North Center, Chicago Guide

The North Center Chicago neighborhood is a large Chicago community with many comfortable and convenient neighborhoods that are just a mile or so from the lakefront and an easy commute to downtown. Surrounded by Diversey, Ravenswood, Montrose, and the Chicago River, the neighborhoods in North Center tend to have large parks and tree-lined streets, plus all the amenities that make city life satisfying.

North Center — comprising the neighborhoods of North Center, Roscoe Village, and St. Ben’s — is one of 77 official communities located within Chicago. Known as “The Heart of Chicago’s North Side,” North Center is an eclectic ethnic area located four miles northwest of the Loop. The community is bounded by Montrose, Diversey, Ravenswood, and the Chicago River. It provides a quiet environment rooted in German and Swedish culture but is home to residents of all backgrounds and nationalities.

Roscoe Village has earned “hip” status among young professionals due to the unique boutiques, antique stores and restaurants that grace its tree-lined streets. Roscoe Village is a homey neighborhood where family-owned businesses are as prevalent as shady parks and well-kept homes.

St. Ben’s is another popular neighborhood, especially among young families. The community is home to St. Benedict’s, a Catholic church and school that lent the neighborhood its name, and to the renowned Bell Elementary School. Located within walking distance of Wrigley Field, St. Ben’s is also close to shopping and public transportation.

North Center’s real estate market is diverse, reflecting the area’s unique past. Single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums, flats, and lofts are all available.

Education

North Center students are served by the Chicago Public School District, which represents grades K-12. Bell Elementary School offers pre-kindergarten through eighth grade with an enrollment of 700-plus students and a favorable student-teacher ratio. All students at Bell Elementary learn American Sign Language (along with their traditional studies) in honor of Alexander Graham Bell, who helped plan the school. Another popular educational option is St. Benedict’s, a private Catholic school for preschool through high school.

History

Families have lived and worked in North Center for generations, attracted by the close-knit neighborhoods and close proximity to downtown Chicago. The area was initially settled by German and Swedish immigrants in the 19th century, and it underwent significant rebuilding after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The community remains a quiet haven for families, blue-collar workers and urban professionals who are drawn by its convenience and renovated residential areas.

Pricing

North Center’s real estate market is as unique as the community itself. Single-family homes range from approximately $350,000 to $1.2 million for riverfront estate properties. The average home lists for about $590,000. Tidy bungalows and stately Victorian homes blend nicely with traditional two-stories along peaceful, tree-lined streets. Condominiums and townhouses are also available, with prices ranging from $250,000 to around $600,000. The median price for a condo or townhouse is about $325,000. Two-, three- and four-room flats are priced from around $299,000 to $900,000, with the average price around $490,000.

Shopping

Roscoe Village is known for its scores of trendy restaurants, ethnic businesses, and antique stores. “Antique Row” — a five-block stretch of Belmont that reaches from Damen to Western — has the largest concentration of antique shops in the Midwest.

Location & Area

  • North Boundary: 4400 N Montrose
  • South Boundary: 3600 N Addison
  • East Boundary: 1800 W Ravenswood
  • West Boundary: ~2700 W Chicago River
  • Primary Zip Code: 60618

Current Trends and Facts of North Center Chicago

North Center/St. Ben’s neighborhood has strong family ties and good schools and economic stability, where an abundance of small businesses that keep it an active, vibrant area during the day. For entertainment, residents can choose from a large selection of excellent restaurants, pubs, summer festivals, music venues, bowling alleys, and theaters. North Center’s pocket neighborhoods have their own distinct character with shopping areas that feature charming boutiques, delis, bakeries and coffee shops.

The Chicago River runs through North Center neighborhood and provides many picturesque views and parks, with many sporting and recreational activities. The CTA’s Brown Line goes downtown and has stops at Addison, Irving Park, and Montrose. Buses run on most of the major streets.