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Jefferson Park

Learn more about Jefferson Park

Located on the city’s North Side (10 miles NW of the Loop), Jefferson Park’s highly sought real estate is one of the most attractive aspects of this Chicago neighborhood.

The neighborhood is one of Chicago’s oldest and culturally diverse areas. Best known originally, as a transportation hub in the city’s northwest side, Jefferson Park has earned its nickname as the “Gateway to Chicago.” Offering some of the city’s best in entertainment and dining, Jefferson Park has earned its reputation as being a neighborhood with plenty to do as well.

Chicago parks and festivals attract many locals as well as tourists to the Jefferson Park community. And Jefferson Park nightlife includes a selection of bars, lounges, restaurants, and community activities. Residents also have access to other city neighborhoods through the CTA, Metra Rail, and the Pace Bus.

Jefferson Park prides itself on being one of Chicago’s most popular neighborhoods. Click here for more

Location

Jefferson Park is located in Cook County and one of Chicago’s 77 diverse neighborhoods. Jefferson Park is located ten miles northwest of the Chicago Loop.

Neighboring communities include Edison Park, Norwood Park, Harwood Heights, Portage Park, Forest Glen, Albany Park, and Irving Park.

Jefferson Park is also located just north of the splitting of Interstate 90 and Interstate 94. Both expressways offer access to downtown Chicago, Milwaukee, and Rockford.

Information

Population (2000)
Total 25,859

White 81.6%
Black .31%
Asian 4.78%
Hispanic 11.1%
Other 2.16%

History

Jefferson Park has been known as the “Gateway to Chicago” and a transportation hub for travelers coming through Chicago. In the early 1830s, John Kinzie Clark was the first person to establish a cabin in the area and choose his location near Indian Trails. By 1836, a school district, hotel, and many farmers were created for the small growing community.

The Indian trails provided a route for farmers to move their products for sale in Chicago. In 1849, the North West Plank Road (now Milwaukee Avenue) and the Lower Road (now Elston Avenue) allowed farmer’s more efficient ways to move their product.

The Jefferson Township was formed in 1850 and named after Thomas Jefferson. In 1855, residents named a village Jefferson near Milwaukee Avenue and Higgins Road. St. Paul & Fond de Lac Railroad built tracks through the area and a depot in the center of town.

The population continued to grow, and in 1872, Jefferson was incorporated as a town and by 1889, annexed by the City of Chicago. In 1900, streetcars were installed in many Chicago neighborhoods, including Jefferson Park.

To add to the population growth of Jefferson Park, expressways were built in the 1950s and gave residents access to transportation throughout and around the city. The neighborhood attracted many different cultures including Polish, German, and Italian families.

CTA trains and buses added to transportation in Jefferson Park, and the Metra trains added further connection to the city and the suburbs. Today, Jefferson Park attracts younger college students while still maintaining many family residents and a large Polish population.

Real Estate

Jefferson Park homes for sale range in price from $100,000 to $700,000 and includes many Victorian graystones, A-frames, two flats, and city bungalows. Jefferson Park homes include large bay windows in the front, new constructions in residential communities, hardwood floors, granite counter tops, and some homes are recent rehabs.

Another great housing option is Jefferson Park condos. They can be listed anywhere from $60,000 to $300,000, and condos include amenities like balconies, updated kitchen appliances, large bathrooms, washer and dryers, private parking, and many more comforts in small three or four-story buildings.

Jefferson Park apartments offer studio apartments starting at $600 for monthly rent and up to $1,700 for three bedroom condos for rent. Apartments and renting is a great option for college students or smaller families not ready to purchase properties.

Transportation

Parking in Jefferson Park is much like the rest of Chicago in that some residential areas may require residential permits. The city of Chicago Parking includes plenty of street parking and many homes with garages and private parking.

Some areas may require permits for residents of the area. For more information or to find areas that require permits, visit the City of Chicago Residential Permit.

Like most city neighborhoods, residents in Jefferson Park rely on having things within walking distance. The Jefferson Park Walkscore is 77% in the central area and is considered a very walkable Chicago neighborhood.

