A close-knit residential community with large, gracious homes situated near parks and forest preserves, Sauganash is one of Chicago's most desirable neighborhoods for peace and quiet, without straying too far from city life. Sauganash is truly a refreshing respite from the congested and noisy streets that typify a busy metropolis like Chicago. Miles of woodland, mountain biking trails, flora and fauna are all at your disposal, just around the corner from your front door. Of course, the neighborhood blocks are much less rustic than the surrounding wildness. Manicured, sidewalk-lined lanes house beautiful English Tudors, Cape Cods, Georgian architecture and brick bungalow-style residences. Plus, the commercial corridors that cut through Sauganash supply residents with an assortment of shopping, dining and convenient services.
Location: About 10 miles northwest of the Loop
Boundaries: Cicero Avenue to the west, Devon Avenue to the north, Foster Avenue to the south and Pulaski Avenue to the east.
Bordering Neighborhoods: Edgebrook, South Edgebrook, Forest Glen, North Mayfair, Peterson Park
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Then and Now
Sauganash was a real person, and the Sauganash neighborhood was named in his honor. Potawatomi Chief Billy Caldwell spent a good part of his life maintaining peace between Native Americans and European settlers by negotiating treaties between the groups. Since Caldwell was of mixed Irish and Native American ancestry, Native Americans referred to him as Sauganash ('the Englishman'). For his work, the U.S. government gave Caldwell a large plot of land, upon which the Chicago neighborhoods Sauganash, Forest Glen, Edgebrook and South Edgebrook now sit.
In 1835, Caldwell, U.S. government officials and Native American tribal leaders met in the shade of an elm tree at what is now the intersection of Rogers, Kilbourn, and Caldwell avenues to sign a treaty ceding the property to the United States in exchange for land further west in Iowa. The Old Treaty Elm eventually died in 1933, and in 1937 a commemorative bronze plaque was placed a few feet west of where the tree once stood. Today, the marker still reminds residents and passersby of Sauganash’s Native American heritage.
In 1912, developers Koester and Zander purchased a portion of the land and named it for Sauganash. The first Sauganash home was constructed in 1924. Over the next four years building escalated and about 100 more homes and a couple churches sprouted up in the area. The Sauganash Community Church was finalized in 1925, and Queen of All Saints church was dedicated a few years later in 1929. Soon more churches and houses were built, and in the following decades Sauganash’s almost-suburban location attracted a variety of well-to-do Chicago workers, like judges, politicians, policemen, and firefighters. In a short time Sauganash came to be known as a stable community—a great place to raise a family in a peaceful, sylvan setting.
In recent years, the neighborhood has been revitalized with exclusive single-family home developments on former large industrial sites, keeping this sought-after neighborhood a mostly residential one.
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Sauganash is blessed with an expanse of green space that’s a rare commodity in other Chicago neighborhoods. Clustered together are a large park, a forest preserve, and beautifully landscaped cemeteries, making Sauganash a prime destination for anyone who loves the outdoors.
Tucked away on side streets, Sauganash Park (5861 N Kostner Ave, 773-685-6122) is small and somewhat secluded, but has a full program of activities to keep you busy, no matter what your age or interests. Like the idea of day camp, tumbling, T-ball, indoor soccer, music classes, and theater workshops? Or if those aren’t your thing, how about storytelling, volleyball, weight training, or senior band? Believe it or not, that’s not all this northwest side neighborhood park offers. The park’s fieldhouse has a gymnasium, a fitness center, and an assembly hall with a stage. Outside you’ll find two softball fields, two basketball standards, four tennis courts, and a playground. Celebrate warm weather with your neighbors by attending the park’s popular (and free!) 'Movies in the Park' and 'Concerts in the Park' events. The melodies are sweeter and the movies seem more entertaining when you experience them under the stars in the soft summer breeze.
Sauganash residents really are lucky, in addition to city parks, the neighborhood shares its borders with LaBagh Woods (5300 N Cicero Ave), a gorgeous wooded preserve that’s part of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County North Branch Division. Hosting a company picnic or a family reunion? LaBagh has four scenic picnic groves, and the biggest one can accommodate up to 400 picnickers! Five roofed picnic shelters protect your spread from the elements, and there are two sets of restrooms—so you can plan a long day of communing with nature without searching for a place to answer nature’s call. Parking is a cinch: there’s a lot just off Foster Avenue near Kilbourn Avenue and another off Cicero Avenue just north of Foster. But LaBagh isn’t just for picnicking. Mountain bikers take the meandering trail along the river for an exhilarating mix of turns, jumps, fallen logs, low-hanging branches, and tricky manmade obstacles like abandoned railroad tracks. Birdwatchers visit year-round for a less dare-devilish kind of adventure: a glimpse of feathered beauties. During fall migration, birders can delight in the sight of hawks, songbirds, shorebirds, and even sandhill cranes. LaBagh Woods is also a popular spot for charity runs, and volleyball and soccer games.
