Edison Park is a quaint residential community on Chicago's far northwest side, boasting a variety of parks, a vibrant dining district, and convenient proximity to O'Hare International Airport. A lone Chicago neighborhood jutting out into the suburbs, Edison Park allows folks to enjoy the comfort and convenience of suburban life without having to leave city limits. Families with young children like the selection of elementary schools and daycares to choose from, and everyone seems to be a fan of the annual summer festival that takes over Edison Park's central business blocks for three days every August. Architecture buffs aren't missing anything by living away from the downtown Loop's cluster of world-renowned buildings because Edison Park has some notable structures of it own, designed by famous architects, that have been welcomed to Chicago Landmark status and added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Edison Park Facts
Location: About 15 miles northwest of the Loop
Bordering Neighborhoods: Norwood Park, Old Norwood Park, Park Ridge, Niles
Boundaries: Howard Street to the north, Harlem Avenue to the east, Devon Avenue to the south and Ozanam Avenue to the west
Then and Now
Edison Park became a part of the city of Chicago in 1910, but its history doesn’t start there.
Native Americans originally inhabited the then-wooded Edison Park area, taking advantage of its proximity to the North Branch of the Chicago River, less than a mile away, and to the old trail (now Milwaukee Avenue) that led north to Wisconsin. In 1834, the Ebinger family settled just west of the river between what are now Touhy and Devon avenues. The Ebingers were on their way to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on the old trail, but legend has it that their horse received a fatal snake bite, stranding them in the area north of Chicago where they were destined to stay for years to come.
The spot soon became a popular stopping point for other pioneers, many of them German farmers, who traveled along the trail because it was drier and less swampy than surrounding land. In 1835, the Illinois and Wisconsin Railroad laid tracks in the area and land developers followed, laying out blocks and streets for a new railroad community.
After the 1871 Chicago Fire, Edison Park saw its first real growth spurt as Chicago residents fled both the disaster and the city’s congestion for a quieter life in the suburbs. Developers hoping to attract city dwellers built ornate suburban houses along Olmsted, Oliphant, and Oxford avenues and installed electric streetlights at major intersections—cutting-edge technology at the time. Promoting it as Chicago’s first electric suburb, they asked Thomas Alva Edison’s permission to name the community in his honor, and he couldn’t refuse. In 1890, the area was named Edison Park.
Soon after, a hotel was built nearby which attracted visitors in to town for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in downtown Chicago. After all, the exposition was only two short train rides away. Several churches were built at the time, too, but despite this mini building boom, the area remained primarily farmland for years.
After toying with the idea of remaining an independent village, Edison Park finally voted to become part of Chicago in 1893 to take advantage of the city’s infrastructure and utilities. Unfortunately, those promised services didn’t arrive until after World War I, so the community’s growth was sluggish. Soon after the arrival of the long-awaited city services, however, development skyrocketed. Blocks of houses were built, including bungalows, Dutch colonials, and four-squares. Apartment buildings with storefronts also appeared, although the area remained primarily residential. In the 1920s, dozens of elm trees were planted as part of a community beautification project, some of which still tower triumphantly over the streets and houses of Edison Park today.
The end of World War II meant another surge in construction, as blocks of starter homes were built to serve both returning war veterans and their families, and workers at the new Douglas Aircraft factory near Orchard Field (now O’Hare International Airport). Edison Park continued to grow over the next few decades, attracting middle- and upper-class families. Its parks expanded in the 1970s to accommodate the growing number of children in the area. Today, Edison Park remains a stable residential community, with successful shopping and restaurant districts, respected schools, and convenient access to rail lines and O’Hare International Airport.
Chicago’s winters can be brutal, so when the weather cooperates we run to the nearest park for fun in the sun. There’s no shortage of park space in Edison Park—residents have four fantastic places to play.
Let’s start with the neighborhood’s namesake Edison Park (6755 N. Northwest Hwy, 773-631-3988), smack-dab in the heart of the neighborhood. When we think of parks, outdoor activities and recreation tend to come to mind, however, Edison Park offers a cornucopia of indoor programs at the fieldhouse, including crafts, painting, ceramics, jewelry making, sewing, and even improvisation for budding stage performers. So even on those gloomy days when it seems like the sun hasn’t been out for a week—you can still get out of the house and head to the park for a little change of pace.
