|Community Area 01 – Rogers Park|
|• Total||1.84 sq mi (4.76 km2)|
|• Density||30,000/sq mi (12,000/km2)|
|Educational Attainment 2015|
|• High School Diploma or Higher||84.2%|
|• Bachelor's Degree or Higher||41.9%|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|Median Household income||$37,223|
|Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services|
Rogers Park is the first of Chicago's 77 community areas. Located 9 miles (14 km) from the Loop, it is on the city's far north side on the shore of Lake Michigan. The neighborhood is commonly known for its cultural diversity, lush green public spaces, early 20th century architecture, live theater, unique bars/restaurants, beaches, and progressive mindset. It is bounded by the city of Evanston along Juneway Terrace and Howard Street to the north, Ridge Boulevard to the west, Devon Avenue and the Edgewater neighborhood to the south, and Lake Michigan to the east. The neighborhood just to the west, West Ridge, was part of Rogers Park until the 1890s and is still commonly referred to as West Rogers Park.
The Rogers Park area was colonized on what once was the convergence of two Native American trails, now known as Rogers Avenue and Ridge Boulevard, predating modern metropolitan Chicago. The Pottawatomi and various other regional tribes often settled in Rogers Park from season to season. The name of Indian Boundary Park west of Rogers Park reflects this history as does Pottawattomie Park near Clark Street and Rogers Avenue.
In 1809, the Karthauser Inn was established as stagecoach stop and tavern. Phillip Rogers of Ireland purchased 1,600 acres (650 ha) of land in the area from the 1830s to 1856. He operated a toll gate beside his home at what is now Ridge and Lunt Avenues and often traded and worked with the local tribes.
During the period 1844 to 1850 arriving colonizers started farms along a ridge in the western portion of Rogers Park, avoiding the often flooded lowlands to the east. In 1870 Rogers' son-in-law, Patrick I. Touhy, sold 100 acres (40 ha) to land speculators, including John Farwell, Luther Greenleaf, Stephen Lunt, Charles Morse, and George Estes; all of whom contributed names to streets in the area. With an additional purchase of 125 acres in 1873 these speculators together with Touhy formed the Rogers Park Building and Land Company. Also in 1873, the Chicago & Northwestern Railway completed a service line through the area and constructed a station at Greenleaf Ave. The population was 200 and a Post Office was opened in July 1873. Five years later, the voters agree to incorporate as a village under the name of Rogers Park.
On April 29, 1878, Rogers Park was incorporated as a village of Illinois governed by six trustees. In 1885, the Chicago, Evanston & Lake Superior Railroad, a predecessor of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, built a combination freight and commuter line through eastern Rogers Park on the present "L" right-of-way with a stop at Morse Avenue. By 1893, the population was 3500, the North Shore Electric Railroad expanded its service into the area, and the village of Rogers Park was annexed to Chicago.
The Rogers Park Women's Club opened the first library in 1894. In that year, the Great Fire of Rogers Park destroyed the business district.
By 1904 the population had grown to 7,500. The Northwestern elevated line was extended from Wilson (4600N) to Howard Street (7600N). St. Ignatius College (now Loyola University) moved to the lakefront in 1912, and changed its name to Loyola University in 1915. Successive generations brought about vast cultural changes to the former village. By 1930 the population was 57,094 making Rogers Park one of Chicago's most densely populated areas. Chicagoans began to move to new planned communities in the north suburbs by the 1930s, which ushered in the migration of German, English, Irish, and Jewish families to Rogers Park. With the devastation in Europe following World War II, many additional immigrants found their way to Chicago and the Rogers Park neighborhood. A growing and vibrant Hispanic community has grown along Clark Street since 2000.
For decades, most of the neighborhood has been within the 49th Ward of the city of Chicago (the terms are sometimes used interchangeably), but that was a misconception. The ward covered much of Edgewater and went as far south as Hollywood in the 1960s, while the 50th Ward extended east to Ashland Avenue (in some areas as late as 1990). But, because of redistricting, a part of Rogers Park is now within the 40th Ward, and the 49th Ward now encompasses part of West Rogers Park.
Rogers Park is Community Area #1. It is on the far north side of the city, being 9 miles (14 km) from the Loop.
Rogers Park has a higher rate of residents with Master's, Professional, and Doctorate degrees than the state average. In addition, the rate of residents that work for non-profit institutions is almost twice as high as the state average.
According to an analysis by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, as of 2019 in Rogers Park, 43.9% of residents were White, 27.4% were Black, 19.6% were Hispanic or Latino, and 4.9% were Asian.
