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Old Town Chicago - The Second City
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© Christine Till
Old Town Chicago is indeed old. Originally settled in the mid 19th century by German-Catholic immigrants, the neighborhood got its name and became closer knit during World War II, when Chicago's Civil Defense Agency delineated a neighborhood defense unit. The unit was made up of a triangular area bounded by North Avenue, Clark Street and Ogden Avenue. This area was called North Town. North Town's inhabitants felt a sense of continued connection even after the War ended and in the spirit of community, they began to sponsor annual fairs which they called the "Old Town Holiday." In 1948 the Old Town Triangle Association was formed, and since then, the name "Old Town" has stuck; it is now the area's official moniker.
Today's Old Town is bordered on the north by Armitage Avenue, on the South by Division Street, on the east by Clark Street and on the west by Larrabee Street and Orleans Street. The neighborhood lies north of Chicago's downtown and 40 years ago it was one of the city's first areas to be gentrified. It is one of Chicago's most beautiful neighborhoods, reminiscent of a quaint European town, with its historic homes and cobblestone streets and flowering trees that make a walk on a summer or fall day all the more enjoyable. Old Town is also home to one of the few places that survived the Great Chicago Fire of the 1871: Old Town's "German village," including the Bavarian-built St. Michael Church that survived the fire because its walls were made of brick.
Old Town boasts a vibrant commercial district, is home to outstanding outdoor art fairs, rich history and fine amenities. It is one of Chicago's most interesting and easy neighborhoods to explore.
March 22nd, 2013
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