This southwest side Chicago neighborhood, surrounded by suburbs and cemeteries, is a small town in a big city built on a blue-collar work ethic and pride in home and family. Mount Greenwood residences are mainly comprised of detached split-levels, raised ranches and two-story houses - with a select few multi-unit buildings available as well. Outside the homestead, Mount Greenwood inhabitants gather at the local hangouts. A few neighborhood grills and taverns are the hotspots for getting some grub and communing with regulars. Despite its unassuming nature, Mount Greenwood is on the ball with fresh fads like a vegetarian diner that serves up all the best in meatless meals. However, an old-timey saloon takes the ball in the other direction, keeping things conventional.
Mount Greenwood Facts
Location: 14 miles southwest of the Loop
Bordering Neighborhoods: West Morgan Park, West Beverly, Kennedy Park, Beverly Woods, Evergreen Park
Boundaries: California Avenue to the west, 103rd Street and Evergreen Park to the north, Cicero Avenue and Oak Lawn to the west, Merrionette Park and Alsip to the south
Then and Now
Mount Greenwood, on Chicago’s far southwest side, was named by George Waite in 1879 when he received an 80-acre land grant from the state. Waite didn’t waste time trying to come up with some fancy title for his newly acquired property—he simply called it Mount Greenwood—the first part referring to the ridge that runs through the neighborhood, and the second part describing the trees that topped this ridge. Makes sense.
But the area was not only known as Mount Greenwood, it was also cleverly nicknamed by locals 'Seven Holy Tombs,' which referred to the several cemeteries that surrounded the community—which happened to be eight in number, not seven…um, okay. Anyway, as a result of the many funerals passing through Mount Greenwood, taverns and restaurants cropped up to serve mourners. At the start of the 20th century pro-temperance movement, Protestant groups tried to make Mount Greenwood dry. Their crusade officially ended when Mount Greenwood incorporated as a town in 1907 and elected to remain 'wet.' Mount Greenwood enjoyed two decades as its own township, but was voted into annexation with Chicago in 1927. Like many other communities annexed to Chicago, Mount Greenwood was hoping this new union would provide the community with better public services. It did eventually, but it would be another 10 years before sewers and paved streets arrived in the area and even longer for street curbs and gutters.
Mount Greenwood was settled by German and Dutch farmers in the late 1800s, who were later followed by European immigrants from Scandinavia, the British Isles and Poland. The neighborhood experienced great population growth during the post-WWII baby boom. This led to a rise in demand for residential housing, and the increase in the number of families created the need for more parks and schools during the 1950s and’60s. A lacking industrial base in the area failed to sustain the neighborhood’s labor demand, however, and the population began a decline that would last throughout the 1970s and’80s. These days Mount Greenwood remains a blue-collar community that happens to be home to a number of Chicago’s finest—city police officers and firefighters—making it a safe and secure community for many Chicago families.
Living in the big city, it’s not uncommon to feel the need to break free of the concrete jungle and just find some green grass, fresh air and room to stretch the legs. Fortunately for Mount Greenwood residents, the neighborhood has a couple of designated recreation spots that should help when cabin—or should we say condo—fever sets in.
The Chicago Park District purchased the 24-acre site of Mt Greenwood Park (3724 W 111th, 312-747-6564) in 1949 and has been improving it ever since with the addition of a fieldhouse, swimming pool and soft surface playground. Now, instead of being cooped up in your house, you and the family can head down the street for an afternoon of swimming, playing or just relaxing. The park also features a baseball diamond and tennis courts, so lace up those sneakers or cleats, grab your racket or bat and bring a friend for an energizing singles match or a pickup game of America’s favorite pastime. In addition to outdoor activities, the park grounds house indoor gym facilities and meeting and assembly rooms. And, wouldn’t it be nice to have somewhere to send the little ones on those lazy summer days (when it seems like school has been out for decades) to get them out of your hair for a couple hours? Mt Greenwood Park is the answer. Arts and crafts, day camps and swimming lessons are available for all ages, and the park is also one of the locations for the Park District’s free 'Movies in the Park' series, which provides a nice evening outing for the entire family. Also within the neighborhood borders, McKiernan Playground Park (10714 S. Sawyer Ave, 312-747-2883) was created in 1952 in response to the growing number of families in Mount Greenwood following the Baby Boom after the Second World War. Today, the playlot is still a popular venue for local residents, young and old. This 1.8-acre park features a baseball field, basketball and volleyball courts, and a soft surface playground for the tots. McKiernan Park also offers day camps for children ages 6 to 11—then maybe you can enjoy a little time to yourself while the kids have organized fun under adult supervision that for once isn’t provided by you. We mentioned the Park District’s 'Movies in the Park' series before, well, Mount Greenwood residents have their choice of outdoor cinemas as McKiernan Park also shows family-oriented films on certain nights of the week. So pack a picnic, grab a blanket and pick a prime spot on the park grass for this favorite summertime event.
