Longwood Manor

Small in acreage but big on character, Longwood Manor is home to some of the most historic houses on Chicago's south side. Like its neighboring communities of Brainerd and Washington Heights, Longwood Manor built an identity based on working-class traditions tied to the once-thriving railroad industry and an immigrant past that still defines much of the area's legacy to this day. Community parks and recreation facilities provide residents with ample room for exercise, play, sports and amusement. In addition to housing the usual tennis courts and baseball fields, the parks in Longwood Manor host free live music concerts and movie screenings. The rest of the neighborhood encompasses long blocks of classic Chicago bungalows and a few rib houses and seafood shacks for the best in southern-style cooking.

Longwood Manor Facts

Location: About 13 miles south of the Loop
Bordering Neighborhoods: Brainerd, Beverly, Washington Heights, Roseland, Rosemoor
Boundaries: 95th Street to the north, the Dan Ryan Expressway to the east, the I-57 Expressway to the south and Beverly Avenue to the west


Then and Now

Longwood Manor Real EstateLike its sister community of Brainerd to the north, Longwood Manor was established primarily by German and Irish immigrants whose families began to settle in the Midwest around 1880. Originally part of the larger neighborhood of Washington Heights, the area that is now called Longwood Manor was annexed along with Washington Heights into the city in the late 1800s.

The advent of the Rock Island Railroad, which still runs between Chicago’s far southwest side and the Loop, transformed the area just south of 95th Street into a bedroom community for immigrant workers. Many worked in the city by day and slept here by night. By the 1920s, development of the rail system prompted a population boom on the southwest side, which included the neighborhood of Longwood Manor. Overall, the area experienced a population increase of 80 percent, due largely to the influx of immigrants and the abundance of railroad jobs.

Longwood Manor was once home to a large number of oak tree groves that were scattered throughout the neighborhood. The tall, leafy trees provided a picturesque locale for a homestead, and it attracted many folks to settle down in the area. As immigrant workers moved in, they built durable homes that reflected the 1920s and ‘30s architectural style on the south side. Many of these homes are the stately brick bungalows that continue to give the neighborhood its classic, vintage charm to this day.

By the 1970s, many of the immigrant railroad workers who had built up Longwood Manor had lived out their lifespan. With the demographics of the south side changing as a whole and the majority of the original European settlers gone, many African-American families moved into the neighborhood. Today, Longwood Manor’s ties to its working-class history remain evident in its traditional architecture, however changes in the neighborhood’s makeup and commercial industries have welcomed it into the 21st century.

Parks

The south side Chicago neighborhood of Longwood Manor is home to two nice size parks that offer an array of programs for residents of all ages, in addition to the usual recreational amenities like baseball diamonds and tennis courts, to name a couple.

The first, and smaller of the two, Euclid Park (9800 S. Parnell Ave, 312-747-6124) is nestled near the southern border of the Longwood Manor community. The park dates back to 1925, when the neighborhood was experiencing the peak of its population boom. With the area growing so quickly, the Park District took action to acquire a five-and-half-acre lot that was preserved as urban green space amidst the fast-developing residential streets.

Officially named Euclid Park in 1934, the space received a landscape makeover and brand new tennis courts shortly thereafter. CPS also started to offer unique classes in the onsite fieldhouse, including glass blowing and model airplane making. Sounds fun to us! In 1960, Euclid Park underwent a full rehab session, and acquired a new fieldhouse equipped for more sports-related activities such as low impact aerobics, cross training and even senior citizens exercise programs. The park also underwent an expansion in the 1970s, when the Park District converted a stretch of South Wallace Avenue into parkland. Today, the annexed area serves as an attractive and convenient connection between the adjacent Medgar Evers Elementary School and the neighborhood park.

One of Euclid’s most popular family features during the warmer months is its spray pool, a perfect answer to a hot summer day. Children can’t seem to get enough of it, and on any given day you are sure to see a group of little ones frolicking around with the apparent goal of splashing as much as possible. The rest of Longwood Manor residents take advantage of the park’s baseball fields and tennis courts, and there is also a lovely walking path that winds about half a mile throughout the grounds. Euclid Park also plays host to 'Movies in the Park,' a free, outdoor film series sponsored by CPS during the summer months. This is definitely a favorite among Longwood Manor neighborhood locals, but we’ll get to that later.

