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Lakeview East, Chicago: Nightlife, Classic Architecture, The Arts, and So Much More!

Lakeview East in Chicago IL

The Lakeview East neighborhood is one of a number of trendy neighborhoods within Chicago’s Lakeview community.

Though its north (Irving Park), south (Diversey) and east (the lake) borders coincide with those of greater Lakeview, Lakeview East’s west border traditionally has ended at Halsted. Because of that, the neighborhood has a far denser characteristic than the community overall. This is evidenced in the plethora of high-rise and mid-rise apartment and condominium buildings mixed in with turn-of-the-century architecture and mid-twentieth century courtyard buildings – giving Lakeview East a profile distinctive from the neighborhoods to the immediate west.

Belmont Harbor in Chicago's Lakeview
Belmont Harbor in Chicago. Image courtesy of Flickr user Joenevill

Location

Lakeview East sits along the Lake Michigan shoreline and Belmont Harbor, approximately 5 miles north of downtown Chicago. Broadway Street (originally Evanston Avenue until 1913) is its main artery and heart of the neighborhood, though both Diversey Parkway and Belmont Avenue offer many social amenities.

Map of Lakeview East in Chicago
Map of Lakeview East

Shopping, dining, and entertainment along the Broadway, as well as to some extent the Clark Street corridors, are unmatched in just about any other city neighborhood. Add to this the Lakefront Trail at your doorstep, and you will find that you’ll never be without something to do. If it’s an exciting and eclectic 24/7 neighborhood that you’re looking for then Lakeview East is your home!

History

Hard to imagine that Lakeview in the mid-nineteenth century – then a separate Illinois township – was considered the “country” for Chicago residents at the time. Yet, the country it was. Originally settled in 1837 by Conrad Sulzer, for whom a Chicago public library would be named, the community is thought to have been given its name from a hotel that was located on the township’s lakefront – “Hotel Lake View”. This country town would soon find itself the recipient of an influx of city residents who fled there during a cholera epidemic in the 1850s and decided to take up roots and stay. It was also during this time that a road was built to accommodate the influx. Then known as Lake View Plank Road, later known as Evanston Avenue, it is known today as Broadway Street. Due to its rapid growth and a real estate boom in the late 19th century, the township would be incorporated into the city in 1887.

The Diversey Arms Hotel now know as the Days Inn Chicago hotel
Intersection of Clark, Diversey, and Broadway. Built in 1925, the building on the left once housed the Diversey Arms Hotel and The Diversey Theatre. Image via The Century.
Days Inn Chicago Hotel in Chicago's Lakeview East
The Days Inn Chicago, previously the Diversey Arms Hotel, now features 133 hotel rooms and suites mixing old world charm with modern day conveniences. Image via Days Inn Chicago.

The overall community of Lakeview is now home to over 94,000 people (2010 census) and given the preponderance of high-rises and mid-rises that give the neighborhood its profile, it’s no surprise that Lakeview, and consequently the neighborhood of Lakeview East, is the second densest community in the city.

Transportation

Located only a few miles from downtown, the commute to Chicago’s central business district is quick with many options. Public transportation is extensive, given easy access to both a number of bus lines (22 Clark Street, 36 Broadway, and 151 Sheridan Road are just a few) and rail lines (Red Line, Brown Line and Purple Line all stop at the Belmont Station), all of which connect to downtown. Lake Shore Drive is at your doorstep to the east and the Dan Ryan Expressway only a few miles to the west for those opting for travel by car; of course there’s the Lakefront Trail that runs along the park at the lakefront if you’re an avid cyclist. Though Metra is not really an option, the plethora of CTA options and numerous (12) DIVVY bike rental stations make this a neighborhood where a car is truly unnecessary.

Schools

A healthy mix of public, selective enrollment, charter and private schools provide numerous options to families with children. Active participants in the local school councils have been successfully improving public schools and there are charter schools that provide an option to district-run schools. Finally a handful of private schools in the area give parents yet another alternative, including the excellent Jewish elementary and middle school – Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School – and one of the city’s best Catholic elementary schools – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Academy.

Public Safety in Chicago’s Lakeview East

Though affected by crime, as any urban neighborhood will be, it’s the civic engagement of citizens through their CAP’s (Chicago Alternative Policing) beat meetings and numerous block club initiatives that insures that crime, when it occurs, is mitigated quickly and thoroughly. In addition, one major consideration when it comes to public safety in any urban area, is the presence of citizens on the streets, which has shown to reduce crime in any community. Lakeview East certainly has no shortage of that.

Shopping and Dining

If you love pizza – and who doesn’t in Chicago – then Lakeview East is the place to be and one of the city’s finest and oldest of these eateries is Renaldi’s. Hungry for a good corned beef or pastrami sandwich, then there’s no better place than The Bagel – a Lakeview East mainstay, traditional Jewish Deli since 1950. If it’s fine dining you prefer, then one of the best is Yoshi’s, serving French-Asian food for over 20 years in the same location.

Renaldi's Pizza at 2827 N. Broadway Chicago St Google Maps
Renaldi’s Pizza at 2827 N. Broadway via Google Street View

Want to curl up and cook at home? Then the finest grocery store in the city is right in the heart of Lakeview East – Treasure Island Foods or “TI” as the locals call it. Beyond that, there are so many places to shop – such as the Century Mall – and eat within walking distance that the toughest part will be deciding where.

Why Live Here?

If all this weren’t enough to lure you, consider this. Are you a baseball fan? If not, you will be. Wrigley Field – home of the Chicago Cubs – is walking distance from just about anywhere in Lakeview East. Golf your game? Well there’s a 9-hole public golf course right on the lakefront and a round of golf there is cheap!

