Wicker Park West Town Images and Photos

West Town Neighborhood Photography

on January 23, 2021 in All Blog Posts, Chicago Guide

Known better as Wicker Park, Bucktown or Ukrainian Village

West Town is located 24, 3 miles NW of the Chicago's Downtown and the Loop. Most of the region east of Wood Street was inside the original 1837 city limits. Workers came to the area in the late 1840s to build the railroad lines.

Other immigrants were drawn to factories near the river. By the climax of the twentieth century, Germans and Scandinavians tended to live in the north and northwestern sections, particularly near Wicker Park, while Polish immigrants settled around Division and Ashland Streets, an area that ultimately matured to be known as “Polish Downtown.” 

Neighborhood of Immigrants

In the next half of the twentieth century, West Town became essentially a Latino “port of entry” neighborhood. First, Puerto Ricans moved westward toward Humboldt Park, and then Mexicans collected in areas east of the Ukrainian Village.

At the turn of the twenty-first century, West Town was growing again. The penetration of artists, students, and other younger residents drew more affluent homeowners, particularly in the Bucktown district north of North Avenue.

Most of West Town was historically part of the city's Polish Downtown. Its title may refer to Western Avenue, the city's western border at the interval of West Town's settlement, but more convincing was a convenient idea by the creators of Chicago's community areas. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 pushed the first wave of growth, as wandering Chicagoans looked to construct new houses.

Now, the region is best known for its various commercial and entertainment establishments and being a convenient point to live for city workers due to its proximity to public transportation and the Loop. Gentrification has made the area much more attractive to college-educated white-collar workers, although it met important opposition from the working-class Puerto Rican community it uprooted.