Edison Park is Chicago’s farthest Northwest Side neighborhood, located about 13 miles from the downtown Loop. It has one of the city’s largest Irish populations and a community-minded milieu that has attracted people to the area for generations.
Edison Park’s tree-covered landscape is bordered by Devon Avenue to the south, Canfield Road to the west, St. Adalbert Cemetery to the east and Howard Street to the north. Northwest Highway slices through the southern quarter of the neighborhood where much of its commercial development is situated. Edison Park’s main public transit line (the Metra Union Pacific North train) runs parallel to Northwest Hwy with a station across from Monument Park at Oliphant and Avondale avenues.
The area surrounding Edison Park’s Metra stop is where you’ll find many of the neighborhood’s municipal buildings, dining spots and retail shops. The store-lined streets give way to residential blocks with green grass lawns and well-kept sidewalks. Houses in Edison Park enjoy spacious lot sizes (typically 5 feet wider than the standard 25-foot Chicago properties) and some parts of the community boast lots with up to 50-foot widths and 150-foot depths. The extra space between dwellings creates a decidedly less urban feel and gives residents additional room to spread out.
Real estate in Edison Park is much like that of other outlying Chicago neighborhoods. It includes classic brick bungalows, raised ranches, Dutch Colonials and historic homes. There was a building boom in Edison Park following WWI when many of the community’s bungalows and Dutch Colonials were constructed. The number of residents grew 400% at the time and by the 1960s Edison Park’s population swelled to over 12,500 inhabitants. While the majority of housing stock in Edison Park is single-family homes, there are some older condominiums near the Metra station and newer construction mixed-use condos where Harlem Avenue intersects with Northwestern Highway.
Over the decades, Edison Park has transitioned into a stable family-oriented borough with a thriving business district and notable “Restaurant Row.” Occupying a three-block stretch of Northwest Highway between Oshkosh and Olympia avenues, Edison Park’s restaurant row is well-known among Chicago-area foodies. Its eateries have been featured in newspapers, been the subject of the television series “Check Please!” and been visited by Mr. Obama himself (prior to his presidency). Packed with delis, pubs, bakeries, cafés, Italian ristorantes, banquet facilities and other great places to grab a bite, this culinary hot spot is a destination for hungry diners from all over the city and suburbs.
New businesses open all the time in Edison Park, contributing to its already established local economy. The Chamber of Commerce has a huge membership that ranges from specialty merchants and service providers to cultural institutions and civic organizations. Each year the community comes together for fun-filled events like the annual Turkey Trot, where participants are cheered on by porch-sitting spectators as they make their way through neighborhood streets. There’s also an Art Walk, a Comedy Fest and the much anticipated Edison Park Fest with its full line-up of musical entertainment, food vendors and family-friendly activities.
Edison Park is only a ten-minute drive to O’Hare International Airport and a quick commute to the Loop on I-90/94. Recreation abounds at its coveted public parkland, which includes the action-packed baseball diamonds and tennis courts of Olympia and Brooks parks. In addition to its lovely homes and life-long residents, Edison Park has a reputation for being a safe neighborhood with a delightful balance between small town charm and big city perks.