A vibrant retail plaza, unique schools, solid housing stock, and close proximity to parks and universities make this neighborhood in the northwest side of Chicago a popular place to live. Peterson Park is a stable community and home to many faculty and students from nearby North Park and Northeastern universities. The collegiate air in Peterson Park is not to be outdone by the recreation opportunities, including a golf course and Little League baseball stadium. And in Peterson Park there's only one place to go for shopping and entertainment, the Lincoln Village Shopping Center, where you can peruse the latest fashions and products, and then catch the new Hollywood blockbuster at the Lincoln Village six-screen Cineplex.
Peterson Park Facts
Location: Approximately 13 miles northwest of the Loop
Boundaries: Devon Avenue to the north, the North Branch of the Chicago River to the east, Peterson Avenue to the south and Pulaski Road to the west
Bordering Neighborhoods: Sauganash, Peterson Park Grounds, Hollywood Park, West Rogers Park, Peterson Woods
Crime Statistics: Go to CLEARMap for crime stats on specific Chicago neighborhood, intersection, address or police beat.
Then and Now
The Native American Potawatomi were the original residents of what is now the Peterson Park neighborhood. The nearby resources of the Chicago River's North Branch provided fish and fresh water, making the area a desirable setting for the tribe's small villages. By the 1850s, Germans, Luxembourgers, and Swedes arrived on the scene and began farming the land along the river's banks.
Pehr Samuel Peterson left Sweden in 1850 and settled in the Chicago area in 1854. A pioneering horticulturalist, Peterson started a landscape nursery and acquired more than 500 acres of property just north of the city. Soon, his prospering nursery was providing trees to beautify many of the city's parks and neighborhoods. After Peterson's death in 1903, his family donated a large tract of land to the city, part of which eventually became Peterson Park Grounds, which lies just south of the neighborhood's boundaries. The enterprising horticulturalist would probably take pride in the fact that his legacy lives on, not only in the title of the park itself, but also in the name of the neighborhood and Peterson Avenue.
Throughout the latter 1800s, the area that is now Peterson Park saw little change, remaining primarily farmland. Near the turn of the century, however, North Park College was established about one mile south of the neighborhood, and developers began subdividing surrounding area for housing.
The population grew quickly from 1910 to 1930, when new bungalows and two-flats were constructed and industry formed along a stretch of Peterson Avenue. The populace continued to climb during and after World War II. To meet the demands of the growing numbers of consumers in the community, the Chicago area's first modern shopping center-Lincoln Village-was built near the intersection of Peterson and Lincoln avenues in 1952. After a period of decline in the 1970s and 1980s, the center has been revitalized with a variety of new stores, a new movie theater, and an abundance of parking spaces.
Today, the Peterson Park neighborhood is a stable community, home to faculty, staff, and students of nearby North Park University and Northeastern University (both just south of the neighborhood's boundaries), as well as families from all walks of life.
Ask Little Leaguers on Chicago's north side where they'd most like to play, and chances are the Stadium at Devon and Kedzie (formerly known as Thillens Stadium) at (6404 N Kedzie Ave, 312-742-4870) will be their quick response. Thillens has been hosting Little League baseball and softball games for almost 70 years. Back in the late 1930s, the Thillens family, originally from Luxembourg, loved playing softball on the prairie. They decided to build a stadium for their games, and the Thillens check-cashing and armored car businesses became sponsors of the new ballpark.
Little League baseball, adult softball, and a variety of charity games continued for decades, but in 2005-to the dismay of Little Leaguers and baseball fans of all ages-the Thillens family foundation announced it could no longer afford to fund the stadium. Fortunately, the Chicago Cubs and other corporate sponsors stepped in and made a contribution to keep Thillens open and Little League dreams alive.
Playing at Thillens is a major-league experience for kids. It has lights for night games, and a real announcer who calls players' names over the public address system. Michael Jordan and Billy Williams are among the Chicago sports luminaries who have played at Thillens in annual Chicago celebrity softball games. The stadium has also hosted the miniature 'Cross Town Classic'-featuring the Little League Cubs against the Little League White Sox-which marks the opening day of the Inner City Little League season. Another popular event that brings crowds to Thillens is the annual softball game pitting the Chicago police against Chicago firefighters. Hopefully, Thillens will continue celebrating baseball for years to come in Peterson Park.
Another Peterson Park landmark that has been packing in kids (and adults) for more than 50 years is Novelty Golf and Games (3650 W Devon Ave, 847 679-9434). Boasting two 18-hole miniature golf courses, baseball batting cages with slow, medium, and major-league speeds, a video game room and the Bunny Hutch restaurant (serving up snacks and ice cream sundaes), Novelty Golf has hosted its share of kids' birthday parties and teenagers' first dates. Open seven days a week until midnight, it's a fun place for family outings, too.