On the northern border of Longwood Manor sits Oakdale Park (965 W 95th St, 312-747-6569), a nine-and-a-half acre park that is home the neighborhood’s public swimming pool. The name of the park refers to the oak tree groves that once dotted the area in the late 19th century. When the Chicago Park District purchased the land in 1947, it decided to pay tribute to Longwood Manor’s landscape that was characterized by the beautiful towering foliage.

Development of the park was slow going, but by 1955 the space had its own athletic field and playground equipment. In 1969, the outdoor pool was added, making Oakdale Park a hot neighborhood destination for Longwood Manor families. The most recent addition to the parkland was a soft-surface playground that was installed in the 1990s, making this community recreation spot the ideal summer retreat for many area families.

Oakdale Park also boasts two footpaths just under half a mile each, which is just the right length for a nice warm-up before a pick-up baseball game or friendly tennis match. During the summer, the park’s pool also offers an array of swimming lessons for tots, young children and older kids. In the fieldhouse, programs like 'Kid’s Fitness' and 'Fun and Games' teach our tiny tykes how to enrich their lives through an active lifestyle. Oakdale Park also hosts the CPS 'Concerts in the Parks' series, featuring a mix of free live music throughout the summer. If the word 'free' doesn’t hook you, check out the online schedule on the CPS website for a list of bands, and perhaps that will entice your music-loving side out to the park for a little entertainment and fun.


Budlong Woods Real Estate

Longwood Manor once flourished as a bedroom community for immigrant Irish and German railroad workers. Much of this early 20th century architectural influence still remains evident on the tree-lined streets of the neighborhood. Many of these homes are single-family brick dwellings constructed in the traditional bungalow style—something we see throughout much of Chicago’s residential areas.

In addition to the characteristic bungalows, the blocks of Longwood Manor are filled in with simple one-story frame houses, raised ranches, two-stories with quaint front porches, a few new constructions, and even some farmhouse-style designs. While a good number of the structures in the neighborhood are in good condition, you will see some that require extensive renovation on account of their age.

The neighboring communities of Brainerd and Washington Heights are generating interest from land developers who are looking to replace older homes with new construction. Longwood Manor, however, has managed to retain its classic charm, mainly because many of the neighborhood’s residences are considered vintage. While they are not officially classified as historic preservations, the Longwood Manor bungalows and other redbrick homes are staples of the south side architectural aesthetic and are what make this Chicago community an attractive place to buy property and raise a family.

The sales price for a three- or four-bedroom single-family detached home in Longwood Manor ranges from $190,000 to $340,000, although you can find some properties listed for less (just be warned some of these may be in need of a bit of repair—they are old houses after all!). Smaller homes in Longwood Manor typically cost much less, with the average sales price around $119,000 and several options for under $100,000.

For as little as $75,000, families can purchase a multi-unit place in the neighborhood, either a townhome or a condominium. Of course, if you want to live in one of the new condos that are going up on 95th Street (the border between Longwood Manor and Brainerd) you are looking at price tags in the low to mid $200,000s.


What’s on the Menu?

On the culinary tip, there’s no doubt about it, the south side community of Longwood Manor loves its BBQ. Good thing the neighborhood has a few friendly haunts that spice up the palate just right.

Start on south Halsted Street, where the original I-57 Rib House (9709 S Halsted St, 773-881-9700) pays respect to that succulent barbequed meat that, when prepared right, falls right off the bone. Named for its easy access point from the heavily-traveled Interstate 57, Rib House prides itself on its famous 'wet ribs,' which come drenched in your choice of hot or medium sauces (we’ve never been brave enough to try the hot, so you’ll have to cross that bridge on your own). The joint is mainly a take-out place, so dinners usually come served in a box stuffed with meat, two slices of white bread and a load of french fries. You can either call orders in ahead or order at the counter—just remember that there is no dining area at this famous rib shack, which may not be such a bad thing. Ribs this good require some very messy alone time. Up north on 95th Street, Ronnie Ribs (349 1/2 W 95th St, 773-785-8184) is spicing up the neighborhood with its own recipe for no-frills barbeque. This carryout eatery offers much of the same dinner platters as I-57. Big on boosting the flavors of beef and pork, Ronnie Ribs focuses its efforts on spicy rubs complemented by savory dipping sauces. And while the obligatory inclusion of white bread and fries may appear overplayed, we say it just means it’s authentic—and we’ve got no bones about that.

