With a condo recently selling for $1 million in Uptown, it is fair to say that this community on Chicago’s north side, is more than just up and coming. A million dollars is at the high end of the market and there are a wealth of condos in lower price points. First settled by farmers in the mid-1800s, Uptown became known as a summer resort and as a fashionable retail and entertainment district in the early part of the 20th century. Its location hugging the shores of Lake Michigan was one reason why hotels, music halls and theatres developed in this neighborhood.
Visitors were drawn to the sun of the beaches and the heat of the night life. Uptown is bounded by Foster Avenue on the north; by Irving Park Road on the south; by Clark Street on the west and by Lake Michigan on the east. The neighborhood’s access to beaches was appealing in the 1920s and remains so today, particularly for condo dwellers in high rises that have floor to ceiling windows offering stunning views of the lake and cityscape. Uptown has two public beaches, Foster Beach and Montrose Beach. Montrose Harbor, which is nearby, is a sanctuary for boaters.
Parks also are common in Uptown. Some of its park amenities include a lakefront bicycle/running path, the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, a sledding hill, a dog park, skatepark and golf course. Two neighborhood parks, Clarendon Park and Margate Park, have athletic fields, tot lots and indoor sports facilities. Landmarks that were around during the neighborhood’s heyday as an entertainment district still exist today. During the 1920s, dancers jitterbugged at the Aragon Ballroom. In the ’40s and ’50s, Frank Sinatra and big bands played there. It continues today as a popular musical venue that has attracted world-class acts such as U2. Another outstanding music venue is the Riviera Theatre that was a jazz age movie palace before being turned into a concert venue.
The Green Mill Jazz Club is another hot spot in Uptown. Originally designed as an outdoor musical venue, is still a premier place for jazz performances and offers weekly Poetry Slams. As reflected by that $1 million condo sale, Uptown has been on a residential upswing in recent decades. Condos can be found in high rises lining the lakefront, as well as in vintage, converted apartment buildings, and in new construction. The neighborhood also has its share of elegant mansions many of which were built in the 1890s when the neighborhood saw an influx of wealthy residents.
One bedroom condos in high-rises start in the $90,000 range. The upper end of the range tends to be focused on the mid $700,000 range. Condos with sweeping lake views and floor-to-ceiling windows can be found in the $250 to $300,000 range. As those prices make clear, the neighborhood is well-suited to people just starting out and looking for their first condo and to those moving up to a luxe unit with all the bells and whistles and ample space to spread out. When condo dwellers are out and about, there are plenty of things to do in Uptown. It has a wide range of restaurants: taquerias, barbecue joints, pizza places and sushi bars.
One of the streets in Uptown, Argyle Avenue, is known for its large number of Asian restaurants and other businesses. Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Laotian, French Vietnamese and Cambodian ethnic restaurants and bakeries and groceries are located here. With all the Uptown has to offer, it is no wonder that condo dwellers are flocking here. In addition to recreational opportunities, entertainment and restaurants, and an historic ambience, Uptown has condos to appeal to a broad range of buyers.