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Chicago Historic Old Town Triangle
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© Christine Till
New Orleans has its French Quarter; New York has Greenwich Village; Paris has Montmartre. And Chicago has its own little piece of charm that rivals them all. Chicago has Old Town - an oasis in the steel and stone heart of the city, an old-fashioned, do-it-yourself neighborhood beloved by artists and entrepreneurs as the perfect place to find a muse and raise a family. And while a casual, unobservant visitor can feel the magnetism of the place, lifelong residents may still be unaware of the many bits of history Old Town has drawn into itself.
The 19th Century is very present in Chicago's Old Town. It's there in the charming architecture, the quaint, narrow byways carved out when horse-drawn carriages plied the city, and carriage homes nestled in backyards. It's seen, too, in the short distances between residences and businesses - the walkable kind favored when foot power rather than horsepower ruled the day. Just walking through Old Town and gazing at homes could consume days. Newer, primarily red-brick structures south of North Avenue rival very old homes from 1871 to the turn of the century, and Louis Sullivan row houses from about 1890. All of which results in a neighborhood many residents wouldn't dream of leaving.
Old Town Chicago, a quaint and eclectic neighborhood that harbored the famous and infamous, is very charming. You walk down the streets, and you would never know you're in the heart of North America's third biggest city.
March 24th, 2013
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