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Old 10-19-2010, 12:27 PM
 
Location: West Loop
8 posts, read 42,564 times
Reputation: 11

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I recently bought some designer furniture on craigslist from an older couple in Lincoln Park. Their house was one of those AMAZING vintage row homes... I'd be amazed if it wasn't $800K+.

Anyways, I chatted with them briefly about how I'd like to buy a place someday, and how nice their house looked. Then they mentioned that they moved in over 25 years ago, when Lincoln Park a rough area. At the time, their real estate agent thought that they were completely nuts.

I realize that not everyone makes this kind of housing gamble and comes out successful. But this made me think--what made Lincoln Park go from a bad area to a yuppie area? What changed that caused it to gentrify? Were there any milestone events that turned it around?

Purely for entertainment purposes, I've looked on Redfin at some of the sketchier (and downright rough) areas of town, like neighborhoods stretching from Cermak down to the University of Chicago. I'm amazed at how many beautiful, historic homes are still intact in these areas. Why hasn't this area exploded like LP has done?

Also, another question. If you wanted to buy in a neighborhood that was going to organically gentrify (meaning, it slowly becomes a nice area over a span of 10-20 years, instead of due to some crazy speculative bubble) where would you buy?
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:35 PM
 
7,294 posts, read 14,106,908 times
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Just to clarify, I don't think it's fair to say that Lincoln Park, as a whole, was ever a bad area. There were bad parts, but that wasn't the rule. Now, the area up around Wrigley, as I understand it, was rough...
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:39 PM
 
1,728 posts, read 4,309,858 times
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Wrigleyville in Lakeview was lower middle class, but never terribly rough. Lincoln Park was solidly middle town. Now Bucktown was gang infested. Lincoln Park has natural attraction because of the zoo, the park, it's close to downtown, and right by DePaul. So the college students moved in, demand for better housing and business to cater to the college crowd, and that's how it became the place it is today.

The historic homes between Cermak and U of C are still nice. A lot of them are apartment houses now and they are inexpensive by Chicago standards. It's just the neighborhood. All of the building was concentrated on the north and near NW sides since the late 1980s. The South Loop until the 1990s was completely industrial/vacant. It served as a natural barrier between the Loop, downtown, and the North Side from the South Side.
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:00 PM
 
400 posts, read 862,736 times
Reputation: 192
I grew up in Lincoln Park and im 37 now,
so yeah i remember when the bus barns were there
at wrightwood and sheffield and lincoln,
jonquil park was a tiny little glass and litter filled
park to the west of the bus barns,
There was a derelict gas station where the seven eleven was
and there was a junkyard on lill street and sheffield
where the condos are now there.

There were guys and girls fondling each other
in my alley, Dejavu used to be the 4am bar there
on Lincoln and that was pretty rough.
Lincoln ave was run down there,
it was just a regular and a bit rundown area,
but not bad.

There was a mexican bar there too,
and a few knifefights happened on Lincoln.
My parents had to shoe people away from sitting
on the front stoop of the storefront we lived in.

So I grew up on the "rough" side of Lincoln Park.
There was a bum named ernie who regularly passed
out in the park after drinking a whole lot.
There used to be ottos butcher shop on lincoln too,
that I definetly miss. I think scheisingers is gone now too,
that was the bakery.
There was a laundryland right there on lincoln by the gas station.
There was a store fixture place on lincoln too
that got demolished for condos.

Salt and pepper used to be in that little hut
at wrightwood and lincoln and it was really rundown,
but still very good. I dont like how it is now.
Brody's Pharmacy was around too.
And a shoe repair and hotdog stand where the nightclub
is now on wrightwood east of lincoln and sheffield.

Anyways, there was also alot of framehouses around that
neigborhood with the ashphalt siding.
It wasnt a terrible neigborhood, but that was
the side of lincoln park that people who lived on fullerton or by armitage
would look down on, I went oscar mayer for grammer school
even though I was out of district because
the one in lakeview was not great.
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Nort Seid
5,288 posts, read 8,003,618 times
Reputation: 2454
Lincoln Park definitely had some sketchy areas. Armitage had some rough patches in the 70s and early 80s, and I don't know if anyone remembers St Paul Billiards at Fullerton & Southport, but that place & the larger area between Southport & Ashland was pretty blue-collar ghetto.

The question of what areas will "organically gentrify" is a complex one, as it depends how thoroughly you're defining gentrify.

If housing speculation is all you mean, it's one thing. If you mean a complete improvement of the schools, it's a totally different one.

I'm in Avondale, and I'm quite content with the speed of gentrification here - slow and steady wins the race. I like turnover being moderate so you have a chance to get to know your neighbors (and they feel like they're moving into an existing neighborhood, not one turning over by the minute).

But Avondale is not like LP, or Hyde Park, in that it isn't full of those old victorian homes that lent themselves to upper-income fixer-upper rehabbers. I like that kind of housing, but it does in my experience definitely mean a neighborhood is always ripe for quick & rampant (over)development.
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Nort Seid
5,288 posts, read 8,003,618 times
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LOL. Why do I suspect we have a lot of mutual friends and acquaintences, XX? I went to St James & I'm 39, used to walk by the pre-fancified Jonquil to/from school.

You remember Lasser's?
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:17 PM
 
Location: West Loop
269 posts, read 659,430 times
Reputation: 127
Heh, I went to DePaul in the late 90's... I remember going to Dejavu on my fake id
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Nort Seid
5,288 posts, read 8,003,618 times
Reputation: 2454
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muppet123 View Post
Heh, I went to DePaul in the late 90's... I remember going to Dejavu on my fake id
Shoot, was going to Rose's when I was still in high school.

Now that is one super-divey joint, and god bless her for keeping it that way!
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,587 posts, read 24,506,495 times
Reputation: 1761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi-town Native View Post
Lincoln Park definitely had some sketchy areas. Armitage had some rough patches in the 70s and early 80s, and I don't know if anyone remembers St Paul Billiards at Fullerton & Southport...
If that place would have been in Logan Square,Noble Square, or Ukrainian Village it would be the ultimate hipster hangout right now.
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Nort Seid
5,288 posts, read 8,003,618 times
Reputation: 2454
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avengerfire View Post
If that place would have been in Logan Square,Noble Square, or Ukrainian Village it would be the ultimate hipster hangout right now.
Very possibly. Although the fact I used to see people regularly spitting chewing tobacco on the floor may have been a little too "real" for the passes-as-a-dive-bar we see nowadays. We used to play video games in the outer part, that was as close to the tables as I ever wanted to get.

God, that was one hell of a dump... I think it may actually have been a boxing ring decades earlier, it had that weird sort of balcony seating that was completely loaded full of old bike wheels and other junk.
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