When the community of Gage Park was first settled, it was heavily populated by Irish Catholics and Eastern Europeans. During the mid-1900s, however, the neighborhood makeup shifted to include a large number of Latinos and Hispanic-Americans. In more recent years, Gage Park has seen an influx of families from all over the city, making it an area steeped in cultural heritage and long-established residential architecture (lots of those beautiful Chicago bungalows in Gage Park!).
Gage Park actually gets its name from the neighborhood's most popular green space. Gage Park (the park) is 69-acres of green glory and boasts nonstop activities for the whole family. One of our favorites is the park's historic fieldhouse that reflects the area's culture-rich heritage. Painted on the building's interior walls, you'll find two murals dating back to the early 1900s. One of these paintings features explorers facing the western horizon, perhaps dreaming of the life beyond, and the other is an intriguing depiction of area immigrants' folk traditions. In between scoping out the fieldhouse murals, locals love to take a dip in the Gage Park swimming pool. The pool deck can get plenty crowded on a hot Chicago day, and when that happens we skip the main park and head over to Senka Park on South Saint Louise Avenue. This square patch of land was once a rail yard, but thanks to a local community association and the Chicago Park District, Senka has tripled in size and now houses recreation facilities and tons of sports and leisure activities, including ball fields and tennis courts.
When it comes to eating out in Gage Park, foodies rave about the neighborhood's overwhelming number of authentic Mexican restaurants. Most of these small, family-run joints are dirt-cheap but they never skimp on taste. Take El Taconazo Restaurant, for one. This stripped-down locale is a go-to for locals in need of a hearty breakfast (read: huevos rancheros). Order a glass of the restaurant's fresh-squeezed orange juice to wash down your eggs and chorizo. If El Taconazo is known for its spicy egg dishes, Atotonilco Tortilleria on Kedzie Avenue is all about the pork, which you'll find listed on the menu as "al pastor." The tacos are recommended, but anything you get at Atotonilco is sure to be super delicious and speedily prepared. You don't have to love Mexican food to live in Gage Park - there is an array of eateries that range from pizza (try Geneo's Pizza, Lucy's Pizza, Natys Pizza, Russo Pizza, Pizza Hut or Pizza Castle) to quick bite chains (like Dunkin Donuts, Subway, KFC, Submarine Port, McDonald's, etc.).
It does help, however, if you are a fan of bungalows. Gage Park is, after all, part of the city's historic "Bungalow Belt." You'll find plenty of these brick homes lining the streets, as well as a few ranch-style dwellings. But the real estate opportunities don't end there, they just become more selective with variations on the Cape Cod and Georgian architectural styles, and pockets of newer condominium complexes and townhouses scattered throughout the area. Three-bedroom single-family homes in Gage Park typically sell for around $200,000, but house hunters can still snag a deal just short of $150K if they keep their eyes peeled. If space is what you value, you can expect a bit of a price increase with the roomier residences ranging between the low $200,000s and $400K.Chicago neighborhood and real estate information