Oriole Park

Oriole Park

The Northwest Side Chicago neighborhood of Oriole Park shares its name with the community’s centrally located 18-acre park—a lively recreation spot with a wide range of activities, athletics and leisure time pursuits. Bordered by the Kennedy Expressway to the north, this is an easily accessible neighborhood with a Blue Line stop at Harlem Avenue and a thriving restaurant row packed with tasty eateries, cafés, bakeries and fast food joints.

The residential blocks of Oriole Park comprise most of the community’s area offering a nice, quiet place to live with predominantly single-family homes, modest yards and tree-lined streets. While the west side of the neighborhood follows Chicago’s typical grid plan, the east side branches outside the box with curved, subdivision-like roads and front-access driveways. Most commercial development in Oriole Park is found along the border streets of Harlem and Foster avenues. These thoroughfares mark the east and south boundaries of the community while the western and northern limits are designated by Canfield Avenue and the Kennedy/Blue Line tracks.    

Arguably the neighborhood’s most popular destination is its namesake park. Run by the Chicago Park District, this action-packed plot of land has a little something for every interest. Walkers, joggers, cyclists and stroller-pushers can take a few laps on the paved path while kids and tots have fun at the playgrounds, sandbox and spray pool. Shoot hoops at the basketball courts or rally with a friend on one of three tennis courts. Oriole Park has America’s favorite pastime covered for any age group with t-ball for the little ones, 4 junior-sized baseball fields for the youth set and 2 senior baseball diamonds and a softball field for the adults. There are 2 football/soccer fields as well as an indoor gym that accommodates floor hockey, tumbling, gymnastics, volleyball and other sports. A full schedule of classes and programs are offered through Oriole Park’s community facility, including team athletics, piano lessons, arts and crafts, preschool, story time, parent and child courses, and cooking instruction.

Back in the day, Oriole Park was a semi-rural settlement with scattered homes and a mile-long trek to the closest railway station. This kept the sparsely-populated region somewhat isolated from Chicago’s urban sprawl until the 1920s and ‘30s when automobiles provided a convenient mode of transportation between the expanding city and Oriole Park’s out-of-the-way location. The construction of Northwestern Highway in the 1940s prompted an additional wave of residential growth and an extension to the community’s namesake park. The parkland was eventually enlarged to fill the area between Bryn Mawr, Oriole and Olcott avenues stretching south almost as far as Berwyn Avenue. 

Today Oriole Park is a comfortable, middle-class neighborhood with its own public library, an elementary school, plenty of outdoor recreation and a fairly commendable dining district. The cuisine selection is simple and features a number of quick-bite chain restaurants. Of course, the brunch crowd always shows up at Sally’s Waffle Shoppe for its mouthwatering menu of specialty pancakes and crepes. Neighboring Union Ridge and Norwood Park also have good options for eating out, so there’s never a lack of nearby places to get a tasty meal.