Peterson Park Real Estate
Peterson Park real estate is solidly stocked with traditional brick bungalows, Georgians, and English Tudors. A mix of one- and two-story homes lines the residential streets, edged by tall trees, landscaped shrubbery, and green lawns. You'll also find several new condominium developments in the neighborhood, including some specifically for seniors.
What's on the Menu?
Top-notch restaurants that have stood the test of time await foodies in Peterson Park.
For Italian cuisine, Monastero's Ristorante & Banquets (3935 W Devon Ave, 773-588-2515) is a perennial favorite. Monastero's roots can be traced back to 1962, when the Monastero family opened their Peterson Park restaurant and called it called La Canopy. Today, Monastero's is still family owned and operated, and not only does it serve mouthwatering Mediterranean and continental cuisine, it boasts an annual wine festival, elegant banquet facilities, Italian opera evenings, and more.
Monastero's dining room is a work of art, with bas-reliefs and paintings commemorating Sicilian history. The food at Monastero's is nothing short of amazing. Some of our favorites from the dinner menu include the filet of tilapia Livornese, rib-eye steak Palermitana, and an asparagus shitake risotto that you won't find anywhere else. Some desserts that send us reeling are the cannolo Siciliano and a scrumptious Sicilian cheesecake with chocolate ganache. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and carryout, and the menu choices are extensive. We suggest you visit again and again to try everything!
Via Veneto Cucina Italiana (6340 N Lincoln Ave, 773-267-0888) has been satisfying hungry neighborhood residents for a long time. Authentic Italian recipes are served up in an intimate dining room accented with warm pastel colors and dark wood furnishings. Banquets, wedding, showers, and other events-for large or small groups-are very popular here, a testament to the food and service. We love Via Veneto's specials, which change regularly, but are always supreme culinary delights. House dishes that get our nod are the branzio alla griglia (grilled Chilean sea bass with spinach and beans), faggottini (pasta stuffed with ricotta cheese, pears, smoked chicken, and creamy balsamic dressing), and a Chicago original-chicken vesuvio with potatoes. Via Veneto is open for lunch and dinner, and prices are very reasonable across the board.
For a more casual Peterson Park restaurant option, consider Whistlers Restaurant (3420 W Devon Ave, 847-673-9270). This diner offers a menu of classic options, with great soups of the day, including the much-praised sweet and sour cabbage soup. Whistlers is perhaps best known for its great service. The staff really goes above and beyond to make sure customers are taken care of.
If you want to make it a margarita Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday, check out Campeche (6112 N Lincoln Ave, 773-583-1680). Offering what you would expect from a neighborhood Mexican restaurant, this is a solid Peterson Park restaurant to have a margarita and enjoy some fajitas. The friendly service completes the picture, and you'll be sure to leave happy with a full stomach.
Best Shopping Stops
Peterson Parkers know the meaning of one-stop shopping because in this north side neighborhood there is a single location that covers every base-all under one roof.
The recent revitalization of the Lincoln Village Shopping Center (Peterson and Lincoln Avenues) has brought a bounty of major retailers to the neighborhood that has improved the Peterson Park shopping experience. For women's fashions Dress Barn (6193 N Lincoln Ave, 773-267-7701) has a nice selection of fashions for women. Visitors are pleasantly surprised by the quality of the clothes as well as the fashion. For the family on a budget, Ross Dress for Less makes sure you get the most style for your clothing allowance. It can be a bit of a treasure hunt, so come prepared to dig: persistence is rewarded!
And if you are a shoe lover, Famous Footwear (6201 N McCormick Rd, 773-478-9275) and Payless Shoe Source (6133 N Lincoln Ave, 773-539-5280) offer reasonable prices and a big selection. That's just a sampling of the Peterson Park stores available at Lincoln Village Shopping Center, and with ample parking, you don't need to worry about finding a space.
Across the street you'll find Home Depot (6211 N Lincoln Ave, 773-588-5828) with everything and anything you could possibly need for your home improvement projects. Additionally, the store has a great selection of patio and garden items, so if you want to start growing some tomatoes on your back porch, you can find everything from the pots to the soil to the plants in one stop.
If you live in Peterson Park, a night out at the movies is just minutes from home. The Lincoln Village Theater (6341 N McCormick Rd, 773-604-4747) has six screens with stadium seating and digital sound, perfect for catching that new release or the blockbuster you've been meaning to see but have put off for a few weeks. We like to go to the theater's bargain matinees to save a bit of money, and we've even taken advantage of the management's free refill policy for soft drinks and popcorn.
For being such a small neighborhood, Peterson Park offers residents plenty of different modes of transportation to get around both the community and the city at large.
