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Residents of this gentrified neighborhood love their locally-owned restaurants and shops. The area is a cultural destination with a rich history, and its future looks bright. North of downtown Chicago, Lakeview is home to Wrigleyville and Boys Town and boasts a nationally-distinguished reputation for luxurious living.
The neighborhood’s origins date back to the 19th century, when Chicagoans poured north and turned truck farms into urban subdivisions. It incorporated as a city in 1887, but couldn’t survive on its own, and it voted to join the greater Chicago metropolis two years later.
In the 1970s, an unusually diverse population thrived in Lakeview’s historic brownstones and bungalows, with old families of German and Swedish stock joined by American Indians, Southerners, Hispanics, gays and hippies. Restaurants like Zum Deutschen Eck co-existed with hillbilly joints, folk bars and taquerias. Names changed regularly, a sure sign that gentrification was coming: New Town, Roscoe Village, New West Side, Belmont Harbor, Graceland West, Wrigleyville.
Today, Roscoe Street and other neighborhood streets feature plenty of the usual Chicago brownstones and bungalows along with renovated factory spaces turned into condos. The Music Box Theatre, the largest film theater space operating full-time in the city, is a Lakeview landmark that presents an array of independent and foreign films. Other cultural highlights include the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Wahl-Eversharp Pencil Factory Lofts.