East Village history

Blanchard's Guide Map of Chicago

— From Blanchard's 1862 Guide Map of Chicago, Encyclopedia of Chicago

The Northwest Side of Chicago, though incorporated in 1837, was largely unsettled during the 1830s and 1840s. The Northwest Plank Road (Milwaukee Avenue) was finished in 1848. The establishment of the railroad car shops at Grand and Kinzie fostered the building of frame boarding houses and workmen's homes, which quickly deteriorated.

By 1859, patches of settlements along Milwaukee Avenue had a horse-drawn streetcar. During the 1860s, Chicago grew slowly as workers settled near the factories built along the Chicago River and Milwaukee Avenue. In 1869, land speculation accelerated with the establishment of the West Side Park Board.

After the fire in 1871, solidly built brick buildings sprang up to house those who had been burned out. Completion of the Logan Square and Humboldt Park Rapid Transit lines, as well as the installation and extension of streetcar lines during the 1880s and 1890s, contributed to further development, which reached maturity in the early 1900s.

Our area today is known to many as one of the most cosmopolitan in the city. People from all walks of life make their homes here — some for generations, others newly arrived.

East Village is 6 minutes by subway to Chicago's Loop and 19 minutes to O'Hare International Airport. The River North, River West and North Michigan Avenue ares are all less than 2 miles.

— from an undated pamphlet, "The East Village Association needs you"