Logan Square is a large Chicago neighborhood on the Northwest side that has a sizeable Latino community, a diverse mix of ethnic restaurants, hip music venues and bars, and great summertime festivals and farmer’s market. The intricate culture of Logan Square was established by generations of immigrants, from Norwegians and Germans in the early 1900s to Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in more recent decades. The area gained much popularity with the arrival of the elevated train. Families built homes along the spacious boulevards for which Logan Square is known. Some Bavarian-style architecture still remains, relics of a neighborhood once dominated by native-born Germans.
The center of neighborhood life in Logan Square is, quite literally, its square. The wide boulevards here are lined with large trees and vintage architecture dating back to the Victorian age. The boulevards were welcomed to the National Register of Historic Places in the 1980s. And in 2005, Logan Square’s Boulevards District was designated as a Chicago Landmark District. At the intersection of Logan Boulevard and Milwaukee and Kedzie avenues is a striking 68-foot marble monument designed by Henry Bacon, the same sculptor who created the world-famous Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The tall Doric column is impossible to miss when driving through the square. It sits at the end of long landscaped medians between east and westbound Logan Boulevard in a small grass-covered park.
Today, Logan Square retains its old world charm, while enjoying a growing entertainment scene that attracts big bands and crowds of fans. The Congress Theater on Milwaukee Avenue is a hot music venue, fashioned out of an old movie house. The hall’s age is quite noticeable—there’s decades worth of peeling paint and the remnants of ornate interior embellishments—but the rockin’ groups that take the stage are all the rage with today’s young music enthusiasts. The surrounding bars cater to the influx of people who come to shows in Logan Square. A number of late-night hangouts exist along Milwaukee and Fullerton avenues, including a bunch of long-time pubs that have been around for years and have their share of regulars.
Part of the Latino culture in Logan Square is evident in its restaurants and shops. As is common in Mexico and other South and Central American countries, the neighborhood has a big bazaar where you can buy everything and anything – it’s called MegaMall. This one-stop marketplace has great deals on goods (that range from discount jewelry to knock-off clothing) and Mexican food specialties (tacos, exotic flavored candy, soft-serve ice cream topped with fruit and more).
Logan Square is a very accessible Chicago neighborhood. The Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) runs through the northeast corner of the community. If you are without a car, the Blue Line train has four stops in Logan Square at Belmont, Logan Square, California, and Western avenues. There are also a number of bus routes to help travelers get where you want to go.