Travel to another time and place without leaving the park grounds by taking advantage of Edison Park’s Storytelling in the Parks program, where drama teachers read and act out a variety of captivating stories—complete with props and costumes. Bring the kids and your imagination for a fun break from daily life. And don’t be shy because you may even be asked to join in the story!
On those days when it is sunny and nice out, and the kids are itching to get outside and play, you know where to take them. Little Edison Parkers flock to the park’s outdoor soft surface playground to expend their youthful energy on the jungle gym and slides. Meanwhile the older crew of Edison Park residents can join the senior citizens club to stay active and keep in touch with friends. The park even hosts a model railroad group that attracts train buffs of all ages.
If you’re serious about sports, check out Brooks Park (7100 N Harlem Ave, 773-631-4401). Basketball, volleyball, softball, baseball, floor hockey, track and field, tumbling, boxing, walking and fitness programs—they’re all offered here. The park has two baseball diamonds, one soccer/football field, two tennis courts, a horseshoe pit, a spray pool and playground, and a half-mile walking trail, so no matter what your interests, you have absolutely no excuse for laying about the house and watching TV all summer long!
This nine-acre park keeps the preschool crowd busy too, with music and movement classes, and a play group. Rumor has it that the Easter Bunny himself has been spotted at the park’s annual Bunny Bonanza, where kids scramble for goodies at the egg hunt, get their faces painted, and indulge in sweet refreshments.
A bit larger than Brooks Park, Olympia Park (6566 N Avondale Ave, 773-631-6861) also offers Edison Park locals a huge range of programming for every age group. That means every member of your family, from the youngest children to the oldest adults, can get active here. Tots as young as 18-months-old can participate in parent/child art classes. For three- to five-year-olds, the park has classes like fitness fun, T-ball, storytime, crafts, and soccer. There are social clubs for teens’ and pre-teens’ interests, and adults can take aerobics classes or join the park’s basketball and volleyball leagues. The park even has walking and fitness classes geared especially for senior citizens. Olympia’s list of outdoor amenities includes two senior and one junior baseball field, a combination soccer/football field, four basketball standards, three tennis courts, a playground and spray pool (sorry, just for the kiddies), and a half-mile walking trail.
If you’re like us, you might need to rest after visiting all those bustling neighborhood parks. We like to visit Monument Playlot Park (6679 N. Avondale Ave) for a more serene outdoor experience. The park gets its name from the striking black-and-white granite pillar that was erected in 1918 to honor area locals who served in World War I. A decorative eagle from the old Cook County Courthouse stands guard atop the monument keeping watch over Edison Park residents who come to this spot to relax and take in the sights. Plop down on one of the park’s benches, gaze at the pretty assortment of trees, shrubs, and flowerbeds that surround you, and breathe in the fresh air. The park’s playground equipment will keep the kids busy as you recuperate from the day’s activities.
Art and Architecture
Two interesting pieces of architectural history reside within Edison Park’s boundaries. As you stroll past the Turzak House (7059 N Olcott Ave), you might be struck by its distinctive design, but you probably wouldn’t guess that it’s one of renowned architect Bruce Goff’s earliest houses—and the only one that he designed from scratch. Built in the late 1930s, Goff designed it as a home and studio for artist Charles Turzak. This ultramodern home was truly ahead of its time, with features like a carport, overhanging balconies, and large, corner picture windows. The Commission on Chicago Landmarks bestowed landmark status on this beauty in 1992. The house is still a private residence, so tours aren’t available, but don’t hesitate to pass by and admire its historic exterior.
Edison Park residents are also proud to have a nationally recognized architectural jewel in their own backyard. The Edison Park Fieldhouse (6755 N Northwest Hwy, 773-631-3988) is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Beman’s amazing resume includes designing the entire Pullman community on Chicago’s south side (a Chicago landmark and one of the first planned communities in the United States), several buildings at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, and Chicago’s first branch library, the Blackstone Public Library. Beman originally designed the rectangular, redbrick building as a public school building for Edison Park, but it was converted into a park fieldhouse in 1936. Now anyone visiting the park can also catch a glimpse of this northwest side neighborhood’s architectural history.
Edison Park Real Estate
Edison Park boasts a variety of housing styles, so chances are, no matter what your tastes, you’ll find a home to suit your liking in this tranquil northwest side Chicago neighborhood. Set on large green grass lots with nicely manicured shrubs and gardens, Edison Park properties are a lovely mix of bungalows, Victorians, Tudors, condominiums, and newer single-family homes. Take a stroll down any of the neighborhood’s shady streets and enjoy the sound of birds chirping and leaves rustling in the breeze. An idyllic setting to start a family, raise children or spend your retirement.
