Flower gardens, open green lots and a mixture of homes dot the residential streets of the tiny Princeton Park neighborhood. The community is set in a nook created by the vital transportation arteries on Chicago's south side, which means Princeton Park residents have optimal commuting advantages into downtown and to other parts of the city. The neighborhood blocks are occupied with single-family houses and multi-unit residences that supply Chicagoans with a diverse set of real estate options. Most properties are older bungalows and ranches, however, there are refurbished flats and condos offering modern amenities and finishes.
Princeton Park Facts
Location: about 12 miles south of the Loop
Boundaries: 91st Street to the north, the Dan Ryan Expressway to the east, 95th Street to the south and Stewart Avenue to the west
Bordering Neighborhoods: Brainerd, Longwood Manor, West Chesterfield, Rosemoor, West Chatham
Then and Now
Princeton Park shares its history with the surrounding Chicago neighborhoods of Gresham, Rosemoor, and West Chesterfield. This section of land was settled by German and Dutch immigrants in the mid 1800s, most of whom were truck farmers, growing mass amounts of a single type of crop to sell in distant markets. As railroad construction boomed around Princeton Park in the 1860s and ‘70s, Irish immigrants who worked at the construction sites took up residence in the next door residential enclave. Another draw to the vicinity for early inhabitants was the establishment and growth of the nearby Pullman neighborhood, famed for its train car factory and planned town owned by the Pullman Company. As 1893 approached and the city prepared to host the World’s Columbian Exposition, modern improvements such as the addition of street car lines and drainage systems brought even more people to the area to stay.
It was transportation and accessibility that continued to cause the neighborhood to prosper and grow from 1910 on into the 1930s. More and more train and street car lines were built as the years passed. Families sought homes here in an attempt to escape the highly congested city neighborhoods. During the 1950s and ‘60s, large numbers of African Americans took up residence in Princeton Park and surrounding subdivisions. This was a common trend in many of Chicago’s south side locations at the time that caused racial tensions, which sometimes resulted in violence. However, in and around the neighborhood of Princeton Park, the negative reactions were not as apparent and the diverse mix of residents fared much better than other districts. Local community and church organizations created the Organization of Southwest Communities. This group made it a point to contend with any tensions among neighborhood members through education of its residents and also stressed the importance of the upkeep of individual properties and public parks.
Today, the tiny subdivision of Princeton Park is hugged on one side by the Dan Ryan Expressway and is situated at the starting point of the CTA Red Line 'El,' which conveniently serves the community’s needs for convenient transportation. Residents have also teamed up to beautify Princeton Park’s residential streets and individual lots by creating and maintaining many attractive private and public gardens throughout the neighborhood.
Princeton Park Real Estate
For such a small area, housing styles in Princeton Park do vary quite a bit, providing families with a good selection of properties to suit their needs. Brick bungalows, raised ranches, new construction townhomes, older one-story frame houses, and low-rise multi-unit residences are all found along the streets of this south side Chicago neighborhood. Princeton Park is unique because it is sort of spliced in half, with the avenues on one side circling about instead of conforming to the Chicago grid. Multiple multi-unit residence buildings are found along the curving streets of Princeton Park’s western section, while single-family detached homes occupy the eastern part. Large lots with green lawns and a smattering of trees add color and life to the vicinity.
The price range for single-family dwellings goes from $50,000 (for a tiny two-bedroom) to the low $200,000s (for a brand new house with three bedrooms). The condominiums and townhomes in Princeton Park range in price from $85,000 to $200,000. As you might imagine, these multi-unit dwellings run the gamut in condition, amenities, and living space. Many of the higher-end properties are brand new three-bedroom units planned for in beautiful brick vintage-style flats that offer refinished hardwood flooring and upgrades like granite countertops in the kitchens. Of course, not all older residences in Princeton Park neighborhood have been refurbished to provide contemporary living areas. Other units occupy houses split for duplexes that could use a little TLC, if you know what we mean.
Roseland Residential Real Estate Info (Includes Princeton Park Neighborhood)
What’s on the Menu?
