The Near North Side community (60611, 60610, 60654, 60642 zip codes), the oldest part of Chicago, includes several smaller areas within its borders, these are: Cabrini-Green, Dearborn Parkway, The Gold Coast, Goose Island, Magnificent Mile, Near North Side, Old Town, River North, River West, State Parkway, and Streeterville.

The Near North Side is situated to the North and East of the Chicago River, with its East border defined by Lake Michigan. The Near North Side’s Northern border has been defined in the early 19th-century by North Ave, when it was used as the Chicago city limit line.

Near North Side tuckpointing | Near North Side masonry

Near North Side Skyline
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No longer existing, completely demolished in 2011 public housing project, was populated at one point by approximately 15K residents. They occupied mainly high-rise and mid-rise buildings built in the 50’s and 60’s. The area had a reputation for poverty and crime, which was one of the factors leading to its demolition and transformation into several upscale developments.

Gold Coast

Encompassed by the North Ave., Lake Michigan shore, Chicago Ave. and Clark Str., is saturated with luxury high-rise buildings / apartments, and about 200 of still remaining massive mansions. Most of those, often way over 7000 square feet homes, were built in 1920’s, and originally there were over 500 of them. Over time, many were demolished to make room for smaller developments, other became museums, and some remain privately owned.
Gold Coast is a home to many upscale designer boutiques and shops, top of the line car dealerships, and some of the best restaurants.
Because of its heritage, the Gold Coast Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Old Town

Old Town, a historic neighborhood occupying area between North Ave., Larrabee Str., Division Str., Clybourn Ave., and LaSalle Street is known today for being a wealthy area, with many older Victorian-era buildings.
The street grid in sections of Old Town, especially those predating the Chicago Great Fire, don not match typical rectangular shape of Chicago street – blocks.

Goose Island
Goose Island, a small island in Chicago / on the Chicago River, with Division Str. slicing it in half. It was “created” in 1857 by separating section of the land with a canal, known today as the North Branch Canal, or Ogden’s Canal.

River North

An area between Michigan Ave., Chicago Ave., and the Chicago River is very modern neighborhood offering quality restaurants, galleries, entertainment establishments, and amenities along the Riverwalk.

The area got its name from a local real estate developer Albert Friedman, who in 1974 started buying, restoring, and building commercial property in this section of Chicago. To attract new tenants, Friedman begun calling the area “River North”, and offered inexpensive rental space to attract business, especially photographers, ad agencies, and art galleries.

Eventually, River North became a home to the largest number of art galleries in the US. The are also hosts multitude of taverns, bars, dance clubs, restaurants, and entertainment places.

Smokey Hollow

It’s a name that was originally assigned to River North at the turn of the 20th century, due to pollution / heavy smoke levels that often lingered over the area, blocking the sunlight. This condition was caused by several factories and forges that were occupying this area, and spilling exhaust fumes into the air.


Streeterville is bordered by the Chicago river, Rush Str., Lake Michigan, and East Oak Str. / East Lake Shore Dr. It’s an area occupied by the tallest Chicago skyscrapers.

Magnificent Mile

It’s a name given to a section of Michigan Ave., between the Oak Str. and the Chicago River. Lined with endless rows of luxury stores and boutiques, office and apartment buildings, hotels, and classy restaurants. It is also a place you find Chicago’s major media outlets, advertising agencies, and the Chicago Tribune building.

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