Andersonville: A History

Andersonville is quirky and inventive, yet historic and laid-back. Seven miles north of the Loop, the neighborhood is known for its relaxed blend of cultures, lovely affordable homes, and its small-town-feeling commercial stretch on Clark. The area is highly walkable. Andersonville residents easily walk from their doors to top restaurants, unique shopping, and beautiful Lake Michigan. And the rest of Chicago is at your fingertips with several bus routes, Lake Shore Drive, and the nearby CTA Red Line! In the 1850s, the neighborhood was a humble stretch of cherry orchards. In the wake of the Chicago Fire of 1871, a large Swedish population moved north to the area, unable to afford stone homes. Swedes continued to arrive throughout the 20th century. These early residents built much of the current housing stock, founded new businesses and churches, and established a businesses district on Clark Street. Fun fact: Chicago had a larger Swedish population of any city except Stockholm in these years. Many feared that the area would deteriorate in the 1950s as much of the Swedish population began to move to the suburbs after World War II. To preserve the area's Swedish heritage, the area was formally named Andersonville. A concerted effort was also made to transform the area a shopping hub and the annual Midsommarfest was established. Based on Swedish tradition, the festival has grown into one of Chicago's most popular street fests. More...

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