Old Town is one of Chicago’s oldest neighborhoods. Even though it’s small, its mighty and makes quite an impression on the city of Chicago. Old Town extends just pass North Avenue, while its eastern side is marked by infamous Clark Street. The small neighborhood of Old Town lies to the East of Larabee and Clybourn, while Division rests at the southern edge of town. Old Town is known to many as a historic neighborhood. In early times inhabitants of this area sponsored annual fairs called the “Old Town Holiday.” After many years of this popular event the name Old Town stuck and hence the name of the neighborhood. Along with its historic nature, Old Town is home to a historic church that actually survived the Great Chicago Fire. St. Michael’s Church was one of seven churches to survive. In addition, over forty years ago Old Town was one of Chicago’s first neighborhoods to become gentrified.
Nowadays Old Town, although older, uses its charm to be an appealing place to both residents and visitors. Old Town is known for its annual art fair. The Old Town Art Fair was started in 1950. In the first eight years of the fair, amateurs were welcome to submit their art. After those eight years however, a jury of artists, museum owners, and other established individuals of the art world judge the art before it can enter the fair. The fair exposes the artwork of over 250 artists. The fair is held every June, and it includes musical performances, and the Garden Walk. The Garden Walk is a tour of the historic neighborhood and the children’s activity area. There is a suggested donation of $5 per person, and all proceeds go to the youth groups of the area. The annual art fair is not all Old Town has to offer, the shopping, dining, and nightlife deliver as well. Although chain stores are rare in Old Town, the neighborhood guarantees one of a kind, unique boutiques. Several specialty shops are also located in Old Town. The dining in Old Town is unique to Chicago such as Sauce, as well as familiar with chain restaurants, such as Adobo Grill. Unique to Old Town, sushi is resoundingly popular to the locals. There are many different locations to choose from, including the popular Café Sushi. The charm of the neighborhood transfers from day to night in comfortable bars such as Hobo’s and Wells on Wells. Swanky night clubs also exist in the nightlife of Old Town, Spoon is one of the many popular choices.
Because the area is known for its history, it’s no wonder that there are many Victorian era buildings. Housing in Old Town ranges from townhomes to cottages, and single family homes. There are also gorgeous high rises. Although not as wealthy as the Gold Coast area, Old Town is well known as an affluent neighborhood.
Transportation is never an issue with residents of Old Town. The el red, brown, and purple lines all run throughout the area, as well as several buses.