Devon Avenue in Chicago, Illinois




Devon Avenue was previously known as Church Road and was renamed in the 1850's, by immigrants from Devonshire, England. Since that time, the street has been settled by many other immigrant groups, which is most prevalent between Kedzie and Ridge Avenues in Chicago.

When traveling westward, one encounters an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, a Russian-American neighborhood, Indian neighborhood, Pakistani neighborhood and a Bangladeshi neighborhood. Portions of the Devon neighborhood located here have been renamed, honoring Golda Meir, Sheikh Majibur Rahman, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi.

Devon Avenue was originally known for having farms and greenhouses. North Town, as it was called at the time, began to attract commercial and residential development during the early 1920's. Henry B. Rance, a Chicago developer, opened the first real estate office at the corner of Devon and Western Avenues. The temporary site was soon followed by the construction of a grand white terra-cotta structure with Gothic detailing, which was designed by William Presto. Several different architectural influences can be witnessed in the surrounding neighborhood and the structures add to the charm and historical value of the community.

The 1920's, Devon Avenue experienced a period of rapid growth and development. Buildings were constructed in a wide variety of styles done by William Keller, A.E. Norman, Oldfest & Williams, Dewey & Pavolovich, Adolf Woerner and Johnson and & Anderson. North Town Post Office and Apartments were designed by Adolf Woerner and are the jewels of Devon Avenue.

Devon Avenue's Desi (Indian) Corridor is one of the most well-known and largest communities of its type in North America. The Corridor exists between Ravenswood Avenue and California Avenue. Because of the wide variety of South Asian and Indian shops, restaurants, grocery stores along the strip, the area has become a very popular tourist attraction for people visiting the Chicago area.

Devon Avenue features an international flavor found in the residents that compose the community. Guests can walk down the street and find more than 30 small neighborhood grocers, a Georgian bakery, more than 12 Pakistani and Indian eateries, as well as all-you-can-eat buffet style restaurants.

Better known landmarks located along Devon Avenue are Superdawg, Loyola University Chicago, Bryn Mawr Country Club, Hanna Sacks Bais Yaakov High School, Elkbrook Golf Course, Thillens Stadium, De Paul University O'Hare Campus and Mesiricordia/Heart of Mercy, which serves area children with developmental disabilities.

Devon Avenue is filled with bustling traffic and tree-lined streets, graystone and brick dwellings and businesses. The fabric of the neighbor consists of a wide mix of cultures and ethnicities which can be felt in the surrounding community. Whether seeking ethnic food, exotic apparel or an exciting nightlife experience, Devon Avenue has something for everyone to appreciate and enjoy.


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Jun 9, 2011 @ 4:16 pm
In the 40s on Devon,when I grew up there, there was a large market and restaurant near Western on Devon. I'm attempting to find out the name of the market. The restaurant was upstairs and the meat department/grocery were downstairs. It was a large market. Can you help with the name.
Dave
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Jul 27, 2011 @ 11:11 am
You may be thinking of Hillman's on Devon west of Western Ave.
Darryl Covas
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Oct 15, 2012 @ 1:01 am
I lived in West Rogers Park in the l950s and l960's.. on Devon ave, between Rockwell and Western, across the street from a shop called "Marianne" there was a department store, with a main floor and downstairs as I remember it. Have been trying to recall the name, can you help? Thanks
BettyMac
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Jun 6, 2013 @ 8:20 pm
Darryl, Could it be the Crawford Dept. Store? There was also a bowling alley upstairs.

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