Those who like to commute by bus have several options for getting to various destinations throughout the city. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) offers bus service on Peterson Avenue from Caldwell and Central avenues to the Bryn Mawr Red Line Rapid Transit station, where riders can catch the train to downtown Chicago. Commuters can also get to the Red Line by boarding the Devon Avenue bus at Devon and Kedzie Avenues. It stops at Western, Clark, and Broadway before its final stop at the Morse Avenue Red Line Rapid Transit Station. The Pulaski bus travels south down Pulaski Road all the way to 31st Street on Chicago's south side.
Those who need to get to the northern suburbs of Chicago can simply take the Peterson Avenue bus to the end of the line, where the Metra Milwaukee District North Line's Edgebrook station (6402 N Central Avenue) is just steps away. The train goes all the way to Fox Lake, Illinois, and to Chicago's Union Station on the west side of the Loop.
For drivers, there's an entrance ramp to the Edens Expressway (I-94) a few minutes west of the neighborhood, near Peterson and Cicero avenues. Tooling about Peterson Park is generally easy and congestion-free, as the neighborhood is less densely populated than many of the surrounding areas.
School's in Session
Peterson Park schools includes a public high school with a national reputation for academic excellence and an international charter school. In addition to the following list, you can find more information on the Peterson Park neighborhood and Chicago area schools at our Chicago Guide Schools page.
BNOS Rabbeinu High School 3635 W
Devon Ave - (773) 267-0770
Bais Yaakov High School of Chicago 3333 W Peterson Ave - (773) 267-1494
Chicago International Charter School (CICS) Northtown Academy High School 3900 W Peterson Ave - (773) 478 3655
Hannah G. Solomon Elementary School 6206 N Hamlin Ave - (773) 534-5226
Northside College Preparatory High School 5501 N Kedzie Ave - (773) 534-3954
Jamieson Elementary School 5650 N Mozart St - (773) 534-2395
We've compiled a sampling of some of the places you can get your bare necessities in Peterson Park, from toothbrushes to tomatoes, vitamins to video games.
Authority - (888)
US Post Office 3401 W Devon Ave - (773) 583-8640
CVS Pharmacy -- 3950 W Devon Ave - (847) 763-0685
Weiss Pharmacy, Inc -- 6374 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 478-0012
Bryn Mawr Fresh Market - 3318 W Bryn Mawr Ave - (773)279-8020
Chicago Food Corp - 5800 N Pulaski Rd - (773) 478-0007
Evolution Personal Training - 6122 N Pulaski - (773) 599-3861
Charter Fitness - 6253 McCormick Rd - (773) 509-9700
Old Country Buffet 6125 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 463-5604
Quiznos 6067 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 588-4802
Taco Bell 3511 W Devon Ave - (773) 588-9712
Homestead 6144 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 681-0418
Pure Cafe 6251 N McCormick Rd - (773) 463-3400
Whistler's Restaurant 3420 W Devon Ave - (847) 673-9270
Hoanh Long 6144 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 583-7770
Kam Kong Cafe - 6261 N McCormick Rd - (773) 866-2222
Mee Mah - 4032 W Peterson Ave - (773) 539-2277
Hong Kong Buffet 6249 N McCormick Rd - (773) 649-0888
Little Quiapo Restaurant - 6259 N McCormick Ave - (773) 279-8861
Panera Bread 6059 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 442-8210
Martino's Restaurant and Pizzeria 3431 W Peterson Ave - (773) 478-5410
Monastero's Ristorante & Banquets 3935 W Devon Ave - (773) 588-2515
Via Veneto Cucina Italiana 6340 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 267-0888
Campeche 6112 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 583-1680
Martino's Restaurant and Pizzeria 3431 W Peterson Ave - (773) 478-5410
Pizza Hut 3451 W Devon Ave - (773) 463-3043
Starbucks 6075 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 279-0513
America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses 6141 N Lincoln
Ave - (773) 596-5651
Dress Barn 6193 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 267-7701
Factory Card & Party Outlet 6133 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 539-5280
Famous Footwear 6201 N McCormick Rd - (773) 478-9275
Gamestop 6071 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 463-4188
Home Depot 6211 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 588-5828
Office Depot 6165 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 583-5301
Payless Shoe Source 6191 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 478-3325
Radio Shack 6170 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 279-8551
Sally Beauty Supply 6185 N Lincoln Ave - (773) 588-7021
There's a lot of mystery involved in searching for a new home-it starts with the property and expands outward to encompass the street, the block, the neighborhood, the entire city! Every little thing matters from the color of the walls to the attractions of the town. That's why a guide like this one on Peterson Park is so helpful to potential homebuyers. Without leaving the comfort of your desktop computer or laptop, you've got an extensive pool of information on all of Chicago's neighborhoods that includes first-hand descriptions of dining, entertainment, shopping, bars, and events, in addition to lists of schools, hospitals, post offices, and gyms. We've done all the research to carefully craft this one-stop online spot, and create your hub for the real deal on Peterson Park. So as soon as a Chicago loft, condo, townhome or house catches your eye, you know where to come for the low down on the digs around that prime piece of real estate.