For a whole different type of outdoor experience in Sauganash, check out one of the cemeteries that extend down Pulaski Road from Foster Avenue to Bryn Mawr Avenue. While not your typical pick for enjoying nature, these beautifully landscaped grounds are serene spaces to reflect. They have some interesting histories, too. Most were established around the turn of the century, when Sauganash was prairieland on the outskirts of Chicago.
We’ll start our cemetery tour with Saint Luke Cemetery (5300 N Pulaski Rd, 773-588-0049), created in 1900 as the second cemetery for Chicago’s Lutheran community. At the entrance, you’ll be greeted by a spectacular stainless-steel memorial obelisk and cross. Inside, this well-kept space’s newer sections are graced with grand monuments. Due north is Montrose Cemetery and Crematorium (5400 N Pulaski Rd, 773-478-5400), which was founded by Andrew Kircher in 1902 and more than one hundred years later is still owned and operated by his family. Kircher ensured the lasting beauty of his cemetery grounds by hiring O.C. Simonds & Company, one of the most respected landscape architects of the time, to design the 60-acre property. The Acropolis-inspired chapel, with its striking pillared porches and classical dimensions, was built in 1912 and can be rented for services. Just north of Montrose Cemetery are two small Jewish cemeteries: Bethel Cemetery and Ridgelawn Cemetery (5736 N Pulaski Rd, 847-673-1584). Burials here date from approximately 1895 to the present, with the older sites in the rear section. All headstones face east, in keeping with Jewish tradition, and distinctive stone benches are plentiful.
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Art and Architecture
Sauganash is home to the historic Queen of All Saints Basilica (6280 N Sauganash Ave 773-736-6060), one of only three basilicas in the city of Chicago. A basilica is a church upon which the Pope has bestowed special ceremonial rites. The first thing you’ll notice as you approach the basilica is the gigantic grassy field on which the magnificent building stands. Its modern Gothic interior has a cathedral ceiling that seems to reach to the heavens, and the basilica’s gold accents and stained glass windows make for a truly awesome sight. Eight different shrines to the Virgin Mary, signifying the joining of the Sauganash community’s ethnic groups, appear in the enormous window over the choir loft. Engaged couples dream of walking down the aisle in this wondrous setting, but, alas, Queen of All Saints limits weddings to registered parishioners and their children.
A completely different type of artwork catches drivers’ eyes every day as they cruise under the viaduct (underpass) on Peterson Avenue just west of Pulaski Road. In 2002, Northeastern Illinois University professor Santiago Vaca and his art students painted the brilliantly colored Peterson Avenue Mural on the north wall of the viaduct as a public art project, symbolizing Sauganash’s Native American heritage. We’ve always wondered how the mural’s colors stay so vivid despite the inevitable damage from rain, snow, dirt, and vandals, and now we know: Professor Vaca and his students maintain their masterpiece, regularly restoring it to its original beauty. This unique piece of public art is worth a longer look, so take the time to pull over, get out of the car, and take in its exuberant design and color.
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Sauganash Real Estate
Sauganash’s charming homes include large Old English styles like Tudors and Tudor Revivals, complete with gabled roofs, bay windows, turrets, and slate or cedar-shake roofs. Frame homes, ranches, Cape Cods, Georgians, and bungalows, round out the area’s single-family housing options. Neighborhood streets are relatively wide and tree-lined, attracting anyone seeking an upscale enclave in the city’s limits, without the city’s congestion.
Several new single-family developments have sprung up in recent years on former industrial sites. Most are Tudor-style, in keeping with the neighborhood’s architectural flavor. There are also newer condominium and townhome developments in the Sauganash neighborhood, some of which boast fabulous views of the forest preserves.
In Sauganash, homebuyers expect to pay around $500,000 for a three-bedroom single-family home, on average, with the low end around $300,000 and the high end reaching the mid $900,000s. But there are a number of larger houses in the neighborhood that are valued at over a million dollars. However, living in a sprawling manor house is not for everyone. Perhaps a Sauganash condo or townhome is more your style. The average sales price for a one-bedroom unit is about $225,000, and the average sales price for a two-bedroom here is around $285,000.
What’s on the Menu?
Despite Sauganash’s upscale reputation, dining options within its boundaries are casual and wallet-friendly—but delicious all the same. Most have extensive menus designed to accommodate a wide variety of tastes.