For public transportation, Metra trains give residents plenty of commute options to downtown Chicago as well as surrounding Chicago suburbs. The Union Pacific Northwest Train Line operates service through Jefferson Park and to both the Gladstone Park Metra Station and the Jefferson Park Metra Station.

Additional service from Metra includes the Milwaukee District North Line Trains with service from Chicago to Fox Lake. The Forest Glen Metra Station is located at Elston Ave and Leclaire Ave.

CTA Blue Line Trains offer more affordable public transportation throughout the city of Chicago. The CTA Blue Line Station – Jefferson Park is conveniently located within Jefferson Park and connects to other CTA Trains and is a direct route to O’Hare International Airport.

For service from North suburbs to the Jefferson Park, the CTA Bus Route 54A – North Cicero/Skokie Blvd provides access to Skokie Shopping Malls and area popular destinations in Skokie and other north suburbs.

CTA Bus Route 56 – Milwaukee and CTA Bus Route 56A – North Milwaukee both provide bus routes on Milwaukee Avenue from the Chicago Loop to as far north as the Caldwell Woods Forest Preserve.

For a connection between Park Ridge and Jefferson Park, the CTA Bus Route 68 – Northwest Highway provides service along Northwest Highway and from the Park Ridge Metra Station and the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge to Jefferson Park Blue Line Station.

For buses east and west, the CTA Bus Route 81 – Lawrence and CTA Bus Route 81W – West Lawrence are perfect for traveling from Jefferson Park to Lake Michigan and areas of Chicago like Uptown and Ravenswood.

CTA Bus Route 85 – Central provides service along Central Avenue as far south as Harrison Avenue in the Austin neighborhood and as far north as Jefferson Park and Elston Avenue. The CTA Bus Route 85A – North Central connects Route 85 even farther north to Village Shopping Center in Niles.

Another route to the northwest of Jefferson Park is the CTA Bus Route 88 – Higgins. Route 88 provides fast service from Jefferson Park to the Edison Park neighborhood and many residential areas.

CTA Bus Route 91 – Austin is another route providing city-wide service from the far north to the west side of Chicago, the Austin neighborhood, Blue Line Trains, Green Line Trains, and the Eisenhower Expressway.

Foster Avenue buses provide fast access from the east side of Chicago and the northwest city neighborhoods like Jefferson Park. CTA Bus Route 92 – Foster also connects to the CTA Blue Line trains and the CTA Red Line trains.

Additional service is provided by Pace Bus. The Pace Bus Route 270 – Milwaukee Avenue includes service stops along Milwaukee Avenue to Niles and Glenview and as far south as the Jefferson Park Metra Station.

Pace Bus Route 225 – Central – Howard offers additional service along Central Avenue and Howard Street from the Jefferson Park Metra Station and to the north suburbs. Also along Central Avenue, the Pace Bus Route 226 – Oakton Street provides service from Jefferson Park areas and residential divisions to the North suburbs of Chicago.

Schools

Jefferson Park includes access to some of Chicago’s best public education institutions, including magnet schools and Lane Tech College Prep High School. Secondary education options include community colleges, universities, and many private colleges throughout the city of Chicago.

Colleges/Universities

Wilbur Wright College 3400 N. Austin Ave
DeVry University 330 N. Capbell Ave
Northeastern Illinois University 5500 N. St. Louis Ave

Jefferson Park Public Schools

Jean Baptiste Beaubien Elementary School (PK-8) 5025 N Laramie Ave
Farnsworth Elementary School (PK-8) 5414 N Linder Ave
Hitch Elementary School (PK-8) 5625 N McVicker Ave
Beard Elementary School (PK-3) 6445 N. Strong St
Ernst Prussing Elementary School (PK-8) 4651 N. Menard Ave
Lane Tech College Prep High School 2501 W. Addison St
Steinmetz College Prep (9-12) 3030 N. Mobile Ave
Carl Schurz High School (9-12) 3601 N. Milwaukee Ave
William Howard Taft High School (9-12) 6545 W. Hurlbut

Jefferson Park Private Schools

St. Eugene Catholic School (PK-8) 7930 West Foster Ave
St. Constance School (PK-8) 5841 W. Strong St
St. Edward Catholic School (PK-8) 4343 W. Sunnyside Ave
St. Patrick High School (9-12) 5900 W. Belmont Ave
Luther High School North (9-12) 5700 W. Berteau Ave

Nightlife

Jefferson Park Nightlife includes many bars, pubs, and nightlife including many affordable and relaxing places to meet friends, sing karaoke, and grab a drink.

