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About Lakeview

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Lakeview (properly and historically spelled as “Lake View”) is a neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago, Illinois, USA. It is located along the shore of Lake Michigan and runs approximately from Diversey Parkway on the south to Irving Park Road on the north and from Lake Michigan on the east to Ravenswood Avenue on the west.

Lakeview was originally a suburb outside the boundaries of Chicago and was a summer getaway for the city’s residents. The center of the village was the Lakeview Hotel. Lakeview was annexed to Chicago in 1889.

Lakeview today is a mostly upscale neighborhood consisting of a mix of bungalows, high-rises, and modern condominium buildings. It is the home of the most visible of Chicago’s gay and lesbian communities, known colloquially as Boystown, and centered on Halsted Street, a major gay entertainment strip. Another area within Lakeview is Wrigleyville, which is centered on the famous Wrigley Field ballpark, home of the Chicago Cubs. Wrigleyville consists of homes, sports bars, restaurants, theaters, and souvenir shops.

The 2000 population of Lakeview was 94,817, making it the second largest of Chicago’s communities.

Boystown is a commonly accepted nickname for the neighborhood more formally known as Northalsted. Boystown is bordered by Lake Michigan on the east at Lake Shore Drive. While the southern boundary was previously considered to be Diversey Parkway (2800 North), gentrification and a broader mix of residents have changed the area, and most gay-and-lesbian businesses are now northward of Belmont Avenue. To the west, Boystown ends at Clark Street (1000 West) bordering Wrigleyville. To the north, Boystown stops on the south side of Irving Park Road (4000 North) bordering Buena Park. The area is identified more with gay men than with lesbians, who are culturally more concentrated in the neighborhood of Andersonville. Boystown is considered the “center” of gay life in Chicago.

Boystown has the distinction of being America’s first officially recognized gay village. In 1998, a $3.2-million restoration of the North Halsted Street strip included lighted rainbow pylons.

Two main thoroughfares dominate the heart of this area—Halsted Street and Broadway. Halsted Street caters to nightlife with more than 60 different gay and lesbian bars, restaurants, and nightclubs; Broadway offers many different types of specialty shops and restaurants, as well as some neighborhood institutions.

Wrigleyville is the neighborhood in Chicago around Wrigley Field, where the Chicago Cubs play. It is accessible through the Addison station of the Red Line. Its population is heavily yuppie, many of whom live in the low-rise brick apartment buildings. Some of these buildings have seating on their roofs, called Wrigley Roofs, where residents and visitors can watch baseball games. Wrigleyville is also one of the centers of Chicago’s nightlife culture, featuring a great assortment of restaurants, theatres and bars. Wrigleyville is a commercial Irish area with several Irish bars, restaurants, and stores.

Wrigleyville’s exact boundaries, since it is within the larger neighborhood of Lakeview, can vary according to the source, though the boundaries according to the Big Stick Chicago neighborhood map are Irving Park to the north, Fremont to the east, Roscoe to the south, and Southport to the west.

Due to the immediate presence of the Chicago Cubs, during baseball season, Wrigleyville residents must be extremely aware of the home schedule as getting one’s car in and out of the neighborhood before, during, and after a game is perilous at best. Residential parking is aided by various residential permit zones throughout the neighborhood and an overall ban on non-residential parking during night games. The city and the team encourage the use of public transportation to go to and from Cubs games whenever possible.

New Town, now an obsolete term, was the name for the neighborhood around the intersection Clark Street and Diversey Parkway during its hippie heyday.