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 Rogers Park Chicago.
Rogers Park is the name of one of Chicago’s 77 community areas, and the eponymous neighborhood covers most of that area. On Chicago’s far north side, Rogers Park is positioned north of Edgewater Glen and south of Evanston between N. Ridge Boulevard and the lakeshore. Notably, Loyola University is located on the neighborhood’s southeast corner, bringing that part of Rogers Park a distinct college town feel.
Still a bit under-the-radar, Rogers Park provides excellent value for homebuyers. It’s one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods, meaning residents can travel the world without a passport via local spots serving authentic international cuisine. To residents, Rogers Park is known for being home to Chicagoans across age, races, socioeconomic status, gender identity, etc. It’s even welcoming for the canine residents! Plus, nearly all of Rogers Park lakeshore is accessible to the public, over a mile of it in the form of city beach parks. Street-end beaches, plenty of green space, classic Chicago architecture, and reasonably priced homes — what’s not to love?
Read on to see why it’s always a beautiful day to be living in Rogers Park Chicago.
Entertainment and Eating
Part of a mural called “Rogers Park Shuffle” by Shane Treacy done as part of the Mass Underpass Murals project. Photo cropped from the original, taken in 2019 by Terence Faircloth [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr.
Public art is all around Rogers Park; particular density can found along the ‘Mile of Murals’ on Glenwood Avenue and the ‘Artists of the Wall’ at Loyola Park Beach.
Commercial districts in Rogers Park can be found along Clark Street, Devon Avenue, and around the four neighborhood ‘L’ stations.
Theater has historically been important to the neighborhood, though some of the early movie palaces were shuttered as the public’s interest waned. Today, the New 400 Theater, first opened in 1912, is an indie movie house keeping the spirit alive. Local performing arts theaters include Lifeline Theatre, the Factory Theater, and Theo Ubique.
There are so many wonderful authentic eateries that it would be impossible to highlight just a few. Luckily, residents can sample a handful at the annual Taste of Clark Street event each September. Dive bars, cafes, national chains, and a handful of great local spots are also concentrated near the Loyola campus.
Knowledge-seekers will enjoy easy access to a branch of the Chicago Public Library system. And those interested in subculture will want to visit Leather Archives & Museum, which has the following mission: “Making leather, kink, BDSM, and fetish accessible through research, preservation, education and community engagement.”
Rogers Park has been compared to other arty, eccentric, weird-but-cool communities as Berkeley and Austin; it’s just that, fortunately to many, it’s not as well-known.
A typical commute to the Loop from Rogers Park using public transportation takes about 45 to 50 minutes, door to door, depending on when you get out the door. To get to O’Hare Airport via public transportation takes a bit over an hour. By car, a typical drive to the Loop without traffic takes about 20 to 30 minutes, and a trip to O’Hare takes about 20 to 30 minutes, again without traffic.
Walkscore.com considers Rogers Park very walkable, meaning most errands can be accomplished on foot. The neighborhood has excellent transit and is considered very bikeable.
According to Zillow, home values in Rogers Park have increased by 4.5% over the past year and are expected to increase by nearly 4% over the next year. The median home value makes it one of the most affordable neighborhoods on Chicago’s north side — and its proximity to the pricier Edgewater Glen neighborhood to the south means residents can benefit from nearby amenities without having to pay as much for a home.
A Bit of History
Located at the convergence of two historic Native American trails, Rogers Park was colonized in the 19th century. One of the early settlers, around the middle of the century, was Phillip Rogers, an Irishman for whom the neighborhood is named. Rogers Park was connected to Chicago via rail as of the 1860s. More settlers moved into the area, spurring Rogers Park to be named a village in 1878 and to be annexed to the city of Chicago in 1893.
The Howard ‘L’ station opened in 1908, which led to a dramatic population increase. Further changing the trajectory of Rogers Park, St. Ignatius College moved to the lakefront in 1912 and changed its name to Loyola University in 1915.
Irish, German, and Luxemburgers were among the early immigrants who settled in Rogers Park. Russians and Eastern Europeans began moving to Rogers Park in the 1960s, followed in the 1970s by Asian, African American, and other communities from throughout the Americas. Latinx communities have been growing and thriving since the turn of the century.
Established as a “bedroom community,” much of the housing in Rogers Park is single-family homes on larger-than-usual lots for the city, though there are larger apartment buildings, particularly north of Howard Street.
If you’d like to learn more about living in Rogers Park Chicago, I recommend exploring the following resources:
- Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce
- Rogers Park Business Alliance
- Encyclopedia of Chicago’s Rogers Park entry
- Glenwood Ave Arts District
- Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society
- Chicago Tribune’s ‘Neighborhood guide: What to eat, drink and do in Rogers Park’ (Nov 2017)
- Chicago Eater’s ‘Where to Eat and Drink in Rogers Park, 2018 Edition’
Interested in living in Rogers Park Chicago? I don’t have any active listings in the neighborhood as of this writing, but I’ve worked in the area in the past. Please feel free to contact me for more information on buying — or selling — a home in Rogers Park.