Wicker Park (Chicago), Illinois
Wicker Park is a neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, located northwest of the Loop. It is home to a community of young business professionals, new families and Chicago students.
Wicker Park was first incorporated into Chicago in 1837. By 1853, North, Milwaukee and Damen streets all became developed, with homes on the corners of North and Milwaukee, as well as a public well on the northwest corner of North and Damen streets. In 1857, the Rolling Mill Steel Works—Wicker Park’s first industry—opened along the Chicago River. Irish residents settled in Wicker Park and formed a community around the mill, many working in the mill.
As the years progressed, more downtown residents began to spill out of the city and form wider industries within the Wicker Park district: Clothing, furniture, cigar manufacturers, musical instruments and breweries all began to thrive.
According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, the fire of 1871 caused Chicago’s wealthy Germans and Scandinavians to settle in Wicker Park and build large mansions out of brick and stone. A number of middle-class residents also lived there by the late 19th century; Wicker Park streets became filled with African Americans and Eastern Europeans residing in small cottages. By 1930, this half of the Wicker Park population began to outnumber the wealthy Germans and Scandinavians, who eventually left their mansions.
By the 1960s and 1970s, the district was mostly poor with a sizeable Hispanic population. It wasn’t until the 1980s that young, white professionals began overhauling old houses and stirring racial and class tensions with mass gentrification. Now, the neighborhood is among the most desirable in Chicago and offers a population that is racially mixed.
Today, Wicker Park offers a mix of small businesses, boutiques, galleries and restaurants. The result is a vibrant, dynamic destination for visitors and residents. Wicker Park maintains an emphasis on performance art, music and theater, and attracts an offbeat crowd on any given day or night. It also has many independent art galleries, particularly in the Flat Iron Building, a building that attracts many sculptors, painters and mixed-media artists. For commuters (many of whom do not need a car), the CTA’s Blue Line train is only a few blocks away giving them 10-minute access to the Loop, as well as easy access to O’Hare International Airport and the suburbs.
Each September, the Around the Coyote Art Festival gives hundreds of artists a chance to open their doors to display and sell their work. Beyond private galleries, the festival has art displayed in storefronts, loft spaces, public buildings and private spaces.
In 2012, Wicker Park was ranked fourth among the top ten “Hippest Hipster Neighborhoods” in the country by Forbes magazine and Nextdoor. The selection was based on walkability, the number of neighborhood coffee shops per capita, the assortment of local food trucks, the number and frequency of farmers’ markets, the number of locally owned restaurants and bars and the percentage of residents who work in artistic fields.
In 2014, Niche.com named Wicker Park as being among the nation’s top spots for millennials. According to Niche.com’s rankings, Wicker Park is the country’s fourth-best neighborhood for millennials, the generation generally born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. The website praised the neighborhood’s high education and income levels, while pointing out its median rent is significantly higher than the national average.
Wicker Park is 0.958 square miles in area. It has a population of 52,521 – 26,089 men and 26,433 women. The median age there is 36. Median annual household income is $59,349, compared to Chicago as a whole, which is $43,628. Average household size is 2.15 people. The median value of a townhouse is $458,298, compared to Chicago citywide, which is $228,300. The median rent in Wicker Park is $1,113, compared to $789 citywide in Chicago.
The zip code in Wicker Park is 60622.
Racially, white residents make up 58.78 percent of the neighborhood, while 10 percent are African American, 1.5 percent are Asian American, .27 percent are Native American, 5 percent are of mixed race and 24 percent are other.
Among Wicker Park residents, 11,418 had earned a bachelor’s degree, 4,499 had some college, 1,496 had an associate’s degree, and 2,348 had some high school, while 3,100 reported no high school.
Kreisman Law Offices handles Illinois lawsuits for the entire Chicago metropolitan area, including Wicker Park. Chicago's Robert D. Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has over 40 years of trial experience and specializes in a wide range of legal services, including Illinois commercial litigation, mediations and arbitrations, personal injury law, Illinois product defect/product liability law, Illinois medical malpractice claims, and Illinois nursing home abuse cases. Please call us 24 hours a day at 312.346.0045 or toll free 800.583.8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online.
Our Chicago loop office is in a convenient location for Wicker Park residents. Kreisman Law Offices is located at the corner of Dearborn and Monroe Streets. There are many convenient modes of public transportation to Kreisman Law Offices, including the Metra and CTA.