Cottage Grove Heights
Quiet and small, this south side residential neighborhood holds strong community ties and block after block of modest ranches, providing comfortable living for families of all sizes. Green lawns go as far as the eye can see in Cottage Grove Heights, which favors private houses over multi-unit buildings. Most folks here enjoy all the perks of owning their own home like backyard barbecues and planting flower gardens in the spring.
Cottage Grove Heights Facts
Location: Approximately 14 miles south of the Loop
Boundaries: 95th Street to the north, Dorchester Avenue to the east, the Bishop Ford Freeway Extender to the south and Cottage Grove Avenue to the west
Bordering Neighborhoods: Burnside, Rosemoor, Pullman
Crime Statistics: Go to CLEARMap for crime stats on specific Chicago neighborhood, intersection, address or police beat.
Then and Now
Cottage Grove Heights was settled and incorporated into Chicago thanks in part to the railroad—specifically, the rail car building industry.
During the 1800s, George Pullman, the creator of the Pullman Palace Car (the comfortable sleeping and parlor cars for passenger trains), built a plant south of the city to manufacture his cars. So what if this Pullman guy put up a factory, you say? Well, we’d say the same thing if that had been all.
However, in addition to the large plant, Pullman built an entire company town that provided a place for his employees and their families to live—talk about short commute times! This planned community, aptly named Pullman, was heralded as an enormous success and garnered a number of "world’s best town" awards. Eventually, poor wages and high (company controlled) rents led to worker strikes, which then led to the government stepping in and selling the town of Pullman to Chicago in 1898. Even after the land became part of the city, the Pullman area was considered a very nice place to live. As a result, smaller residential enclaves sprung up around it, such as Cottage Grove Heights.
The Cottage Grove Heights neighborhood was named after Cottage Grove Avenue, which forms the western border of the community. The road was a former Native American trail that was dubbed Cottage Grove Avenue by Charles Cleaver. Cleaver was a wealthy factory owner who was in the smelly soap and lard-rendering business, which was (at the time) luckily located in a remote territory south of Cottage Grove Heights. As part of his numerous land holdings, Cleaver named Cottage Grove Avenue after the grove of trees that surrounded a cottage on his property.
Today Cottage Grove Heights remains pretty much what it was in its inception—a quiet residential neighborhood with tight neighborly ties and a reasonably diverse makeup. Commercial developments have been pretty sparse in the area, but it does provide a pleasant place to live, with easy access to other parts of the city.
Cottage Grove Heights Real Estate
The streets of Cottage Grove Heights provide the idyllic image of an average residential community. Cars are parked along the curbs of homes that lack a driveway and trees dot moderate lawns that require a mower for upkeep—no teeny tiny garden-size lots here. In addition to plenty of room for flower beds, shrubs and any other lawn decoration you like (please don’t put out any of those tacky pink flamingoes), these properties offer up space for that weekend barbeque in the summer or snow fort in the winter. Primarily one- and two-story brick houses, bungalows and raised ranches line the roads, providing housing for scores of families.
Brick was the principle building material for the homes of Cottage Grove Heights. Most of these homes follow a simple architectural design and a number of them have been standing since fairly near the Pullman company town days (albeit with sizable renovations over the years). Generally, the price for a three- or four-bedroom house ranges from $130,000 to $190,000, but there are two-bedroom homes for as low as $90,000 to start. Granted a place for that price is bound to need a little work, so don’t forget to budget some bucks for a few home improvements.
What’s on the Menu?
Commercial development has never been big in the predominantly residential Chicago neighborhood of Cottage Grove Heights, so restaurant selection is a bit sparse. Still, there are a couple local places that have our patronage whenever we decide to dine out with the neighborhood crew.
A favorite of students at nearby Olive-Harvey Junior College, Sammy’s Touch (1157 E 95th St, 773-734-7886) provides a fantastic bastion of good old-fashioned, all-American fast food. Once you get past the unassuming facade, you’ll be greeted by the friendly employees behind the counter. Order yourself a burger or hot dog and have a seat in one of a handful of booths to enjoy. We recommend a combo of the cheese sandwich with pickle, crispy onion rings, and a thick, handmade milkshake. Especially nice is the fact that you can satisfy your early morning hankerings for fast food, too, as Sammy’s Touch is open for breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner. So do yourself a favor (though it might not be doing your cholesterol count any good) and stop on by.
For something a bit different, Wing Hing Chop Suey (9801 S Cottage Grove Ave, 773-731-6798) supplies the area with fresh-cooked Chinese fare. The dine-in area is tight, so we think taking advantage of their take-out is the best idea. After all, who doesn’t enjoy good crab rangoon in the comfort of home?
Best Shopping Stops
Despite the residential nature of Cottage Grove Heights, this Chicago neighborhood actually features a number of interesting clothing chains along 95th Street that keep the locals in style and looking good.