Recently rehabbed and redecorated, Bar 57 West (5722 W Higgins Ave, Chicago, IL 60630 773-427-6635) is a favorite local hangout in Jefferson Park. Bar 57 is the perfect place to watch sports games, listen to live music, try a seasonal draft beer, or attend their annual Halloween bash. Food and drinks are served by friendly and fast bartenders.

Galvin’s Public House (5901 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60630 773-205-0570) is the local Irish-American pub in Jefferson Park featuring weekend filled with live music, weekly drink and food specials, and a private party room perfect for any celebration. Galvin’s also serves authentic Irish breakfast only Sundays from 11 am – 2 pm.

Another local establishment is Sidekicks (4424 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60641 773-545-6212). Sidekicks keep their kitchen open till they close at 3 am and serves mainly fried appetizers, pizza, and sandwiches. They keep about fourteen beers on tap and plenty of bottled beer to choose from or pick a mixed drink from their fully stocked bar of hard alcohols.

Entertainment

Jefferson Park Shopping includes many small owned retail shops like American Science Surplus, Jet City Devices, Wall’s Flower Shop, Makeup by Allison, and Aqua Jewelry. Nearby shopping malls include Old Orchard Mall in Skokie or shopping at Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue.

For live theater and performing arts in Jefferson Park, The Gift Theatre Company (4802 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60630) includes many past performances like Three Sisters, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Countess, and Boys’ Life. Located on Milwaukee Avenue near a Blue Line Trains station and a variety of bus stops, the Gift Theatre is perfect for any Chicago resident looking for quality performing arts.

Regal City North Stadium 14 Movie Theater (2600 North Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647 773-342-1763) is one of the nearest movie theaters featuring multiple screens and plenty of new releases. Don’t forget to have some buttery popcorn, candy, or something else from the concession stands.

Restaurants

Jefferson Park Restaurants include a variety of diners and restaurants. Whether you want to have Asian, Polish, BBQ, American, Italian, Deli, or Chinese food, Jefferson Park has something for everyone and every palette.

Smokey’s BBQ (5481 N. Northwest Highway, Chicago, IL 60630 773-763-2328) is a favorite attraction to diners within and outside Jefferson Park. The menu is full of delicious barbecue sandwiches and if you can’t decide, try the sampler platter or a mini meal deal. Customers love the smoked Turkey sandwich and everything that comes on their delicious fresh baked dinner rolls.

Another great dining spot in Jefferson Park is at the Gale Street Inn (4914 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60630 773-725-1300). Enjoy live music while you eat one of their delicious entrees from the menu including items like jerk chicken, filet mignon, spicy crab cakes, bbq ribs, and pull pork sandwiches with sides like garlic mashed potatoes, grilled veggies, or au gratin potatoes.

Every Chicago neighborhood has a pizza place. In Jefferson Park, one favorite is Paterno’s Pizza (5303 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60630 773-631-5522). Started small in 1983 as a liquor store selling slices of Pizza, Paterno’s is now a sports bar and great dinner and lunch spot for sandwiches, fried foods, and pizza. Stay and eat with the locals or take your food to go. If getting a full pizza, try the double dough crust pizza.

Festivals/Parks

Jeff Fest is the annual festival for the community of Jefferson Park. Like many Chicago neighborhoods, Jeff Fest is the yearly summer celebration of the community, local businesses, and living in the area and includes live music, entertainment, local food vendors, and plenty of crafts and items for sale.

In association with Chicago Park District, parks and athletic programs in the community keep children active and adults engaged in community projects and goals. The park district also maintains Jefferson Memorial Park which includes a gym, basketball courts, baseball fields, spray pools, meeting rooms, and tennis courts.

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Jefferson Park Schools

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