In its early days, during the mid-to-late 19th century, there were two ways to get to North Center—floating up the North Branch of the Chicago River, or by walking, riding, or rolling up the dirt road that eventually became Lincoln Avenue. The settlers who put down roots by the river worked, primarily, dredging clay from the riverbed to produce the now ubiquitous Chicago Common bricks that became a boom industry after the Great Chicago Fire.
The decision whether or not to put down roots in North Center is still an easy choice for many Chicagoans. Would you prefer a community-focused neighborhood to raise a family in, or just a place to relax a bit from hectic city life? Get both. Looking for a single-family home or a vintage condo? You can find both. Prefer a front yard or a back yard? (I think you see where this is going) Get both! Why choose when the choice is clear?
Figure in a number of highly rated elementary schools, casual to upscale restaurants (contemporary American, Asian, burgers, farm-to-table, French, Italian, Southern, and more) along with patios, summer festivals, live music, and the beautiful Revere Park on the west bank of the river, and you start to get a really good picture of everything on offer.
The CTA has three Brown Line “L” stops in the neighborhood for those who need to get downtown—or just get around—and regular bus service runs up and down all the major avenues and streets. Got all that? Well, you can get all of that, if you choose this cosmopolitan, bustling neighborhood with a small-town feel.