For Longwood Manor residents looking for a meal that is slightly less focused on red meat, Shark Fish Restaurant (9800 S. Halsted St, 773-233-2223) is a locally owned seafood shack with a number of franchises throughout Chicago. This location claims it’s the first Shark Fish to open in the Chicago area; whether it is or not, its reputation precedes it. Best known for its beer-battered cod and catfish fries, Shark Fish offers affordable family dining, malt vinegar and all. The dining room here is intimate (meaning small), but patrons are more than welcome to take a seat and eat in-house. However, like most Longwood Manor eateries, this neighborhood restaurant does most of its business in takeout form.

Carryout or dine-in, the locals around here like to have options when it comes to food. Perhaps that’s why Shark Fish isn’t the only place serving up seafood in Longwood Manor. Check out Uncle Joe’s Jerk (10210 S Vincennes Ave, 773-779-9966) for its famed under the sea specialty, the 'Jerk Cat.' This fresh catfish fillet is served fresh out of the skillet, spiced with classic Caribbean jerk seasoning and paired with Uncle Joe’s famous side of steamed cabbage medley. This unique, sauteed blend of veggies is spiced just right with carrots, thyme, and 'secret' Jamaican seasonings. Even in the diverse hotbed of the Chicago dining scene, Joe’s remains one of the few city restaurants doing justice to traditional Jamaican and Caribbean cuisine. And we’re lucky enough to have this celebrated south side culinary institution right in the heart of Longwood Manor neighborhood.

Best Shopping Stops

Sure, the shopping in this south side Chicago community is no Magnificent Mile, but a couple of unique retail outposts dot the streets of Longwood Manor, filling some very specific shopping needs.

In the duds department, we suggest checking out In the Hood Urban Treadz (9526 S Halsted St, 773-238-7639), where hoodies and jeans reign supreme. Scope the latest styles in urban wear from top designers Sean John, Ecko, Enyce, Pepe and more. Catering to a young adult clientele, ball caps, roomie jeans and oversized jerseys keep the gentlemen in style, while the ladies can try on T-shirts and jeans and even peruse a limited handbag collection. Additionally, the store carries an integral component of every urban ensemble—shoes. Brightly colored kicks line the wall, making payday a little sweeter for all those twenty-somethings in Longwood Manor (if that’s your style, of course).

For a less-than-routine grocery shopping experience, pop into Nature’s Sunshine Products (9733 S Sangamon St, 773-233-0651) a health food store catering to the calorie and carb-conscious consumer. The shelves at Sunshine are lined with a variety of nutrition bars, dietary supplements, and soy-based beverages to curb even the healthiest of appetites. On the weekends, you’ll find everyone from health conscious moms to muscle bound boys browsing the aisles for their favorite protein shakes and energy bars. Don’t forget to check out the small dairy section, which features several varieties of rice milk, yogurts, and even lactose-free cheese. As you might have guessed, Sunshine also carries organic and whole-grain products, such as natural cereals, juices and snacks. This is one supermarket that is making sure Longwood Manor residents get their daily allotted nutrients and nourishment. Some of us haven’t quite jumped on that health food band wagon yet. But one stop in this neighborhood grocery mart and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without flaxseed oil and organic almond butter!

Night on the Town

Those looking for a little R and R have limited options in Longwood Manor—but we managed to dig up one local hotspot that keeps the beer and good times flowing all night.

Fortunately, if we’re in the mood for pub grub and dance hits, we can hit up 9705 Club (9705 S Halsted St, 773-238-0343), the only true nightspot in the neighborhood. Needless to say, this Longwood Manor watering hole is where all the local residents go for a fun evening out or a weekend bender. The club has a decent-sized dance floor in addition to a busy bar area and a pleasing food menu served late into the night. The bar is fully stocked with an array spirits including flavored vodkas and bottled beers. As it is the hotspot in Longwood Manor, 9705 usually draws large crowds on the weekends, so if a big-scale bar vibe isn’t your scene, you may want to check out the mellower neighborhood bar options in the surrounding communities of Washington Heights and Beverly.


Showtime!

There may not be a theater or live entertainment available around here, but that doesn’t mean local residents are deprived of the basic amusements. Pile on the popcorn and head to the park, it’s time to catch a flick with all your Longwood Manor neighbors.

Warm, beautiful weather brings families and residents outdoors, and what better place to see a show than in one of Longwood Manor’s community parks? Like many of the city’s public parks managed by the Chicago Park District, Euclid Park showcases family-friendly films through the 'Movies in the Park' summer series (9800 S. Parnell Ave, 312-747-6124). This free event invites locals to a pack a picnic (and a lawn chair or two), and view a free flick under the stars with other motion picture-loving neighbors. Just pick a spot on the grass, break out the pre-popped popcorn, and settle in for a night of pure movie magic. Recent features have included March of the Penguins and The Pursuit of Happiness. And, just a note: Once the summer is over and the temperatures start to drop, you can move indoors for some silver screen action in nearby Beverly which has a Cineplex with the most current releases, comfy seats, and heat!