Mount Greenwood Real Estate
After a period of population decline, Mount Greenwood has become a popular neighborhood for families again. Situated close to the suburbs, it attracts many Chicagoans who want a little more peace and quiet, but enjoy being part of a bigger city. Many Chicago police officers and firefighters have settled in the area, which other residents like as they know their streets are safe and houses secure. This southwest side neighborhood features varying architectural styles that include older homes, new constructions and rehabbed dwellings. Most properties are situated on good-sized lots that offer residents room enough for planting colorful flowerbeds and planning backyard barbeques. From split-level houses to raised brick ranches to traditional two-story homes with modest front porches, Mount Greenwood has a large selection of housing options that suit an assortment of lifestyles and budgets. The average sales price for a three-bedroom single-family detached home in the neighborhood is $250,000, with plenty of properties in the $150,000 to $200,000 range. Of course, there are a handful of houses that are more expensive, costing between $350,000 and $400,000. If you need more space, the average price goes up to around $310,000, but the price range is wide, so it pays to explore the listings if you’re in the market for a new place. Multi-unit housing is less common in Mount Greenwood, not to say there aren’t a few condominiums here and there. Generally, a one- or two-bedroom unit sells for about $160,000 on average in these parts, but many are available for less than $150,000.
What’s on the Menu?
Carnivores and herbivores alike will delight in the selection of great dining venues in Chicago’s Mount Greenwood neighborhood. Tasty restaurants and grills are mere steps away from the front doorstep, so step out and get a bite. Veggie Bite (3031 W. 111th St., 773-239-4367) is the vegan answer to junk food. You can still get your fill of burgers and dogs but all items offered by this Mount Greenwood newcomer are free of animal products. This spot can definitely help vegetarians fill the void left by an absence of buffalo wings and meatball subs in their diet.
For those of us who haven’t kicked the meat habit, Grant’s Wonderburger Grill (11045 S Kedzie Ave, 773-238-7200) provides us with that fix. This Formica and vinyl-covered diner opened its doors in the 1950s and from the looks of it, not much has changed since then. The food is very reasonably priced, it tastes great and is probably not very healthy, but that’s ok, the curly fries will make you forget all that. Grant’s also doubles as an art gallery for local artists.
If your tastes run more to the kitschy side (and the idea of Brian Urlacher in full Bears uniform fishing in a rowboat irks your interests) the artwork on display is for sale. If Italian food is what you’re craving, head to Richie’s (3123 W 111th St, 773-298-1548). The menu features a wide variety of seafood and pasta dishes, but burgers and other sandwiches are also available. For steak lovers, La Fiesta (3333 W 111th St, 773-779-4844) is the spot to add Mexican flavor to your plate. Tacos and burritos are definitely on the menu but bistec a la Mexicana and steak fajitas are the specialty and favorites among Mount Greenwood residents. Our favorites? Margaritas as big as your head! These refreshing adult beverages will help you enjoy your south-of-the-border dining experience to the fullest, but take it easy—it’s hard to handle more than one of these—just three sips in and we feel the effects!
Night on the TownThe south side is known for its friendly, and sometime rowdy Irish pubs. Mount Greenwood is certainly no exception. Think green and think Sox when you explore some of the nearby neighborhood drinking spots.
Mount Greenwood’s Gilhooley’s Grande Saloon (3901 W 103rd St, 773-233-2200) opened its doors in 1982 and is a polished pub that not only serves a variety of both imported and domestic libations, but also dishes out better-than-average bar food. Try 'Gilhooley’s Greatest Hits' to sample a little bit of what the kitchen has to offer. An interesting twist to the saloon’s story is that in 2004, Gilhooley’s was donated to neighboring St. Xavier University by its owner Richard Driehaus. Today the school uses the bar and pub to give hands-on training to students in the university’s hospitality management program. Well, if it were up to us, we’d give these young restaurateurs an A+. The bar also features karaoke on Thursday nights, weekly broadcasts from the university’s radio station WXAV, and Xavier students always receive discounts on the bill. When live music of the Irish persuasion is what we’re after, Mount Greenwood has the perfect spot to hear some knee-slapping, beer-drinking folk tunes. Jeremy Lanigan’s Irish Pub (3119 W 111th St, 773-233-4004) hosts an Irish music night on the first Sunday of every month which always draws a crowd to this friendly neighborhood bar. Professional and amateur musicians alike are welcome to bring their guitars and fiddles and join in on the fun. The event attracts the locals as well as homesick Irish lads and lasses living abroad on Chicago’s southwest side. We come for the music, we come back for the $1.00 domestic drafts on Thursday nights.