Rainbow (1619 E 95th St, 773-221-5230) specializes in fashionable yet casual clothing for young women, featuring dresses, tops, swimwear, lingerie, shoes, and accessories. So you can go all out and really pump up the wardrobe, or keep it simple with just a couple additions to the closet that will enhance your old digs. Amid the colorful smocked boho dresses and denim capris, you’ll also find racks and shelves with sizable lines for kids, both girls and boys, and a nice selection of school uniforms, which makes picking out new school year fashions a breeze—if your children’s school has a dress code, that is. Otherwise, you’re on your own to deal with the fashion whims of young adults. But either way you can get all that back-to-school shopping done while you decide between the purple pumps or the snake-skin stilettos.
The en vogue trends don’t stop after a visit to Rainbow, this south side Chicago neighborhood features a number of other stores specializing in women’s apparel at discount prices. Dots Fashion (1627 E 95th St, 773-721-2860) offers an ever-changing stock of femme fashions, from casual beachwear to something with a little sparkle for a night on the town. Dots prides itself on spotting trends and keeping their clothing lines up to date, so we’re always confident a quick trip through here will have us coming out looking our best. Just down the street, Ashley Stewart (1631 E 95th St, 773-933-5355) is dedicated to compiling an astounding selection of plus-size women’s clothing, also at reasonable prices.
Getting around Cottage Grove Heights is pretty easily done by foot; sidewalks run along the streets and the entire neighborhood is fairly compact, making a stroll from one end to the other quite manageable. Additionally, transportation to the rest of the city is a piece of cake, especially if you utilize Chicago’s public transportation system (the CTA), which offers access from Cottage Grove Heights to just about everything.
Probably the easiest way of traveling to and from Cottage Grove Heights is the CTA bus. The #111 bus runs right along Cottage Grove Avenue and then makes its way to the 95th/Dan Ryan station. From there you can get on a bus headed to anywhere in Chicago. Transferring buses at the station is routine and a good way to go, however, we recommend something a little different—taking Chicago’s elevated train system (affectionately called "the El"). The El’s Red Line starts at the 95th/Dan Ryan station and travels into the heart of Chicago’s Loop and then continues northward. Since the Red Line trains run every fifteen minutes or so (24 hours daily), it’s probably the fastest way across the city from Cottage Grove Heights.
Also a contender for "fastest way from Cottage Grove Heights to the rest of the city" is the area’s other train line, the Metra. Metra lines run from the Loop to the outlying suburbs with stops throughout the city in between. It’s perfect for that morning and evening work commute, especially thanks to increased service during peak hours. The Metra Electric line has a stop at 95th Street, and travel from there takes about twenty to thirty minutes to arrive downtown.
If you enjoy the comfort of traveling in your own car, the Cottage Grove Heights neighborhood is also conveniently located right next to the Bishop Ford Freeway/Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94), which runs into the heart of the city. These main highways provide a perfect way to get to work, or to jet up for a weekend trip to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry located in Hyde Park. A number of Cottage Grove Heights homes feature garages, but for those that don’t, parking on the street is relatively simple, usually with plenty of open spaces.
School’s in Session
The Cottage Grove Heights area has a number of schools to choose from. In addition to the following, you can find more information on Chicago area schools at our Chicago Guide Schools page.
Olive-Harvey College – 10001 S Woodlawn Ave – (773) 291-6100
Schmid Theophilus Elementary School – 9755 S Greenwood Ave – (773) 535-6235
We’ve compiled a sampling of the places you can find your bare necessities, from floss to fresh fruit, postage to pet food.
Chicago Transit Authority – (888) 968-7282
Chicago Public Library Pullman Branch – 11001 S Indiana Ave – (312) 747-2033
US Post Office – 11033 S State St – (773) 928-713
Osco Drug – 1655 E 95th St – (773) 731-9086
Roseland Community Hospital – 45 W 111th St – (773) 995-3070
Eddie’s Food and Liquors – 9809 S Cottage Grove Ave – (773) 375-0799
Jewel-Osco – 1655 E 95th St (773) 731-9086
The following are just a taste of the dining and shopping Cottage Grove Heights has to offer. Discover the rest as you explore the neighborhood for yourself.
Ashley Stewart – 1631 E 95th St – (773) 933-5355
Dots Fashion – 1627 E 95th St – (773) 721-2860
Rainbow – 1619 E 95th St – (773) 221-5230
Sammy’s Touch – 1157 E 95th St – (773) 734-7886
Wing Hing Chop Suey – 9801 S Cottage Grove Ave – (773) 731-6798
Sometimes it makes more sense to view the city of Chicago as a bunch of separate neighborhoods, especially when it comes to real estate. Whether you are in the market for a loft, condo, townhome, or house, it is just as important to inspect the surrounding area as it is to inspect the home’s foundation. Cottage Grove Heights is just one Chicago community with an abundance of residential properties, and a life all its own. From where you send your kids to school to where you dine at night, the information we provide is an essential piece of the puzzle when you’re trying to decide whether or not to buy that beautiful loft or adorable house in Cottage Grove Heights.