The dominant educational institution in Rogers Park is Loyola University Chicago, located in the southeast corner of the neighborhood. Historic places of interest include Madonna Della Strada Chapel, the mother church of the Jesuit Province of Chicago (one of the largest Jesuit provinces) and Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, one of the tallest Art Deco buildings in Chicago outside of the downtown area. The neighborhood continues to be home to many Jesuit religious-order institutions. However, modern Rogers Park contains many different religious institutions.
The presence of its diverse array of students and academics from Loyola University Chicago and Northwestern University, just a few miles to the north, has historically lent Rogers Park a high degree of liberalism and tolerance. The community also has a high Internet presence. In 2007, the Web site outside.in named Rogers Park one of the country's "bloggiest neighborhoods."
Rogers Park has over 130 restaurants plus coffee shops and cafes and has been ranked "very walkable" by Walk Score. Rogers Park is also home to the Glenwood Sunday Market, a farmers market, a program of the Rogers Park Business Alliance, devoted to providing local, sustainable foods that are also organic whenever possible. The Chicago Comedy Film Festival calls Rogers Park home and is held annually at The New 400 Theaters. The international film festival brings over 500 filmmakers, actors and agents to the neighborhood from around the world.
A plethora of beaches line the shores of Lake Michigan through much of the neighborhood. The Artists of the Wall festival at the Lake Michigan shoreline at Farwell Avenue pier (Hartigan Park on Albion Avenue on the streetmap above), in which community members paint murals on benches along the lake, has been held for over twenty years, the longest event of its kind in Chicago's history.
In 1993, Chicago's 24th Police District, which includes Rogers Park and the adjacent Chicago neighborhood of West Ridge, was selected as one of five police districts to pilot a new concept for Chicago law enforcement called Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy ("CAPS"). A merger of police and community efforts was implemented, which resulted in a noticeable effect on crime statistics. Weekly beat meetings (planning and strategy sessions) were held across the 24th Police District. All of Chicago's police districts put the strategy into practice by 1996. Index crimes in the 24th police district fell by about half between 1996 and 2009. According to an e-mail from 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore, between January 1, 2013, and February 26, 2013, the 24th Police District was the only police district in Chicago in which no one was shot. In that same eight week period, the 24th District reported fewer crimes than all but one of Chicago's 22 police districts.
Chicago Public Schools operates zoned schools serving the community:
Other CPS schools:
Colleges and universities:
Lastly, Rogers Park is also home to the Leather Archives and Museum, "dedicated to the compilation, preservation, and maintenance of leather, kink, and fetish lifestyles. [The] museum galleries serve to present educational and historical material to an adult audience."
Rogers Park is served by several different modes of public transportation. Rapid Transit is provided by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in the form of the Chicago 'L'. The CTA also operates several bus routes in the area. A commuter rail service is provided by Metra.
Rogers Park is served by three "L" lines - the Red, Yellow and Purple lines. There are four Red Line stations: Howard, Jarvis, Morse, and Loyola. The Yellow Line and the Purple Line connect at Howard Station, offering service westward to Skokie and north to Evanston and Wilmette, respectively. The Howard Street "L" station, the northernmost Chicago Transit Authority rail stop in the city, experienced major renovation from 2006 to 2009 and is now a major transportation terminal for the northern Chicago region. Several bus routes allow travel to Chicago's Downtown, called the Loop, as well as the city's suburban areas. They consist of the
147 Outer Drive Express,
155 Devon, and
201 Central/Ridge. The Metra commuter Rogers Park station, at the intersection of Lunt and Ravenswood Avenues, is centrally located in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Rogers Park is one of the Metra system's most heavily used stops.
The neighborhood is also taking measures to improve bicycle and pedestrian travel. Participatory budgeting, community meetings, and task force efforts led to an extensive neighborhood greenway project to improve bicycle infrastructure. A combination of buffered bike lanes, raised crosswalks, traffic circles, curb extensions, and more have helped connect residents to the neighborhood's most popular destinations (Loyola University, CTA Red Line Stations, Schools, etc.) via bike.
Rogers Park lies mainly within the 49th and 50th wards in Chicago City Council, with small areas in the 40th ward.
|40th Ward||Andre Vasquez||2019||Democrat|
|49th Ward||Maria Hadden||2019||Democrat|
|50th Ward||Debra Silverstein||2011||Democrat|
Grammy-nominated Irish-American fiddler and composer Liz Carroll lived for a time in Rogers Park, and Rogers Park street names are referenced in the titles of her compositions the Morse Avenue reel, included on the Cherish the Ladies debut recording Irish Women Musicians in America on Schanachie, and The Greenleaf Strathsprey, included on the eponymous Liz Carroll on Green Linnet; both tunes are collected in her 2010 book Collected.
Rogers Park, an indie drama released in 2018, is set in the neighborhood and prominently features Pratt Beach.
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