In Chicago’s northern outskirts lies West Ridge, a charming neighborhood often overlooked by the hustle and bustle in the rest of the city. Its lovely tree-lined streets, rich cultural diversity, and thriving community all make it a neighborhood worth exploring so let’s start our journey through one of my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago.
West Ridge is located on the northwest side of Chicago. It’s bordered by the suburbs of Lincolnwood and Skokie, as well as the neighborhoods of West Rogers Park and North Park. A key part of West Ridge is its connection: it’s close to I-94 and the CTA’s Red Lines. This makes it quite an attractive location for anyone who wants easy access to both the city and the suburbs.
Investing in West Ridge real estate can be a smart move since it’s still growing and more affordable than some of Chicago’s more popular neighborhoods. As more people discover West Ridge’s charms, property values will likely rise, making it the perfect place to consider purchasing a home or investment property.
West Ridge is home to a number of parks that offer green spaces and recreational activities to residents and visitors alike. One of the most popular is Indian Boundary Park, a must-see outdoor space in the neighborhood with a rich history.
Indian Boundary Park is a 13-acre park that was first opened in 1929. It was designed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Indian Boundary Line, established by the Treaty of 1816 to separate Native American lands from American settlers. The park includes an ornate fieldhouse designed in the Tudor revival style, as well as several sculptures that were created by famous sculptor Albin Polasek.
In addition to its deep history, Indian Boundary Park offers many recreational opportunities. It has a swimming pool, tennis courts, a basketball court, a playground and a fitness center. The park also hosts a farmer’s market each Saturday during the summer and early fall, where residents can purchase fresh produce, artisanal goods and homemade baked goods.
West Ridge also has several other parks, including Warren Park, with baseball and softball fields, a golf course and an ice rink; Robert A. Black Golf Course, a 9-hole golf course at the corner of Devon Ave and Kedzie Ave; and Green Briar Park, which has a baseball field, picnic area and playground.
West Ridge residents are fortunate to have access to these parks and recreational facilities, which enhance their quality of life and offer opportunities to connect with their community.
West Ridge has a very rich and fascinating history. Originally the home of Native American tribes, the area later became known for its Dutch and German immigrant populations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. By the 1920s, the neighborhood saw its Jewish population rise, and today it’s a center for Jewish culture in Chicago.
Over the years, West Ridge has seen a number of changes, but it’s kept its unique character and charm. Its diverse community draws people from all walks of life, making it one of the city’s most culturally vibrant neighborhoods.
From its beginnings to the present, West Ridge has always had a story to tell. Today, it’s home to a blend of different cultures and ethnicities, which can be seen in the neighborhood’s architecture, food and events. One of the area’s most significant features is the Devon Avenue shopping district, known for its South Asian markets, restaurants and shops. Lately, West Ridge has also begun to see an increase in Russian and Eastern European residents, growing the neighborhood’s cultural diversity.
A great part of West Ridge is that it has such a wide range of housing options that cater to every budget — it has everything from luxury condos to vintage bungalows.
If you’re looking to purchase a home in West Ridge, expect to see a mix of single-family houses, townhomes and multi-unit buildings. Though it’s undergone some gentrification in recent years, there are still plenty of pockets of affordable homes for any first-time buyers.
The average sale price for a West Ridge home is a little over $400,000, with most properties selling for between $300,000 and $500,000. Properties generally have large lot sizes, plenty of greenery and access to parks.
West Ridge also has abundant rental options with rents rising quickly as tenants are attracted to bigger units near beautiful parks. In the recent past, renting a two-bedroom in West Ridge would average around $1200 per month, but now a finished one-bedroom goes for around $1400 per month. Expect up to $1750 for a two-bedroom apartment, and for those looking for a little more space for a family or roommates, three-bedroom apartments are going for between $2500 and $3000.
West Ridge has several highly-rated schools, both public and private. Its public schools are part of the Chicago Public Schools system, most notably Stephen Decatur Classical Elementary School, which has received national recognition for its academic excellence. For families seeking a private education, there are several prestigious schools in the area. Northside College Preparatory High School consistently ranks as one of the top high schools in the country, while the Solomon Schechter Day School offers a rigorous curriculum in both Hebrew and English.
The schools in West Ridge offer a variety of options for families looking to provide a top-notch education for their children. With strong academic programs and dedicated teachers, the schools are another excellent element of West Ridge’s community.
Indian Boundary Park: By Zol87 from Chicago, Illinois, USA - Indian Boundary Park, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10854765
India Bookhouse: By Steve Browne & John Verkleir from Chicago, United States - India Bookhouse, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54546732
Snow: By Asaadh0ssain - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36216071