Irving Woods

Irving Woods

As one of Chicago’s smaller neighborhoods, Irving Woods enjoys an anonymity that evades most big city boroughs. It is off the beaten path on the far Northwest Side of the city, set apart from the rest of Chicago (and neighboring suburbs) by three cemeteries and a couple of Forest Preserves. Adding to Irving Woods’ secluded setting is its isolated location—accessible by only two main roads: Irving Park Road and Addison Street.                                        

Irving Woods is bound to the north by the wide open grounds of Schiller Pond, Westlawn Jewish Cemetery and Arcadia Park Cemetery. Its western edge gives way to Schiller Woods and the eastern border is flanked by Irving Park Cemetery. Addison Street runs along Irving Woods’ southern boundary, which neighbors Belmont Terrace and is the neighborhood’s only border adjacent to urban development.

There are some quick-bite restaurants in Irving Woods that are located along Irving Park Road and Addison Street. These consist mainly of fast-food joints, a pizzeria and a couple of other independent eateries near the Irving Park Road/Cumberland Avenue intersection on Irving Woods’ west side.

The northeast section of Irving Woods encompasses the neighborhood’s most upscale housing. The blocks are lined with a variety of larger houses that boast front entrance driveways and big backyards. Some homes even have above-ground pools on their lots.  This part of town has tall, leafy trees that reflect the community’s wooded surroundings. It entails more of a suburban feel than the rest of Irving Woods, which subscribes to Chicago’s standard rear-alley garage access.

Since the CTA “L” does not service the area, public transportation in Irving Woods revolves around the bus system. There are two routes that make stops along the neighborhood’s main streets. Both the #125 Addison Street and #80 Irving Park Road buses are east-west lines, so riders may have to walk a bit north or south to meet up with the lines. Motorists can also take these roads east over to the Kennedy Expressway (if you want a highway) or Milwaukee Avenue (if you want to take surface streets).

While Irving Woods is virtually surrounded by open green space, it doesn’t really have any public parkland of its own. However, just beyond the southeastern corner is Hiawatha Park, a sizeable city recreation spot with multiple baseball and softball diamonds, tennis courts, a basketball court, playground equipment and other options for physical activity. On the other end of Irving Woods is Schiller Playfield, used for football, soccer and baseball. Golf enthusiasts will appreciate the nearby Indian Boundary Golf Course, an 18-hole, par 72 course complete with sand traps, water hazards and lush foliage.