The decor and prices at Backyard Grill (6355 N Pulaski Rd, 773-478-8802) say 'fast-food' but the food screams 'home-cooked.' This spot’s mind-boggling menu includes just about anything you crave—hot dogs, sandwiches, gourmet salads, pasta dinners, ribs, signature Italian and Greek dishes, and more. And all the food is made fresh, right before your eyes, so be patient if your order takes a few minutes. Regular menu items are a great buy, but the daily specials are even better. Our favorite is the out-of-this-world filet mignon kabob special: chunks of ultra-tender filet, grilled with peppers and onions, accompanied with rice pilaf and pita bread. The backyard-themed decor includes picnic tables and lawn chairs, and the ceiling sports a painted blue sky and puffy clouds. If you’d rather enjoy the food in your own backyard, the restaurant offers carryout and catering.
East of Edens (6350 N Cicero Ave, 773-545-8888) is another 'fast food' place serving up real homemade dinners, Greek-style. We adore its delectable gyros and shish-kabob sandwiches (chicken or steak). But East of Edens’ claim to fame is its 'Famous Chicken Leg Dinner'—two Greek-style chicken leg/thigh portions, a giant pile of rice, oven roasted potatoes, and bread for less than you’d pay for a burger and fries anywhere else. Other menu options include salads, ribs, seafood dinners (including an incredible grilled Atlantic salmon), homemade soup—the selection is enormous. The bright, airy dining room has several booths inside and canopied outdoor seating in front, where we like to sit during spring and summer. And if you’re wondering why there’s a large photo of James Dean on the wall near the counter, Dean starred in the 1955 classic East of Eden, based on John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name. As you may have guessed, the restaurant sits just east of the Edens Expressway (I-94).
Sauganash’s affordable hotspot for breakfast is family-oriented Sauganash Restaurant (4732 W Peterson Ave, 773-685-9653). Omelets, pancakes, French toast, and other breakfast fare share menu space with a wide range of low-priced lunch and dinner choices, too. Families swarm here on Saturday and Sunday mornings, proof that there’s no need to leave the neighborhood in search of fantastic breakfast deals.
Asian cuisine is well represented in Sauganash, with four eateries in close proximity to each other. Conduct your own traditional Chinese food taste test by sampling the offerings at May Flower Restaurant (5240 N Pulaski Rd, 773-866-2868), Mee Mah (4032 W Peterson Ave, 773-539-2277) and Yummy House (6031 N Cicero Ave, 773-427-7500). These restaurants serve familiar grub like egg rolls, Mongolian beef, sweet and sour pork, and varieties of fried rice, but each adds its own flair to the dishes. Compare and contrast to find your favorite venue—or just do what we do, alternate restaurants each time we get a craving for Chinese takeout.
For a different take on Asian food, head to Chai’s Asian Bistro (4748 W Peterson Ave, 773-481-0008) for sushi and Thai cuisine. This tiny spot’s large lunch entrees include an appetizer of your choice (crab rangoon, egg roll, California roll, or spring roll)—all for less than ten dollars. Needless to say, Chai’s is very popular around noontime, as those who live and work in the area visit to take advantage of the tasty deals.
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Best Shopping Stops
Sauganash isn’t exactly a shopper’s mecca, but its convenient stores stock all of your basic needs.
North Mayfair Commons (at the intersection of Pulaski Road and Foster Avenue) has abundant parking, so whether we need to pick up Chinese takeout, a video game, a pizza, or that missing ingredient for our favorite recipe, we can do it in a flash. The Commons includes Jewel-Osco (4042 W Foster Ave, 773-583-8080), Pizza Hut (5240 N Pulaski Rd, 773-588-8844), May Flower Restaurant (5240 N Pulaski Rd, 773-866-2868), Blockbuster Movies (5240 N Pulaski Ave, 773-463-8588), doctor’s offices, and more.
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Mark Your Calendar
Sauganash’s biggest celebration is its patriotic Fourth of July Parade and Picnic, sponsored by the Sauganash Community Association (6030 N Hiawatha Ave 773-777-3393). The parade starts at Thorndale and Kostner avenues where antique cars, floats, and Cub Scout and Boy Scout troops sporting their uniforms line up for the procession. Residents are welcome to join the parade by walking, riding their bikes (or cars) or pulling wagons with tots in tow. Children decorate their bikes in hopes of winning the coveted 'best decorated bike' prizes. The parade ends at Sauganash Park, but the fun is just beginning. Hot dogs and other goodies are served to the hungry masses, and after your meal you can try your hand at soaking one of your neighbors at the dunk tank, or maybe do a somersault in the moonwalk, just for fun. The Sauganash Community Association also sponsors a 5K Fun Run & Walk in fall and a spring party in March.