Getting AroundEven though Mount Greenwood is a fairly large Chicago neighborhood, we find that traveling in and around the vicinity is a snap with convenient CTA bus routes intersecting the neighborhood and connecting with additional CTA train and Metra lines. When that well-deserved vacation rolls around and an island paradise awaits, chances are we need to get to Midway Airport to catch a flight before enjoying piña coladas on the beach. So, with suitcase in tow, we jump on the #52A bus north to the Kedzie Orange Line station or take the #53A Pulaski Road bus north to the Pulaski Orange Line station. Once on the Orange Line, it’s a short train ride to the end of the line at Midway.
For more everyday commutes, you can head east on the #103 103rd Street bus for an easy connection to the Washington Heights Metra stations which you can use to cruise to Joliet or downtown Chicago. If you’re looking to get to a concert at Tinley Park you can hop on the #112 Vincennes-111th and take it east to connect with the Metra’s Rock Island line at either the 111th Street or Longwood stations. While we are big fans of public transportation, many residents in Mount Greenwood have their own cars, so driving is a familiar means of getting around as well. Traffic congestion common in many of Chicago’s neighborhoods isn’t a problem in Mount Greenwood, and walking and bike riding make for fuel-conserving alternatives to driving that automobile.
School’s in Session
Mount Greenwood is home to the last surviving farm in Chicago, which, in the early 1980s, was developed into the Chicago High School for Agricultural Science (3807 West 111th St, 773-535-2500). In addition to the typical high school curriculum, this magnet school offers students the opportunity to study agriculture and horticulture with instruction in the business side as well as basics like mechanical maintenance. The Sisters of Mercy founded St Xavier University (3700 West 103rd St, 773-298-3000) in 1846 and today the school still thrives in its Mount Greenwood home. This Catholic university offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in liberal arts to more than 5,000 students from all religious and cultural backgrounds. More information on Chicago schools is available at our Chicago Guide Schools page, but here is list of educational facilities in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood for your quick reference.
Cassell Elementary School 11314 S Spaulding Ave 773-535-2640
Keller Elementary Gifted Magnet School 3020 W 108th St 773-535-26
Mount Greenwood Elementary School 10841 S Homan Ave 773-535-2786
Chicago High School for Agricultural Science 3807 West 111th Street 773-535-2500
St Xavier University 3700 West 103rd St – (773) 298-3000
Be it second hand thrift or vegetarian junk food you’re after, here are a few places in Mount Greenwood that can accommodate you in your search.
Mount Greenwood Branch – 11010 South Kedzie Ave – (312) 747-2805
Mount Greenwood 3349 W 111th St (800) ASK-USPS
Jewel-Osco 3128 W 103rd St – (773) 238-4444
Mt Greenwood Park 3724 W 111th 312-747-6564
McKiernan Playground Park 10714 S Sawyer Ave 312-747-2883
No. 495 Park 3832 W 115th 312-747-6564
King Edward’s Attic 3147 W 111th St 773-429-0277
Duffy Floral Co 3219 W 111th St 773-779-1200
A Relaxed You Incorporated 11121 S Kedzie Ave 773- 239-5300
Casto’s Tavern 3636 W 111th St – (773) 445-3553
Grant’s Wonderburger Grill 11045 S Kedzie Ave – (773) 238-7200
Jeremy Lanigan’s Irish Pub 3119 W 111th St – (773) 233-4004
Richie’s 3123 W 111th St – (773) 298-1548
Gilhooley’s Grande Saloon 3901 W 103rd St – (773) 233-2200
La Fiesta 3333 W 111th St – (773) 779-4844
Veggie Bite 3031 W 111th St – (773) 239-4367
As one of the many diverse Chicago neighborhoods, Mount Greenwood offers homeowners a wide range of residential properties. Mount Greenwood 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 Mount Greenwood catches your eye, you can read all about the surrounding area and what it has to offer, all without setting foot in the neighborhood. Like a Yellow Pages, Metromix and MLS database all rolled into one, this site is your ultimate Chicago neighborhoods visitors’ guidebook.