Wicker Park sits just south of Bucktown, it’s cohort in trendiness. Wicker Park and Bucktown are often referred to as a pair, flanking the hip and bustling six-corners intersection of North, Damen and Milwaukee Avenues. Helping to feed the area’s activity from outside the neighborhood is the elevated CTA Blue Line. Wicker Park lies south of North Avenue to Division Street. Western and Ashland flank the neighborhood to the west and east respectively.
Wicker Park is named for the triangular park that bears its name in the heart of the neighborhood, donated to the city in 1870 by the Wicker brothers, early developers of the area. In the late 1800s, Wicker Park was the neighborhood of choice for Chicago’s wealthy Northern European immigrants, who built large mansions along the choicest streets. Hoyne Street was known as ‘Beer Barron Row’ – home to many of the city’s wealthiest brewers.
The housing in Wicker Park runs the gamut from new construction townhomes and condos to vintage single-family homes. Much of the housing stock is fairly old, but rehabbed and generally in good condition. There is a fair amount of new construction going on at all times and Wicker Park real estate is truly a blend of the old and the new. It’s a hot neighborhood that commands a premium price, though there are pockets of opportunity. Plenty of rentals can also be found which helps to define the demographic of the neighborhood – young and adventurous.
Today’s Wicker Park residents are indeed mostly young professionals in their 20s and 30s, lured to the area by the neighborhood’s ‘hip quotient’ and fueled by the many galleries, clubs, restaurants and activity. Niche Shops, trendy nightclubs and music venues stretch out in every direction from the six corners, including to the equally fashionable Division Street corridor on the south edge of the neighborhood. The area is very diverse – ethnically and educationally and is known for supporting local art and independent businesses.