Chicago's Lincoln Square Neighborhood
Lincoln Square is a neighborhood located on the North Side of Chicago. Greater Lincoln Square encompasses the smaller neighborhoods of Ravenswood Gardens, Ravenswood Manor, Bowmanville and Budlong Woods. Although it is sometimes known by these other names the City of Chicago officially designated it as Lincoln Square in 1925. About 44,000 people live in the neighborhood along with over 1,000 small and medium sized businesses. It is accessible through the Brown Line of the 'L'. It is bounded by Foster Avenue on the north, Montrose Avenue on the south, Ravenswood Avenue on the east and the Chicago River on the west. It is somewhat trendy and its housing stock consists of private residences and small apartment buildings.
The commercial heart of Lincoln Square is located at the intersection of Lawrence, Western and Lincoln Avenues. Lincoln Avenue south east of this intersection is home to a wide variety of restaurants and shops, including the Chicago Landmark Krause Music Store designed by architect Louis Sullivan.
Budlong Woods is a neighborhood of the Lincoln Square community area. It is named after the Budlong farming family of Chicago, who owned the Budlong Pickle Company.
Ravenswood is a neighborhood encompassing Lincoln Square along with a portion of the Uptown community area, between Ravenswood Avenue and either Ashland Avenue or Clark Street, depending on the source. It is bounded on the south by Montrose Avenue and on the north by Foster Avenue; historically it ended at Western Avenue, the Lake View township line, but more recently has been considered to extend past the Chicago River to Sacramento Avenue, thus including Ravenswood Gardens (between Western and the river) and Ravenswood Manor (between the River and Sacramento).
Ravenswood was developed with the intention of becoming an exclusive commuter suburb, but between 1868 and 1906, it was a sparsely populated area of the city largely occupied by farms and small homesteads. Development followed the construction of the Ravenswood elevated train line in 1906. Lincoln Square began to form as a commercial community in the heart of Ravenswood shortly after World War II. Gradually, the name "Ravenswood" came to be associated with late 20th century blight, while "Lincoln Square" had the cachet of gentrification. As a result, the Chicago Department of Neighborhood Development named the whole community area "Lincoln Square." There is no longer a clear consensus on what "Ravenswood" comprises: to some it now refers specifically to Ravenswood Gardens and Ravenswood Manor, west of Lincoln Square proper, while to others it refers to the area around Ravenswood Avenue, east of Lincoln Square, where the Ravenswood Metra station is located.