Although the number of options for dining out in the neighborhood is limited (there’s about two restaurant establishments here—hey, it’s a small residential community, what do you expect?), Princeton Park still supplies cheap and quick eats for its residents and visitors alike to satisfy those hunger pangs without having to go far from home.
In particular, the See Thru Chinese Kitchen (9440 S Lafayette, 773-785-5383) and J&J Fish (154 W 95th St, 773-568-2532) make their presence known. The See Thru Kitchen is a chain of about 12 restaurants or so, mostly scattered across Chicago’s south side. Patrons can enjoy the numerous choices (over 100) on the See Through menu for dine-in, take-out or delivery. J&J Fish is also part of a local chain that is seven locations strong and serves up fresh seafood to its customers across the Chicago area. For Princeton Park residents, these two down-home favorites provide quick dishes that mean we don’t have to leave the neighborhood for lunch or dinner. We love our comfort food, but for those special occasions, don’t be surprised if we make the trip to downtown for some fancier dining options.
Best Shopping Stops
Princeton Park is nearly 90 percent residential, so that doesn’t leave much room for the fabulous shopping district we sometimes wish we had. But look at it this way: it means less temptation to frivolously spend those hard earned dollars, right? That said, the only commercial spot in the neighborhood has the capability of setting you back a pretty penny, but only if you get too carried away. CK Jewelry (100 W 95th St, 773-785-2453) is a little jewelry shop where customers can get nice looking wares for reasonable prices. In addition to sparkling necklaces and dangling earrings, this south side store has a small selection of watches, too. Most of the items in CK run between $20 and $50, so don’t expect to find your future spouse’s engagement ring here, but for fun fake 'bling,' this outlet at Princeton Park’s southeast corner has a perfect stock of flashy jewels, pretty charms and glimmering accessories. Gold, silver and Cubic Zirconia litter the counters, inviting shoppers to enjoy the style of the finer things in life, without having to endure the hefty price tag.
As we’ve mentioned already, Princeton Park is a pretty small Chicago neighborhood, so it’s super simple to travel through, and easily traversable on foot. Actually walking or biking along the residential streets is quite nice because the avenues weave and swoop around, and don’t just stick to the straight and narrow. It’s good to get a little variety, right?
At 92nd Street, drivers have immediate access to the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94), which heads due north into downtown. If travelers have to get to Indiana, they can take I-94 in the other direction and voila, you’re there in minutes. This highway also links up with Interstate 57, which goes south the length of Illinois.
Say you don’t have your own wheels, or you are just a public transit enthusiast. Well, Princeton Park is very accommodating as it’s located at end of the line (or beginning of the line, depending on how you look at it) of the CTA Red Line 'El'. Just so you know, we call the subway/train system in Chicago the El because some of the lines run on elevated tracks. The Red Line train goes from Princeton Park neighborhood directly through downtown, to Wrigley Field, and beyond. While we think taking the El is the most convenient and efficient way to get around these parts and to the northern sections of the city, there is a CTA bus route that follows 95th Street and stretches all the way from the western suburb of Evergreen Park to the lakefront.
School’s in Session
There aren’t a ton of places to send the kids to school within Princeton Park’s community boundaries—after all, it is a small neighborhood. But there are a couple options for families who want their little ones to attend a school close to home. Otherwise, Chicago has countless public and private educational facilities where children of all ages, and adults for that matter, can attend classes. In addition to the following, go to our Chicago Guide Schools page for further information on Chicago’s many area schools.
Resurrection Lutheran School 9349 S Wentworth Ave – (773) 928-6312
Turner-Drew Language Academy 9300 S Princeton Ave – (773) 535-5720
Want to know where to grab that gallon of milk or stock up on Lunchables for the kids’ lunches? Fortunately there are a couple of markets close at hand that stock all those bare essentials and everyday items that are nice to know you can get close to home.
95th Food & Liquor 124 W 95th St – (773) 785-1341
Robert McClinton Grocery Store 142 W 95th St – (773) 785-3425
Chicago Transit Authority – (888) 968-7282
CK Jewelry 100 W 95th St – (773) 785-2453
See Thru Chinese Kitchen 9440 S Lafayette Ave – (773) 785-5383
J&J Fish 154 W 95th St – (773) 568-2532
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. Princeton Park 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 Princeton Park.