With historic boulevards and an offbeat artistic vibe, Logan Square’s growing popularity is no surprise. Residents enjoy the neighborhood’s dynamic restaurant and brewery scene, local shopping, and expansive parks system. Located just 6 miles northwest of The Loop, transportation is made easy by the CTA Blue Line, Kennedy Expressway, and numerous bus routes, making the neighborhood popular with commuters and students alike.
Named after Civil War general, John A. Logan, the neighborhood’s history predates its time as part of the City of Chicago. Once an open plain, the area was first settled by Martin Kimball (namesake of Kimball Avenue) in 1836. In those early years, the community was primarily an English and Scandinavian farming community. The farmers would deliver their products to Chicago via a Native American trail that later became Milwaukee Avenue.
The population began to grow with the appearance of rail lines and industry along the Chicago River. In the late 19th century, the now-CTA Blue Line reached the area and the long-planned Chicago Boulevard system was paved through the neighborhood. Around these new landmarks, solid graystone two-flats and large single-family homes sprung up, built by affluent Scandinavians and Germans. Logan Square was annexed by Chicago in 1889.
By the 1920s, Logan Square was booming. Development poured into the area, taking the shape of new rental apartments and flats. The last tract of open land was finally developed in 1925. The boom was relatively short-lived, however, starting with the Great Depression and continuing into the 1960s, the population gradually fell and once vibrant institutions began to close.
It didn’t take long for Logan Square to get back on its feet. Beginning in the 1980s, attracted by a growing community of working artists, young professionals began to move into the area. These professionals rehabilitated the manors along the boulevards and supported the influx of local businesses. The result: today, Logan Square is one of the most diverse, exciting, and sought after neighborhoods in the city.
Though neighbors Wicker Park and Bucktown get much of the press, Logan Square’s shopping, restaurant scene, and nightlife more than hold their own. Along Milwaukee Ave, Logan Square’s shopping district has a local spin, featuring fashionable boutiques, independent artist-friendly bookstores, and dusty record shops. Art galleries, food co-ops, and a summer farmers’ market complete the local selection.
The neighborhood boasts a standout local restaurant scene, ranging from Michelin Star winners to classic Chicago dives. Anchoring the scene is the renowned Lula Cafe. Opened by admired Chef Jason Hammel, Lula Cafe offers seasonal dishes and has been purveying farm-to-table cuisine since “before that philosophy had a name”. Further spoiling the palate is a diversity of fine beverages, including craft breweries, gourmet coffee roasters, and craft cocktail bars. Logan Square’s strongest area might just be its breweries; up-and-coming Hopewell and Middlebrow, as well as established Revolution Brewery all innovate within the area.
After dinner and drinks, residents can watch a movie at the iconic Logan Theater, see a rock band at Concord Music Hall, or even go bowling (Fireside Bowling) or play bocce (Park&Field). In the summer, the Logan Square Arts Festival offering 2 full days of great music, art, and food and drink under the Illinois Centennial Monument.
Unlike many of its eastern neighbors, Logan Square offers ample green space and parkland. Community gem Haas Park offers a brand new fieldhouse, soccer field, playground, and green space. Between Mozart Park and Kosciuszko Park’s fieldhouses, a fitness center, two gymnasiums, an indoor pool, and an assembly hall are all available. The two parks also combine for 6 baseball/softball fields, a tennis court, two more soccer fields (including a turf field), and two playgrounds. The parks system offers a variety of affordable youth and adult sports, enrichment classes, summer day camps, and arts programming. Along the southern border of the neighborhood, the Bloomingdale Trail (an elevated “rails to trails” project) offers a lovely trail for pedestrians, joggers, and bikers.
Logan Square has excellent housing options at a variety of price ranges. Lining the characteristic boulevards are elaborate early 20th century mansions and large bungalow-style houses. Further in, tree-lined streets feature restored rental buildings, single-family homes, and two- and three-flats. The up-and-coming, but already super cool neighborhood is perfect for any prospective resident. With great shopping, an eclectic food and drink scene, and a unique artistic vibe, residents love Logan Square!