One of the gateway flags over Paseo Boricua (loosely translated as “Boricua (Puerto Rican) Promenade”), a six block section of Division Street in the Humboldt Park community in Chicago. The two flags were dedicated to the community in 1995. Photo by Richie Diesterheft via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.
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 Humboldt Park, a large neighborhood on the city’s west side named for its namesake green space — arguably one of the city’s best parks.
Humboldt Park proper is 219 acres and is known for both its grounds and historic fieldhouse. The park hosts plenty of events, including Shakespeare in the Park, Movies in the Park, and other Night Out in the Parks special events. The 606, an abandoned rail line turned multi-use recreation trail, can also be picked up from the park.
Edward Kemeys’ Bronze Bison Sculpture in the Humboldt Park Formal Garden
The official boundaries of the surrounding community vary depending on the source, and it’s often subdivided into West and East.
Read on to see why it’s always a beautiful day in Humboldt Park.
Entertainment and Eating
Humboldt Park’s Puerto Rican population benefits the neighborhoods dining scene and provides plenty of opportunity for celebration, including Fiesta Boricua, a free annual street party that is known to drawn 65,000+ attendees.
From a reputable coffee bar to a tiny, creative Japanese restaurant to Diana’s Food & Restaurant, a neighborhood staple that operates as a daytime sandwich shop and convenience store, there are endless options for dining in Humboldt Park. There’s also great shopping: a favorite independent home goods store, an eclectic gift shop, a family-owned garden center, and much more. It’s both a great place to live and to visit!
A typical commute to The Loop by rail from Humboldt Park is about 40 minutes, door to door. To O’Hare Airport, it’s about 50 minutes. By car, a typical drive to The Loop without traffic would take about 15 to 20 minutes, and a trip to O’Hare would be about 20 minutes, sans traffic.
Walkscore.com gives Humboldt Park a walk score of 84, meaning it’s “very walkable.” The neighborhood’s public transportation is considered good, and it’s very bikeable.
According to Zillow, home values in Humboldt Park went up 9.4% over the past year and are projected to increase by 4.6% in the next year. It’s much more affordable than its neighbors to the east, Ukrainian Village and Wicker Park, where median home values are 29% and 62% higher, respectively.
A Bit of History
An old image of the “New” Pavilion at Humboldt Park in Chicago. Date unknown.
Humboldt Park proper has played an important role in the neighborhood from its early days. It was named after Baron Freidrich Heinrich Alexander Von Humboldt in 1869, a famous German scientist and explorer. It was a nod to the neighborhood’s large population of German immigrants in the late nineteenth century. Italian Americans and German and Russian Jewish immigrants moved to the neighborhood in the 1920s and 30s, followed by Puerto Ricans in the 1950s and 60s. The former stables on the park grounds are now home to The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, which, according to the Chicago Park District, is “the only museum in the nation that is completely dedicated to the history of Puerto Rican arts and culture.” Puerto Rican residents and culture are important to the neighborhood to this day. Latino immigrants of varied backgrounds, including many of Mexican descent, have moved to the neighborhood in recent years.
If you’d like to learn more about Humboldt Park, I recommend exploring the following resources:
- East Humboldt Park Neighborhood Association
- West Humboldt Park Development Council
- The Humboldt Park Portal
- Time Out Chicago‘s Humboldt Park neighborhood guide
- The Chicago Tribune‘s Humboldt Park neighborhood article round-up
- The Encyclopedia of Chicago’s Humboldt Park entry
- The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s write-up on Humboldt Park proper
- Division Street Business Development Association
If you’re interested in living in Humboldt Park, stay tuned for more information on two new construction projects that I have coming up: two single family homes on Mozart that will be completed around the end of September 2018 and three single family homes on Washtenaw that will be completed around the end of November 2018. Head to my homes under construction Google map to see all of my upcoming projects.
Please contact me directly for more information on buying a home and living in Humboldt Park.