While there are some properties in Edison Park that are valued at over a million dollars, most three- or four-bedroom homes cost between $300,000 and $700,000. A rather large price range, but with such a diverse selection of architectural styles and designs, you are sure to get what you want for a price you want with no problem. Having said that, not everyone wants an entire house with a full yard to take care of—not to worry, Edison Park condos are about $211,000 on average for a one- or two-bedroom unit and three- bedroom places are generally available for a little less than $300,000.
What’s on the Menu?
If you’re a food fanatic, you’ll fall in love with Edison Park’s dining district, a two-block area bordered by Oliphant, Oshkosh, and Olmstead avenues and Northwest Highway, which holds a wide range of delicious eateries, one after another.
Nonno Pino’s (6718 Northwest Hwy, 773-594-1155) high ceilings and exposed brick walls give it great atmosphere, and in summer its large windows open, making you feel like you’re in an outdoor cafe. Fresh bread and olive oil arrive at the table as you peruse the menu. You can make your own pasta dish by picking your favorite sauce and shape—go wild or stay traditional, and then change it up again the next time you visit. The relatively small menu includes pastas, pizzas, gigantic salads, seafood dishes, and a signature pecan crusted chicken dish. Daily specials are a good bet here, and bottles of wine are half-price with purchase of an entree. The popular Zagat Survey of culinary excellence has ranked Zia’s Trattoria (6699 N Northwest Hwy,773-775-0808) among the top 15 Italian restaurants in the city, but we think it belongs in the top five. This polished Italian eatery sports wood appointments, bright white tablecloths, a wraparound bar, and several comfortable seating areas, each with its own personality. Open for dinner and lunch, distinctive choices include filetto al formaggio (grilled filet stuffed with garlic herb cheese and served with a wine sauce), pollo affumicato (chicken breast stuffed with fennel and smoked bacon), and rigatoni piedmontese (rigatoni with chicken, peas, herbs, white wine, garlic, and parmesan cheese). And that’s just a small sampling of Zia’s mouthwatering dinnertime selection. We highly recommend you don’t miss this Edison Park gem.
For Mexican food, look no further than a block away on Northwest Highway. Don Juan’s (6730 N Northwest Hwy, 773-775-6438) has been serving quality Mexican cuisine in Edison Park for years. Its spacious, dimly lit dining room is perfect for a date, a family celebration, or a business lunch. Dinner choices include a delectable puntas de Felipe en chipotle (grilled tenderloin tips with onions, mushrooms, and zucchini in a spicy chile chipotle tomato sauce), camarones Don Juan (jumbo shrimp sauteed with artichokes, mushrooms, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro), braised duck in pasilla, and familiar favorites like fajitas (chicken, steak, pork, shrimp, and vegetarian), tacos, enchiladas, and burritos. Okay, the stomach is starting to growl … When the mood strikes, we like to visit for a quick appetizer, like guacamole, seafood nachos, or ceviche, and festive drinks from the full bar (ask your server for a recommendation—their suggestions always hit the spot!).
Craving a downtown Chicago steakhouse without the downtown commute? Elliott’s Seafood Grille & Chop House (6690 N Northwest Hwy, 773-775-5277) is a meat- and seafood-lover’s heaven right in the neighborhood. This unpretentious eatery has a big selection of steak favorites, live music on weekends, a full bar, and valet parking. You’ll also find two great ethnic delis in Edison Park: O’Connor’s Deli & Market (7280 W Devon Ave, 773- 631-0747), specializing in Irish groceries and baking products, and Tony’s Italian Deli & Subs (6708 N Northwest Hwy, 773-631-0055), known for delicious sandwiches as well as a large selection of imported olive oils and vinegars, plus homemade pastas, salads, cookies, and pastries. Many more great restaurant options await you in the Edison Park neighborhood — too many to mention — so get out and explore to find your new favorite.
Night on the Town
Whether your favorite late-night activities include barhopping, bowling, shooting pool, listening to live bands, playing trivia games, or watching your favorite sporting events, Edison Park has a nightspot for you.
