It’s a Beautiful Day in Old Irving Park

It’s a Beautiful Day in Old Irving Park

The John and Clara Merchant House on the left and the Race House on the right, two historic homes in Old Irving Park. By Thshriver (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In this series of blog posts, we’ll be providing a summary of the neighborhoods where we’re currently listing and developing homes. 

Often referred to as “a suburb within the city”, Old Irving Park is a great place to invest in a new home. The thriving neighborhood association has a handful of testimonials from residents on their website. This is one I particularly enjoy:

“Old Irving Park is the best of city living. We are in an urban setting, ten minutes from downtown and O’Hare, but we foster a strong, tight-knit community of neighbors who care about each other and our neighborhood. It’s a place to call home, not just a five-year pit stop before moving to the suburbs.”
— Lynn A.

As rich in history as it is convenient, this neighborhood has a lot to offer. Read on to see why it’s always a beautiful day in Old Irving Park.

Entertainment and Eating

The sense of history in Old Irving Park doesn’t stop with the architecture. Sabatino’s is a neighborhood-defining classic Italian spot that feels like a step back in time. There’s even a namesake brewery that pays homage to the area’s roots with events like a birthday party for Washington Irving on April 3. (The neighborhood is named after the famous writer, after all.) Chicago Magazine named another local eatery one of the best new restaurants of 2015… they’re known for their steaks, as is a nearby Colombian steakhouse. And what neighborhood is complete without a cash-only authentic Moroccan joint?

Old Irving Park also offers activities for little ones, from an informal music-arts-dance school to a playlot that’s part of the city parks district.

The Numbers

A typical commute to The Loop by rail from Old Irving Park is about 35 minutes, door to door. To O’Hare Airport, it’s under 30 minutes. By car, a typical drive to the loop without traffic would take about 15 minutes, and a trip to O’Hare is 10 to 15 minutes (as Lynn A. mentions above). Old Irving Park’s two area Metro stops (Irving Park and Montrose) and the face that the junction of the Kennedy and Edens (90/94) expressways run through it make it easy to get around.

The neighborhood parks are Kilbourn Park to the south and Independence Park to the east. Mayfair Park is just to the north. The average walk score is 79, which is considered very walkable. Most errands can be accomplished on foot.

According to Zillow, home values in Old Irving Park have gone up 5.4% in the past year and are projected to go up 2.8% in the next year. The median home value in this neighborhood is 11.6% less than next door in Irving Park.

A Bit of History

The greater Irving Park area was originally developed as Major Noble’s farm in 1843. He sold the home to four men from New York in 1869 and retired further from the city. These men continued to buy more land and eventually decided to set up a suburb. Chicago & North Western Railroad agreed to stop their trains in Irving Park if the developers built the station, and that station stands to this day. Irving Park was annexed to Chicago in 1889. The neighborhood grew up until the Depression, then experienced decades of displacement and setbacks. This lasted until the 1980s, when Old Irving Park was rediscovered and once again appreciated for the beauty of its homes and its history.

If you’d like to learn more about Old Irving Park, I’d recommend exploring the Old Irving Park Association website. It’s full of excellent resources.

If you’d like to live in or near Old Irving Park, please check out the following listings:

  • 4628 W Patterson (Old Irving Park)

  • 4630 W Patterson (Old Irving Park) — UNDER CONTRACT

  • 3941 N Francisco (Irving Park)

  • 3919 N Monticello (Irving Park)

  • 3926 N Francisco (Irving Park) — UNDER CONTRACT

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