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Many Sauganash residents drive, taking advantage of the Edens Expressway (I-94), which has entrance and exit ramps at Peterson/Caldwell avenues. Street parking is easy, both on the neighborhood’s side streets and main thoroughfares, and many homes have side driveways.
If you opt for public transportation, you can get to other parts of the city in minutes by taking the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses that run regularly on Pulaski, Foster, Cicero, and Peterson avenues.
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School’s in Session
The educational options in Sauganash include a rigorous college-prep high school and a Montessori school for younger children. In addition to the following list, you can find more information on Chicago area schools at our Chicago Guide Schools page.
All Aboard Learning Express 4008 W Rosemont Ave – (773) 202-0554
Chicago International Charter School (CICS) Northtown Academy High School 3900 W Peterson Ave – (773) 478 3655
Queen of all Saints School 6230 N Lemont Ave – (773) 736-0567
Sauganash Elementary School 6040 N Kilpatrick Ave – (773) 534-3470
Sauganash Montessori School 5750 N Rogers Ave – (773) 545-6295
Sauganash School for the Young Years 4600 W Peterson Ave – (773) 283-4330
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We’ve compiled a sampling of some of the places you can get your bare necessities in Sauganash, from shampoo to spices, pizza to pedicures.
Osco Drug 4042 W Foster Ave – (773) 583-8080
Tarpey’s Pharmacy 4752 W Peterson Ave – (773) 545-0500
Jewel-Osco 4042 W Foster Ave – (773) 583-8080
Whole Foods 6020 N Cicero Ave – (773) 205-1100
Sauganash Community Association Fourth of July Parade and Picnic, 5K Fun Run & Walk, and Spring Party – (773) 777-3393
Movies at the Park (Sauganash Park) 5861 N Kostner Ave – (773) 685-6122
Concerts at the Park (Sauganash Park) 5861 N Kostner Ave – (773) 685-6122
LaBagh Woods 5300 N Cicero Ave
Sauganash Park 5861 N Kostner Ave – (773) 685-6122
Bethel Cemetery/Ridgelawn Cemetery 5736 N Pulaski (847 673-1584)
Montrose Cemetery and Crematorium 5400 N Pulaski Rd – (773) 478-5400
Saint Luke Cemetery 5300 N Pulaski Rd – (773) 588-0049
Backyard Grill 6355 N Pulaski Rd – (773) 478-8802
East of Edens 6350 N Cicero Ave – (773) 545-8888
Sauganash Restaurant 4732 W Peterson Ave – (773) 685-9653
Top Dog 6005 Sauganash Ave – (773) 202-8844
Chai’s Asian Bistro 4748 W Peterson Ave – (773) 481-0008
May Flower Restaurant 5240 N Pulaski Rd – (773) 866-2868
Mee Mah 4032 W Peterson Ave – (773) 539-2277
Yummy House 6031 N Cicero Ave – (773) 427-7500
Starbucks 4159 W Peterson Ave – (773) 205-7440
Pizza Hut 5240 N Pulaski Rd – (773) 588-8844
Blockbuster Movies 5240 N Pulaski Ave – (773) 463-8588
Donna’s Garden 4155 W Peterson Ave – (773) 282-6363
George Uhrik Furs 6021 N Cicero Ave – (773) 685-3113
Sauganash Flowers and Gifts 6346 N Cicero Ave – (773) 202-1133
Bellissima Donna, Inc. Day Spa 6012 N Keating Ave – (773) 685-3650
Sauganash Chamber of Commerce 6032 N Cicero Ave – (773) 545-9300
Sauganash Community Association 6030 N Hiawatha Ave – (773) 777-3393
Peterson Pulaski Business and Industrial Council 5724 N Pulaski Rd – (773) 866-2900
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Our neighborhoods guide is meant to give potential homebuyers a general overview of what every Chicago neighborhood has to offer and what makes it unique from the rest-and believe us, no two neighborhoods are the same! Searching for a new home isn’t just about finding that prefect condo or house, making sure the setting fits your style and needs is just as important. And whether Sauganash neighborhood is your ideal locale to settle down, or you’ve found the scene here just isn’t your cup of tea, we’re here to help you find the right place to make sure your home purchase a is total success. From the type of restaurants to the outdoor venues to the local schools, every detail is an essential factor in what makes a property of dream home. By utilizing our comprehensive accounts of each community, such as this one for Sauganash, we hope to provide a detailed picture of not only the residential real estate available in the area, but also the additional features of the neighborhood. A quick glance and you’ll know exactly what shopping, dining, entertainment and resources are in Sauganash, all without ever having to go anywhere.
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