Live theater your style? There are so many theater groups in and around the neighborhood that you’ll never run out of plays to see, not the least of which is the nationally acclaimed Blue Man Group at the Briar Theater where it all started. And speaking of the arts, there’s the annual Lakeview East Arts Fest showcasing 150 juried artists and featuring paintings, sculpture, photography, furniture, jewelry, and so much more for an entire weekend in early September!

The Lakeview East Festival of the Arts in Chicago
The Lakeview East Festival of the Arts. Image via City of Chicago.

Oh, and did we mention that one of the country’s oldest, and one of the few remaining free urban zoosLincoln Park Zoo – is at your doorstep, only a mile south of Lakeview East? So what are you waiting for? The nightlife, arts, and so much more await you!

Cost of Living

Though it is one of the more expensive neighborhoods along Chicago’s lakefront, Lakeview East also offers a wide variety of more affordable housing options. In addition, there are so many shopping venues that one can still live frugally in this exciting lakefront neighborhood and yet still be conveniently close to the city’s central business district.

Housing Stock

Though a considerable number of buildings were constructed in the early and mid-twentieth century, there are also many newer, state-of-the-art high-rises and mid-rises in Lakeview East – some estimates indicate that as much as 43% of Lakeview’s current housing stock was built at that time. So whether your preference is classic architecture and the glass and steel beauty of 21st century buildings, you’ll find your home here in Lakeview East.

The Van der Rohe Apartment Building at 2933 N. Sheridan Rd. in Chicago
The Van der Rohe apartment building was built in 1952, according to PropertyShark.

What You Can Rent in Chicago’s Lakeview East Neighborhood

There’s a plethora of apartment buildings in Lakeview East, many distinctively characteristic of the early to mid-20th century at which time many of them were built. In addition, there are many mid-rise buildings that were also built in that era as well as some ultra-modern high-rises. There is certainly no shortage of apartments and you’ll have no problem finding one that suits your taste and budget. The average rent in Lake View East sits somewhere around $1,749 yet you can find plenty of good options in the $900 – $1,200 price range, or even lower.

422 & 424 W. Melrose

Located in the heart of Lakeview East, only steps away from the lakefront, this grand early 20th century architectural gem offers apartments from studios up to 4 bedrooms. There’s 24-hour on-site maintenance and bike storage in the building. You will find vintage apartments with parquet hardwood flooring, historic architectural detailing, and so much more in the units; and yes, pets are allowed.

422 & 424 W Melrose Apartments in Lakeview East

422 & 424 W Melrose Apartments in Chicago's Lakeview East
422 & 424 W Melrose Apartments in Lakeview East

The Van der Rohe

If it’s a driving range, the Lakefront cycling and running trails, and a short walk to the beach that excite you, then this is your place. Located close to all the shopping and entertainment districts that Lakeview East has to offer, not to mention a CTA bus stop at your front door, these recently renovated one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments include cherry wood cabinetry, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, marble bathrooms, radiant heated Brazilian hardwood flooring, ample closet space, and floor to ceiling windows.

Apartment for rent at The Van der Rohe in Chicago
Apartment for rent at The Van der Rohe in Chicago

With on-site management, maintenance staff, an indoor heated monthly parking garage, a 24-hour laundry facility, a 24-hour fitness center, a party room with a fully equipped kitchen, and a 12,000 sq. ft. outdoor deck with areas for catching rays and simply mingling with your neighbors, what else could you ask for?

The Van der Rohe Apartments at 2933 N. Sheridan Rd.
The Van der Rohe in Chicago

Cornelia & Stratford

Located at 535 W Cornelia Ave & 534 W Stratford Pl, on the other side of Belmont Harbor, this historic building provides easy access to shopping and entertainment, including Wrigley Field which is just 4.5 blocks away.

Lakeview East in Chicago
Cornelia & Stratford apartments in Chicago’s Lakeview East

From studio to 4 bedroom units, this refreshing community features great apartment homes with beautiful hardwood floors and large closets. Without a doubt Cornelia & Stratford is one of the best locations in the city, much less Lakeview East!

Apartments for rent at Cornelia & Stratford in Chicago's Lakeview East
Apartment for rent at Cornelia & Stratford

What You Can Buy in Lakeview East

2800 N. Pine Grove Avenue 1K – Condominium ($229,900)

Located at the south end of Lakeview East, just off Diversey, and within walking distance to everything that makes Lakeview East a wonderful place to live – including a new Trader Joe’s grocery store around the cornerthis unit is located in the historic Brewster building.

Condo for sale at 800 North Pine Grove Avenue in Chicago's Lakeview East neighborhood
Condo for sale at 800 North Pine Grove Avenue in Chicago

Originally known as the Lincoln Park Palace, the structure was built in 1893. It was given historic building status in 1982. The external masonry walls are hung on a skeleton frame construction and the interior features open cast-iron stairways and bridge walkways paved with glass blocks, and a massive skylight. This building is truly an architectural marvel! In addition, the building was completely renovated to preserve these qualities, with original parquet floors, wood burning fireplaces, and 10-foot ceilings!

Make Lakeview East Your New Home

The nightlife, shopping and entertainment, classic architecture and the arts await you. Come find your home here at www.rentcafe.com and you too can enjoy all that Lakeview East has to offer!

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About the author

Ama Otet

Ama Otet is an online content developer and creative writer for RENTCafé. She loves all things real estate and strives to live beautifully, one green step at a time. You can connect with Ama on Twitter or via email.

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