Edison Park Inn (6715 N Olmsted Ave, 773-775-1404) is a two-story gaming pub, right across from the Edison Park Metra train station in the neighborhood’s restaurant district. Affectionately known as "EPI" by locals, its myriad features include a full-service bar with eight beers on tap, an eight-lane bowling alley, three pool tables, foosball, and ten TVs. We like to visit on Friday and Saturday nights, when local bands play and the bar is bustling with activity. EPI’s wood-burning oven turns out specialty pizzas like the portabella mushroom and sun dried tomato, or the trio cheese, with ricotta, monterey jack and mozzarella. Satisfying appetizers, salads, and sandwiches round out the tasty bar menu.
Fans of sports and pizza flock to the original Moretti’s Ristorante and Pizzeria (6727 N Olmsted Ave, 773-631-1223). With dozens of big screen TVs including giant plasmas—and just about every possible satellite package—you’ll never miss a game. Moretti’s even offers "Fan Can" personal tabletop speakers to ensure you can hear the game of choice, and the NTN video network, where you use a wireless controller to play sports and trivia games via satellite with people across North America. Are you drooling yet? Well maybe a snapshot of the menu will help—besides, we can’t enjoy the game without great food, and Moretti’s delivers. The menu includes more than just basic bar food, with appetizers like shrimp pompeii (jumbo shrimp sauteed in garlic butter and hot sauce, served with fresh toasted bread), and entrees like Chicken Limone with Artichokes Gnocchi Arosto (gnocchi with roasted vegetables in marinara sauce), steak gorgonzola, and an assortment of burgers, wraps, and sandwiches. The most popular food choice here, though, is the pizza: crispy thin crust or belt-busting pan pizza, with just about any topping you can imagine. We can’t get enough of Moretti’s BBQ Blast specialty pizza, with its tangy combo of pepperoni, cilantro, chicken, onion, and barbecue sauce. In the summer, we like to take it outside to Moretti’s huge garden patio and eat among the trees and flowers while we people watch.
Edison Park has a large Irish-American population, so it’s no wonder that the Emerald Isle (6686 N Northwest Hwy, 773-775-1109) has been a neighborhood hotspot for years. Not just a bar, the Isle hosts live bands on weekends, ranging from alternative rock to acoustic music to blues, who perform on a unique stage that sits right on top of the bar. (Don’t worry, you can still get a beer.) There’s also music on Thursday nights, when popular DJs spin tunes for the crowd. Penny pinchers rave about the nightly drink specials, and the bar boasts a respectable selection of beers. The bar’s beer garden is the place to be in the warmer months, so make sure to get there early before it gets too packed.
Mark Your Calendar
The annual Edison Park Fest is the neighborhood’s biggest celebration. This three-day bash, sponsored by the Edison Park Chamber of Commerce, is usually held in August in downtown Edison Park and has something for every member of the family. Kids love riding their bikes in the parade and watching the dog show. Adults rave about the beer garden and Taste of Edison Park, featuring tasty samples from the area’s restaurants. You’ll see all ages visiting the arts and crafts fair and lining up to play bingo.
The Edison Park Turkey Trot 5K Fun Run/Walk has been held annually since 1996 to raise money for the New Horizon Center for the Developmentally Disabled. Children under 12 can take part, too—in the Gobble Gallup. The route starts at the Edison Park fieldhouse and continues down Oketo, Octavia, Odell, Birchwood, and Ottawa avenues. Finishers then head to the post-race party at the good old Emerald Isle (6686 N Northwest Highway) for refreshments, a raffle, and the chance to win prizes, so even if you didn’t come in first in the race, you’ve got a shot at being the big winner at the end of the day.
South of the neighborhood’s southern border, Edison Park residents have easy access to the Kennedy Expressway’s (I-90/94) Cumberland, Bryn Mawr and Harlem ramps. Once on the highway, O’Hare International Airport is just a few minutes’ drive, and downtown Chicago is approximately fifteen miles away. And owning a vehicle is no problem in Edison Park as most of the homes have their own garages to park your car or SUV.
For those who prefer public transportation, there are several options for getting to downtown or to O’Hare from Edison Park. The Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) Northwest Highway bus route stops at the Jefferson Park terminal, where riders can connect to the CTA Blue Line to O’Hare or head on down to the Loop.
The Metra Union Pacific Northwest line train runs from the downtown Chicago Ogilvie Transportation Center (at Madison and Canal streets) to Harvard, Illinois. In between, it stops at several neighborhoods on Chicago’s northwest side, and in the Illinois suburbs of Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights (including a stop at Arlington Park Race Track), Crystal Lake, and more.