Getting Around

For being on Chicago’s far south side, Longwood Manor is surprisingly one of the most accessible neighborhoods in the city. Whether you’re traveling by car, bus or train, there are plenty of drop and go spots that make getting around this southern Chicago community a breeze.

A hub for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is located on the northeast border of Longwood Manor. The 95th Street/Dan Ryan station marks the south end of the line for all Red Line trains, which run north through the Loop and on to the city’s north side neighborhoods. From the station, passengers can hop on the #95 east/west bus which runs along the northern border of Longwood Manor. Travelers will also find the nearby #8A Halsted Street bus and the #108 Halsted/95th Street bus useful as they both take riders north and south through the neighborhood and beyond. The #112 Vincennes/111th Street bus line makes a direct splice through the neighborhood, with frequent stops on many residential corners.

For those commuting longer distances into downtown and further, the Metra Rail line has a station set up on 95th Street (1766 W. 95th St, 773-233-7705). We really like this option as passengers can travel into the Chicago Loop for work in just under a half an hour.

Motorists will find Longwood Manor is easily accessibly off the tail end of the Dan Ryan Expressway, which splits at the southeast corner of the neighborhood turning into the Bishop Ford Freeway (I-94) and the I-57 (which cradles the southern edge of Longwood Manor). So if you have your own vehicle, it’s a snap to hop on the highway and head up to the city’s center or out of town for those weekend getaways.

Just a word of warning, like in any Chicago area neighborhood, it is important to check for residential parking constraints. Some areas of the city are zoned for residential parking, while others are not. Several communities also require permits purchased through the city in order to keep your vehicle on the street overnight. So rather than risk getting an expensive ticket, check the signs before throwing the car in park and leaving it in jeopardy of receiving a very hefty fine.

School’s in Session

Longwood Manor is home to a number of esteemed private schools for elementary school children. Among them is Covenant Christian Academy (9905 S Winston Ave, 773-881-3235). This faith-based community school offers Latin courses to students in addition to a number of advanced curriculum courses. Also, in the neighborhood, Saint Margaret of Scotland School (9833 S Throop St, 773-238-1088) is a beautiful private school facility with its towering stained-glass windows and classic Roman architecture. As a parish, Saint Margaret has been serving Longwood Manor residents since 1874, and it continues to maintain a rich, Jesuit tradition of education for kindergarten through 8th graders.

Families in the area looking for public education options have several Chicago Public Schools to choose from, including Evers, Green and Wacker elementary schools. In addition to the following, for a complete listing of Chicago area schools visit our Chicago Guide Schools page.

Covenant Christian Academy 9905 S Winston Ave - (773) 881-3235
Evers Elementary School 9811 S Lowe Ave - (773) 535-2565
Green Elementary School 1150 W 96th St - (773) 535-2575
Saint Margaret of Scotland School 9833 S Throop St - (773) 238-1088
Wacker Elementary School 9746 S Morgan St - (773) 535-2821

Basic Needs


Whether you’re out grocery shopping or grabbing a package at the local post office, we’ve compiled a handy list of must-know resources for every Longwood Manor newbie.

Chicago Transit Authority (888) 968-7282


Libraries

Woodson Regional Library 9525 S Halsted St - (312) 747-6900


Post Offices

US Post Office 9536 S Genoa Ave - (773) 233-1254
US Post Office 8345 S Ashland Ave - (773) 239-9309


SHOPPING

In the Hood Urban Threadz 9526 S Halsted St - (773) 238-7639
Nature’s Sunshine Products 9733 S Sangamon St - (773) 233-0651


DINING

American Cuisine
I-57 Rib House 9709 S Halsted St - (773) 881-9700
Ronnie Ribs 349 1/2 W 95th St - (773) 785-8184
Shark Fish Restaurant 9800 S Halsted St - (773) 233-2223

Caribbean Cuisine
Uncle Joe’s Jerk 10210 S Vincennes Ave - (773) 779-9966

Nightlife/Bars
9705 Club 9705 S Halsted St - (773) 238-0343

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. Longwood Manor neighborhood 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 Longwood Manor.