Not long ago remarks in a comments thread reminded me of how vague or even cartoonish a view people who don’t actually live here have of Chicago. In hopes of remedying that a bit I decided to produce a series of posts that reveal a more ground-level view of Chicago. This is the introductory post in that series which I’m going to call “Chicago—Neighborhood by Neighborhood”.
It’s been said that Chicago is a city of neighborhoods. I haven’t been able to discover who first said that and I strongly suspect that most people don’t understand what it means. Chicago is actually comprised of 9 “sides”, each side is composed of multiple “community areas”, 77 community areas, illustrated above, and each community area consists of one or more neighborhoods for a total of more than 200 neighborhoods in all. In the late 1920s the Social Science Research Committee at University of Chicago identified 75 community areas within Chicago, defined by geography, sociology, and economics. In the 1950s the city annexed land to construct O’Hare Airport, adding a 76th community area. In 1980 the Edgewater community area was separated from the Uptown community area for a 77th and it’s remained that way ever since.
The boundaries of the community areas haven’t changed since they were drawn originally and I have little doubt that they’d be a bit different if they were drawn today.
As I wrote above, each community area consists of one or more neighborhoods and, in general, the community areas take their names from one of the neighborhoods in them. The community area I live in is the Forest Glen community but if I said “I live in Forest Glen” to one of my neighbors, he or she would look at me funny. We live in the Sauganash neighborhood, along with Edgebrook and Forest Glen, the three neighborhoods that constitute the Forest Glen community which is located in the Far North Side of Chicago.
Chicago’s community areas by number are:
|01||Rogers Park||21||Avondale||41||Hyde Park||61||New City|
|02||West Ridge||22||Logan Square||42||Woodlawn||62||West Elsdon|
|03||Uptown||23||Humboldt Park||43||South Shore||63||Gage Park|
|04||Lincoln Square||24||West Town||44||Chatham||64||Clearing|
|05||North Center||25||Austin||45||Avalon Park||65||West Lawn|
|06||Lake View||26||West Garfield Park||46||South Chicago||66||Chicago Lawn|
|07||Lincoln Park||27||East Garfield Park||47||Burnside||67||West Englewood|
|08||Near North Side||28||Near West Side||48||Calumet Heights||68||Englewood|
|09||Edison Park||29||North Lawndale||49||Roseland||69||Greater Grand Crossing|
|10||Norwood Park||30||South Lawndale||50||Pullman||70||Ashburn|
|11||Jefferson Park||31||Lower West Side||51||South Deering||71||Auburn Gresham|
|12||Forest Glen||32||Loop||52||East Side||72||Beverly|
|13||North Park||33||Near South Side||53||West Pullman||73||Washington Heights|
|14||Albany Park||34||Armour Square||54||Riverdale||74||Mount Greenwood|
|15||Portage Park||35||Douglas||55||Hegewisch||75||Morgan Park|
|16||Irving Park||36||Oakland||56||Garfield Ridge||76||O’Hare|
|17||Dunning||37||Fuller Park||57||Archer Heights||77||Edgewater|
|18||Montclare||38||Grand Boulevard||58||Brighton Park|
|19||Belmont Cragin||39||Kenwood||59||McKinley Park|
My community area is #12.
First stop: Forest Glen