School’s in Session
Educational options in Edison Park include public and parochial elementary schools and private education centers. In addition to the following list, you can find more information on Chicago area schools at our Chicago Guide Schools page.
A+ Education Centers – 6755 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 775-9867
Ebinger Elementary School – 7350 W Pratt Ave – (773) 534-1070
Knowledge HQ – 6713 N Oliphant – (773) 467-9640
St. Juliana School – 7400 W Touhy Ave – (773) 631-2256
Frederick Stock Elementary School – 7507 W Birchwood Ave – (773) 534-1215
Happy Child Day Care – 7750 W Devon Ave – (773) 775-7969
Children’s Campus, Inc. – 7250 Touhy Ave – (773) 631-3632
We’ve compiled a sampling of some of the places you can get your bare necessities in Edison Park neighborhood, from gifts to groceries, pottery classes to pizza.
Chicago Transit Authority – (888) 968-7282
Happy Foods – 6783 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 763-5877
Wine Compliments – 6716 N. Northwest Hwy – (773) 775-1100
Maximum Fitness Center – 7234 N Harlem Ave – (773) 792-9692
Chicago Public Library – Roden Branch 6083 N Northwest Hwy – (312) 744-1478
If an Elephant Can Paint – 6677 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 467-4595
Edison Park Fest – 6655 N Avondale Ave – (773) 631-0063
Edison Park Turkey Trot 5K Fun Run/Walk – (773) 792-9005
Edison Park – 6755 N. Northwest Hwy – (773) 631-3988
Brooks Park – 7100 N Harlem Ave – (773) 631-4401
Monument Playlot Park – 6679 N. Avondale Ave
Olympia Park – 6566 N Avondale Ave – (773) 631-6861
Antique Resale Shoppe – 7214 N Harlem Ave – (773) 631-1151
Avenues to Independence Thrift Shop – 7710 W Touhy Ave – (773) 631-6230
Black & White Photography – 6714 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 467-9908
Edgewater Carpet & Rug – 6664 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 763-5533
Essential Bodywear – 6485 N Oxford St – (773) 405-6485
Favor the Moment – 6776 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 631-8470
Grannies Goodies – 6517 N Oxford Ave – (773) 419-2626
Romance in Blooms – 6729 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 792-2797
Elliott’s Seafood Grille & Chop House – 6690 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 775-5277
Mecca Supper Club – 6666 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 775-1077
Morning Grind – 6701 N Olmsted Ave – (773) 631-9121
Conca D’Oro Pastry Shop – 6710 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 631-1962
Sara Lee Bakery Outlet – 7650 W Touhy Ave – (773) 763-4785
Nonno Pino’s – 6718 Northwest Hwy – (773) 594-1155
Zia’s Trattoria – 6699 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 775-0808
Don Juan’s – 6730 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 775-6438
American Pie Pizzeria – 7148 N Harlem Ave – (773) 774-5380
Moretti’s Ristorante & Pizzeria – 6727 N Olmsted Ave – (773) 631-1223
The Chipper – 6694 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 774-5571
Edison Park Inn – 6715 N Olmsted Ave – (773) 775-1404
Edison Park Bowl & Billiards – 6713 N Olmsted Ave – (773-631-2555)
Edison Park Palace – 6701 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 774-5552
Emerald Isle – 6686 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 775-1109
Mecca Supper Club – 6666 N Northwest Hwy – (773) 775-1077
Moretti’s Ristorante and Pizzeria – 6727 N Olmsted Ave – (773) 631-1223
Nick’s Pub – 6689 N Oliphant Ave – (773) 631-0020
American Legion – 6755 N Northwest Hwy
Edison Park Chamber of Commerce – 6655 N Avondale Ave – (773) 631-0063
Edison Park Youth – (312) 458-0865
The residential real estate in Edison Park is fairly diverse, providing homeowners with a number of housing options from condos to lofts to townhomes. But there is more to your Edison Park home than where you rest your head at night. The area surrounding a property can be just as much a factor in the decision to buy as the color of the carpet or the condition of the foundation. Each Chicago neighborhood has its own unique charm that sets it apart from the rest. Our comprehensive online guide is all you need to explore the many streets of Chicago, all from the comfort of your own computer. Shopping, dining, entertainment, schools, you name it, we’ll show you where it is. Find out whether that fabulous Edison Park condo is immersed in the throes of wild nightlife, or veiled by the tranquility of a quiet residential setting.