In this series of blog posts, we provide a summary of the neighborhoods where we’re currently listing and developing homes. In this post, I’ll be focusing on living in Andersonville, a neighborhood on Chicago’s north side.
Andersonville is sometimes considered part of Edgewater, a neighborhood I wrote a guide on a couple of years ago. But Andersonville has a unique identity and history that merits its own write-up.
Andersonville is known for its Swedish roots. Sometimes called “Little Sweden,” the neighborhood is home to one of the most concentrated areas of Swedish heritage in the United States. The Swedish American Museum has been headquartered in the heart of Andersonville, on Clark Street, for over 40 years.
Clark Street is the urban epicenter of the area and many local and independent businesses have storefronts on this main drag. Historic architecture abounds here and throughout the neighborhood.
Finally, Andersonville has one of the largest LGBTQ+ populations in Chicago and is a community known for its commitment to equality.
Read on to see why it’s always a beautiful day in Andersonville.
Entertainment and Eating
While you’re shopping, you must try out some of the great local restaurants, bakeries, and cafes. Andersonville isn’t widely known throughout Chicago for its food — which is to the local’s benefit. There are so many under-the-radar gems here: a Korean restaurant with fresh takes on traditional dishes; a cozy bistro known for its mussels and gin menu; a Belgian-inspired gastropub with a huge beer list; a Southern restaurant with a large offering of whiskey and bourbon; a gluten-free bakery (with options for other dietary restrictions, as well); and the list could go on and on.
Notably for foodies who enjoy dining in as much as out, the Andersonville Farmers Market operates on Wednesdays from May through October with stalls set up on Berwyn Ave between Clark and Ashland.
Andersonville is also home to tons of annual events and celebrations, with the following standouts:
- Wine Walk in May
- Midsommarfest, a celebration in honor of the Summer Solstice each June (first held in 1965!)
- Summer Sidewalk Sale in July
- Taste of Andersonville in August
- Andersonville Arts Week in September
- All sorts of holiday events in November and December
- Andersonville Restaurant Week in February/March
A typical commute to the Loop from Andersonville using public transportation is around 45 minutes, door to door. To get to O’Hare Airport via public transportation takes about an hour. By car, a typical drive to the Loop without traffic would take about 20 minutes, and a trip to O’Hare would be 20 to 30 minutes, sans traffic.
Walkscore.com considers Andersonville part of Edgewater, which is deemed a very walkable neighborhood. They also classify Edgewater as very bikeable and the public transportation in the neighborhood is excellent.
According to Zillow, home values in Andersonville increased 2% in the past year and are expected to increase another 3.5% over the next year.
A Bit of History
Before Swedish farmers began to move to Andersonville in the 1850s, it was a cherry orchard. More Swedish immigrants moved to the neighborhood after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, when building with wood was outlawed in the city, so they could build wooden houses and businesses along Clark Street.
Simon’s Tavern is one of the longest standing Swedish establishments in Andersonville. Opened in 1934, the basement was a speakeasy in the handful of years leading up to the bar’s post-Prohibition official opening. Rumor has it that Simon’s has been haunted by the ghost of a married woman who was having an affair with Simon’s son, Roy.
One of the sparks that drove more LGBTQ+ Chicagoans to Andersonville was the relocation of Women & Children First bookstore to the neighborhood in 1990.
Ever the champion of supporting local businesses, Andersonville’s eponymous “Andersonville Study,” which showed that money spent in a local business recirculates in the community more than money spent at a chain store, was published in 2010.
Finally, in 2010 Andersonville was named a National Commercial Historic District.
If you’d like to learn more about living in Andersonville, I recommend exploring the following resources:
- Andersonville South Neighborhood Association
- Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, including their free neighborhood guide
- East Andersonville Residents’ Council (Facebook)
- West Andersonville Neighbors Together
Interested in living in Andersonville? I don’t have any any active listings in Andersonville right now, but I have experience selling homes in the neighborhood and may have some listings there in the near future. Please feel free to contact me for more information on buying — or selling — a home in Andersonville.