Belmont Terrace is a small neighborhood on the far northwest side of Chicago, enveloped in nature and quiet residential avenues. Located between several large park-like cemeteries and one of the city's most expansive forest preserves, Belmont Terrace feels more like rural woodland than urban metropolis. Timeless bungalows and more contemporary two-stories offer homebuyers their choice of living style. You can even find a vintage farmhouse here if you like. And on top of prime real estate, golf enthusiasts will be thrilled by Belmont Terrace's proximity to one of the city's top public golf courses.
Belmont Terrace Facts
Location: about 13 miles northwest of the Loop
Bordering Neighborhoods: Irving Woods, Belmont Heights, Franklin Park, River Grove, Elmwood Park
Boundaries: Addison Street to the north, Pacific Avenue to the east, Belmont Avenue to the south and Cumberland Avenue to the west
Then and Now
Large-scale development of Belmont Terrace didn’t really take off until the late 20th century. During most of the 1800s, the area shared the fate of the neighboring suburbs of Harwood Heights and Norwood which entailed nothing more than farmland and an agrarian lifestyle. Streets remained unpaved and muddy until the 1920s, goats were herded, and residents lived mostly in log cabins.
Soon after World War II, as cities nationwide watched a mass exodus of families to the suburbs, development began speeding up in the outlying settlement. The population of Belmont Terrace rapidly increased as roads were paved, utilities were added, and the neighborhood was annexed by Chicago. In the 1970s and ‘80s, the revival and growth of the adjacent communities of Belmont Heights and Dunning directly spilled over into Belmont Terrace, with widespread expansion in residential, institutional and commercial real estate.
Originally inhabited by European immigrant populations, the demographic makeup of Belmont Terrace has changed considerably in the last few decades. Many of the second-generation Polish Americans have left the neighborhood, replaced by younger families who are largely Latino in heritage. By the 1990s, Belmont Terrace became known among golf enthusiasts and nature lovers alike (Indian Boundary Golf Course and Forest Preserve is next door) as a quiet, peaceful community where residents can enjoy all of the benefits of the suburbs while living in the city.
Despite the neighborhood’s close proximity to one of Chicago’s largest nature preserves, the residents of Belmont Terrace also enjoy the use of a beautiful city park situated in the northeastern corner of the small community.
Hiawatha Park (8029 W. Forest Preserve Rd, 312-746-5559) is a 12-acre, triangular-shaped recreational space that boasts four baseball diamonds and a couple of tennis courts, as well as a fitness center, a playground, and an indoor gymnasium. In addition to the many sports and education programs available to local residents through the Chicago Park District, Hiawatha Park also hosts 'Movies in the Park' in the summer. The series is sponsored by the Park District with screenings citywide at different parks. We’re fortunate enough to have one of the sites right in the neighborhood, providing excellent evening entertainment for the whole family. Just bring an old blanket to spread across the grass and stakeout prime territory under the big screen for a more environmentally friendly take on the classic 1950s drive-in. We many not be sitting in a car, but we still get to catch a flick underneath the stars.
While Hiawatha Park is the place in Belmont Terrace for organized sports, if you’re interested in hugging a tree, head no further than Indian Boundary Forest Preserve (8600 W Forest Preserve Ave, 773-625-1233), which borders Belmont Terrace neighborhood to the west. Indian Boundary is a massive forest preserve, stretching all the way from Madison Street to Touhy Avenue along the western border of the city limits. And for golf lovers, within the forest preserve, just north of Belmont Avenue, there’s a newly remodeled 18-hole golf course aptly named Indian Boundary Golf Course (8600 W. Forest Preserve Ave, 773-625-9630). The grounds maintain a state-of-the-art irrigation system that ensures those greens are nothing but, and the recently dredged lake adds a water challenge that gives this par 72 course a little something to test your accuracy, those par fives are no joke. Take our word for it.
Belmont Terrace Real Estate
Architectural genres in Belmont Terrace range from the distinctly Chicago-style brick bungalow to new construction two-story houses, with several smaller frame homes tucked in between. Even though the ambiance of this northwest side subdivision is much more spacious and suburban than its sister neighborhoods to the east, the real estate in Belmont Terrace is pretty tightly packed on long narrow lots that still provide front and back yards and plenty of room for the kids, or the dog, to run around and play.
