Old Town

Old Town Condos

Combine 19th century charm, a taste for the arts, great food and improv comedy and you get Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood, a place where condo buildings mix with boutiques and bars to create one of Chicago’s most exiting places to live. Founded in the mid-19th century by German farmer immigrants, Old Town may be better known as the site of a newer phenomenon: Second City.

The likes of Bill Murray and John Candy called Old Town home when they performed with the theatre troupe that is known for laughs and is recognized worldwide for the caliber of comic talent it produces. Second City’s theatre stands on Wells Street in this neighborhood that is bordered by Armitage Avenue on the north; by Divsion Street on the south; by Clark Street on the east and by Larrabee Street on the west. In the 1950s and ’60s, Old Town was a haven for beatniks, artists and the counter culture.

The Old Town School of Folk Music opened on North Avenue during this time. As it was then, there is no better place to be in Chicago when it comes to fun. Second City is just the start in this neighborhood that provides plenty of other diversions for people seeking condos in which to invest as pied a terres or in which to live full-time. The neighborhood is well-situted on bus and train lines that transport residents to the Loop and other employment centers. When you aren’t working, Old Town has a wide array of boutiques and funky shops which specialize in personal attention and one-of-a-kind goods. The restaurants and bars are no less eclectic or interesting.

Cusines from nearly every corner of the earth are represented in Old Town. There are bistros offering French cuisine, Italian places serving up bowls of pasta, hotspots with noodles and Asian fare on the menu, bars where upscale sushi is served and grills offering rustic Mexican dishes. An event that draws thousands to the neighborhbood is the Old Town Art Fair which is held every year in June. It is one of the nation’s oldest art fairs and presents the works of more than 250 artists along with a garden walk, neighborhood tours and an area where children indulge in activities that foster creativity. There are all sorts of condos which you can call home as you enjoy this neighborhood. A walk through Old Town’s streets will show high-rise condo buildings, mid-rises and elegant graystone, brownstones and other structures that evoke charms of yesteryear.

A new project will convert a landmark building into condos. Two rental buildings that were built in the late 1800s by Daniel Crilly are going condo. They are on the 1700 block of Wells Street between St. Paul and Eugenie Streets. Crilly’s claim to fame is crucial in the neighborhood. He was responsible for developing Old Town. The buildings boast such old-fashioned chamrs as bay windows, iron columns and the names of four of Crilly’s children, Isabelle, Oliver, Edgar and Erminie, above four entrances. The 90-unit complex is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Plans for the conversion include restoring the building to historic accuracy and turning a courtyard into a central garden. Whether you prefer to live in a modern condo unit in the sky or closer to the ground in a smaller building with vintage flair, there is a condo to suit your lifestyle in Old Town.