Margaret Finegan
Phone: 312 261 0077
Mobile: 773 502 1673
Toll Free: 7735021673
Pager: 7735021673
Fax: 7735021673
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  Keller Wiliiams Luxury Home Real Estate Specialist

From Fields to Family Homes
What we know today as Lincoln Square grew from a series of small villages and settlements such as West Ravenswood, Bowmanville, Winnemac and Summerdale. The area had a number of farms, including an onion farm, the Budlong Pickle Farm to the north, as well as some truck farms and cow pastures. Immigrants traveled from far corners of the city to work these fields.

From the time it was populated, the neighborhood always had access to public transportation. Horse cars brought riders up Western until the 1890s when they were replaced by the electric streetcars that survived until the 1950s. And the arrival of the elevated train was what precipitated the neighborhood's first boom. As late as 1902, just a few homes dotted the landscape and itinerant people still camped in the woods at Western and Montrose. But when the Ravenswood branch of the Northwestern "L" began shuttling riders as far as Western in May of 1907, that changed the neighborhood forever.

Rapid Transit, Rapid Growth
In the late 1800s, real estate speculators began buying up parcels of land in the Lincoln Square area. The same speculators were also financial backers of the Ravenswood branch of the "L." Although few people lived beyond Western at that time, the developers paid to extend the train line to Kimball by the end of 1907 with plans to build homes for the future riders.

The train quickly became a popular mode of transit, and only a few months after it opened carried about 10,000 passengers a day. It didn't take long for homes to spring up all along the tracks, and for German, Irish, Greek, Swedish, Polish and Italian families to fill them. People moved in waves to the area, which was known as a safe and clean neighborhood where they could breathe "hygienic air" and raise their families away from the industrial pollution and threat of disease common in Chicago's heavily populated neighborhoods. To serve the growing community, merchants established a thriving business district along Lincoln and Western Avenues.