The streets here are typically quiet, lined with an abundance of trees and edged by well-kept sidewalks. A system of back-alley service roads allow residents to access their garages and garbage trucks to pick up the trash. Really, your standard Chicago neighborhood infrastructure, right down to the grid layout.
The trend of putting up new condominiums hasn’t hit Belmont Terrace, instead the majority of the condo units in the neighborhood occupy older low-rise buildings that start in the low $100,000s for a one-bedroom unit with a street parking spot. Two-bedroom places with a garage parking space sell for as high as $250,000. Detached single-family homes in Belmont Terrace, on the other hand, are much more diverse in character and age. There are vintage farmstead-style houses with beautiful exterior stonework and brand new models with modern amenities including granite kitchen counter tops, stainless steel appliances, hardwood flooring, not to mention the finished basements, sometimes with built-in bars. Generally speaking, the price for a two- or three-bedroom house in Belmont Terrace neighborhood ranges between the low $200,000s and the mid to upper $300,000s. Larger homes, or ones that have undergone major interior renovations, typically sell for between $350,000 and $720,000 in this part of the city.
As you might guess, most people that live in the far northwest reaches of the city use a car to get around because it’s convenient and the distances between Belmont Terrace and other places tend to be further than those in other parts of the city. Even though most residents here have vehicles of their own, the traffic isn’t too bad as the population density in the region is relatively low (not too many people living in the forest preserve last we checked), and parking is easy, too, as most homes have a driveway and/or garage.
Just because most folks around here drive, doesn’t mean you have to. Busses run frequently down Belmont Avenue, just hop on the #77 bus whose route goes from the intersection of Belmont and Cumberland avenues all the way east to the lakefront. If you’re heading downtown from Belmont Terrace neighborhood, probably the best bet is to take the Belmont Avenue bus to Kimball Avenue where you can transfer to the Blue Line 'El' train (called the El for its sections of elevated track). The Blue Line shuttles passengers directly downtown. The whole trip is a lengthy one, on a good day it should take you about an hour. But remember, you can read on the bus or the train; if you drive, it’s just you and your thoughts (and the radio).
School’s in Session
Though the Chicago Public School District does not have any facilities within Belmont Terrace neighborhood, there is a nearby elementary school just to the north in Irving Woods (Canty Elementary School) that welcomes students from the area. Another option for Catholic families in Belmont Terrace is Saint Francis Borgia Catholic School, which serves students from kindergarten through eighth grade. For information on additional Chicago area schools and academic institutions, check out our Chicago Schools Guide.
St Francis Borgia Catholic School - 3535 N Panama Ave - (773) 589-1000
We’ve assembled a sampling of some of the places you can get your bare necessities in Belmont Terrace neighborhood, from home repair essentials like paint and nails, to the best tee time site for those leisurely Saturday afternoons.
Chucho’s (take-out) - 7955 W Addison St - (773) 589-9100
Goody Fast Food - 8255 Belmont Ave - (708) 583-1700
Hiawatha Park - 8029 W Forest Preserve Ave - (312) 746-5559
Indian Boundary Forest Preserve - 8600 W Forest Preserve Ave - (773) 625-1233
Indian Boundary Golf Course - 8600 W. Forest Preserve Ave - (773) 625-9630
Walgreens - 8361 Belmont Ave - (708) 452-8060
Ace Hardware - 8345 Belmont Ave - (708) 453-0700
Chicago Transit Authority - (888) 968-7282
As one of the many diverse Chicago neighborhoods, Belmont Terrace offers homeowners a wide range of residential properties. Belmont Terrace homes include lofts, condos and townhomes, to name a few. In addition to Chicago real estate, you can get detailed neighborhood information from our comprehensive online Chicago neighborhoods guide. With features like dining, shopping, entertainment, and resources, we’ve done all the leg work already to make your home search that much easier. Now, when a listing in Belmont Terrace Chicago catches your eye, you can read all about the surrounding area and what it has to offer, all without setting foot in the neighborhood.