of southern Lincoln Park, as well the northern Near North Side,
and is part of Chicago's 43rd ward. Old Town includes the Old Town Triangle Historic
District. The Old Town Triangle Historic District is bounded on its northwest side by the
former Ogden Avenue right-of-way,[3] its northeast side by Lincoln Avenue and Wells
Street, and on its south side by North Avenue.[4] This historic district sits within the Old
Town Triangle Association (OTTA), a Lincoln Park neighborhood bounded by the former
Ogden Avenue right-of-way, Clark Street and North Avenue. It sits inside the community
area of Lincoln Park and is part of Chicago's 43rd ward. Old Town north of North Avenue
is in Lincoln Park, and south of North Avenue is part of the Near North Side. It is now an
affluent gentrified neighborhood. Old Town south of North Avenue is a mixture of rich and
poor with CHA housing projects (including Marshall Field Apartments and parts of
Cabrini–Green) as well as gentrified areas.

Old Town is today considered an affluent and historic neighborhood, home to many of
Chicago's older, Victorian-era buildings.In the 1950s,the majority of this area was an
enclave to the first Puerto Ricans to emigrate to Chicago. They referred to this area as
part of "La Clark" until commercialization decorated late 1960s shop signs with the name
of Old Town. The neighborhood is home to St. Michael's Church, originally a Bavarian-
built church, and one of 7 to survive the path of the Great Chicago Fire. St. Michael's, Holy
Name Cathedral, Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph's catered also to Latinos with
Spanish speaking masses.

The neighborhood is also home to the famed The Second City improvisational comedy
troupe. Many of the streets and alleys, particularly in the Old Town Triangle section,
predate the Great Chicago Fire and do not all adhere to a typical Chicago grid pattern. In
1927, sculptors Sol Kogen and Edgar Miller purchased and subsequently rehabilited a
house on Burton Place, near Wells Street, into the Carl Street Studios. Through the
1930s, an art colony emerged in the neighborhood as artists moved from the Towertown
neighborhood near Washington Square Park.

Old Town has one Brown-Purple Line El station at 1536-40 North Sedgwick Avenue. It is
one of the oldest standing stations on the 'L'.

River North

River North is a neighborhood in the Near North Side community area of Chicago,
Illinois. It is bound by Michigan Avenue to the east, Chicago Avenue to the north, and the
Chicago River to the south and west.

History of River North:

The River North neighborhood got its name from Chicago real estate developer Albert
Friedman (chief executive of Friedman Properties Ltd.), who in 1974 started to buy,
restore and build commercial property in the southeast sector[4]. Much of the area was
skid row at the time, so in an effort to attract tenants Friedman started calling the area
"River North"[5]. Within a few years, Friedman found photographers, ad agencies and art
galleries willing to rent the low cost space and coalesce into what is now the The River
North Gallery District[6], which has the largest concentration of art galleries in the United
States outside of Manhattan.[7] Along with hundreds of art galleries, the area holds many
bars, dance clubs, popular restaurants, and entertainment venues.

Subsections of River North include:

* the gallery district, primarily along Superior and Huron streets between Wells and
* a theme-restaurant area with many tourist-oriented restaurants, surrounding Clark and
* "the Cathedral District," an area with many new residential skyscapers surrounding
Holy Name Cathedral (Catholic) and St. James Cathedral (Episcopal), located near State
and Superior, and Huron and Wabash, respectively;
* a design district, with shops and showrooms selling commercial and luxury interior
furnishings, in the blocks north of the Merchandise Mart; and
* Kingsbury Park, an area of newly built residential high-rises surrounding Erie Park, at
Erie Street and the Chicago River.


Streeterville is the easternmost neighborhood in Chicago, north of the Chicago River. It is
bounded by the river on the south, Michigan Avenue on the west, and Lake Michigan on
the north and east.

Streeterville houses some of Chicago's tallest skyscrapers (such as the John Hancock
Center) and most upscale stores, hotels, restaurants, as well as Northwestern Memorial
Hospital and Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, School of
Continuing Studies, Kellogg School of Management's downtown campus and School of
Law. The Magnificent Mile portion of Michigan Avenue is part of Streeterville, as is the
number one tourist attraction in Chicago, Navy Pier. The Museum of Contemporary Art,
Chicago is located here.

Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile is a stretch of North Michigan Avenue between the Chicago River
and Oak Street in Streeterville. Although actually about three-quarters of a mile, the name
"Magnificent Mile" has stuck.

Along this street is a mixture of luxury stores, restaurants, office buildings and hotels. The
area has a high concentration of the city's major media firms and advertising agencies,
including the Chicago Tribune newspaper.

It is the home of Chicago's famous Water Tower landmark, Water Tower Park with its
historic clock, and the eight-level Water Tower Place shopping center which grew up next
door to, and overshadowed, the comparatively diminutive landmark. The shopping center
is anchored by Macy's North Michigan store. North of the shopping center can be found
the famous John Hancock Center, the Art Deco Palmolive Building and the lavish Drake

Rush Street and Connors Park

Rush Street north of Chicago Avenue to Division Avenue has been a popular nightlife
destination since the 1950s. Connors Park is a small, triangular park bounded by Rush,
Wabash, Chestnut, and Delaware. Part of the Magnificent Mile district (west of Michigan,
north of Chicago, east of State, and south of Oak), it has seen new development spilling
over from Michigan Avenue. Much of the Loyola University Chicago Water Tower campus
lies in this area.

SoNo (South of North Avenue)

The SoNo neighborhood is bordered by North Avenue, Halsted Street, the North Branch
of the Chicago River and Division Street. It includes the North/Clybourn Red Line 'L' Stop
as well as many nightclubs, the British School of Chicago, an Apple Store and some high
rise housing. It is also home to the Weed Street District. This is a rapidly changing area
with more and more retail going up as an extension of the big box stores on Clybourn
Avenue and North Avenue.


* Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

* John Hancock Center

* Navy Pier

* Chicago Water Tower

* International Museum of Surgical Science

* Magnificent Mile


Population (2010)
- Total         80,484
- Density       29,610/sq mi
population up 10% from 2000

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