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Union Ridge, Chicago

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Title: Union Ridge, Chicago  
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Subject: Grand Army of the Republic, Community areas in Chicago, Neighborhoods in Chicago, Edward K. Valentine
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Union Ridge, Chicago

Norwood Park
Community area
Community Area 10 - Norwood Park

Location within the city of Chicago

Coordinates: 41°58.8′N 87°48.0′W / 41.9800°N 87.8000°W / 41.9800; -87.8000Coordinates: 41°58.8′N 87°48.0′W / 41.9800°N 87.8000°W / 41.9800; -87.8000

Country United States
State Illinois
County Cook
City Chicago
 • Total 4.29 sq mi (11.11 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 37,023
 • Density 8,600/sq mi (3,300/km2)
Demographics 2010[1]
 • White 81.45%
 • Black 0.44%
 • Hispanic 12.00%
 • Asian 4.58%
 • Other 1.52%
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP Codes parts of 60631, 60646, 60656
Median household income $64,477[2]
Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services

Norwood Park is one of 77 well-defined Chicago, Illinois community areas. It encompasses the smaller neighborhoods of Big Oaks, Norwood Park East, Norwood Park West, Old Norwood Park, Oriole Park, and Union Ridge.

Originally organized in 1872 from adjacent townships (Jefferson, Leyden and Niles) as a village, and named after Henry Ward Beecher's novel Norwood, or Village Life in New England (1868), Norwood Park was annexed to the City of Chicago in 1893.

The community is now home to many of the city's firefighters, police officers, construction workers, labor union workers, engineers and other blue collar workers. Norwood Park is known especially for its abundance of green: lawns, parks, churchyards, and trees are its visual hallmarks.

Every Memorial Day there is a parade that runs through Norwood Park. The parade has been a local tradition for almost 90 years, starting in 1922. The community area also boasts the oldest extant building in Chicago, the Noble-Seymour-Crippen House, and Taft High School.


Norwood Park Historical District (Old Norwood)

Norwood Park East

Norwood Park East is bounded by Niles, the north branch of the Chicago River, Devon Avenue, Indian Road, Austin Avenue, Bryn Mawr Avenue, Avondale Avenue and Harlem Avenue. The Roden branch of the Chicago Public Library system is located in the neighborhood. The public school that is located in the central part of the area and that the area is mostly zoned to is William J. Onahan Public School, located on West Raven Street. Rufus M. Hitch Public School, located on North McVicker Avenue, is in the area and zoned to as well. The neighborhood is also home to St. Thecla Catholic School and Parish.

Norwood Park West

Norwood Park West is bounded by Devon Avenue, Harlem Avenue, the Kennedy Expressway and Canfield Road. It is home to Edison Park Elementary School, as the school is not located in Edison Park. It is also home to Immaculate Conception Catholic School, Resurrection Medical Center and Resurrection High School.

Big Oaks

Big Oaks is bounded by Foster Avenue to the north, Nagle Avenue to the east, Gunnison Street to the south, and Harlem Avenue to the west. Opposite of the neighborhood's southern border at Gunnison Street are the suburb Harwood Heights, and an unincorporated area housing Ridgemoor Country Club. Many of the city's police officers live in Big Oaks, and in recent years the area has seen an increase in the number of Polish immigrants.

At one time, the area was dominated by a large golf course called Big Oaks Golf Course. In the early 1950s, the golf course was demolished and hundreds of homes replaced it.

The neighborhood contains two schools: Daniel Carter Beard Magnet School, located on West Strong Avenue, and St. Monica Catholic School, located on North Mont Clare Avenue.

Oriole Park

Oriole Park is bordered by the Kennedy Expressway (I-90) to the north, Foster Ave to the south, Harlem Avenue to the east, and Canfield Avenue to the west.

The area is home to Oriole Park, which is located in the center of the neighborhood south of Bryn Mawr Avenue. The park covers over 18 acres (7.3 ha) of land. The park is a Chicago Park District facility.

The Oriole Park Library is located on Balmoral Avenue next to Oriole Park Elementary School. It operates under the Chicago Public Library.

Oriole Park Elementary School is located on Oketo and Balmoral Avenues and is the only school in the area.

Union Ridge

Union Ridge is bounded by Bryn Mawr, Foster, Nagle, and Harlem Avenues. Union Ridge contains one school, John W. Garvy Elementary School, located on Foster and Rutherford Avenues. Union Ridge Cemetery is located on Higgins and Talcott Avenues.

Relation to Grease Musical

A 2011 reproduction of the original Grease (musical) by American Theater Company in Chicago revisited Norwood Park's influence on the production. Creator Jim Jacobs attended Taft High School, which was used as the backdrop to Grease. Much of what is in the play is based on his experience growing up in Norwood Park during the 1950s and 1960s. He has stated that the characters of Grease were based on actual people he attended school with. During the reproduction, many Chicago references were put in, including references to the characters living on "Chicago's Northwest side" as middle class first-generation Americans with parents who worked in local factories. Also mentioned were local favorites, including Superdawg.

Serbian Community

The Norwood Park neighborhood has a substantial Serbian-American community, centered around Serbian Road and the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral. There is a K-8 Serbian-American School, Saint Sava Academy, and an annual Serbian festival "Serb Fest" which takes place on Serbian Road.[3]


Chicago Public Schools serves Norwood Park, as the aforementioned schools are located in and serve the area. Taft High School is in Norwood Park, serving the entire community area for public education.

Notable residents

Historical population
Census Pop.


External links

Chicago portal
Illinois portal
  • Grease gets its grit back, Chicago Tribune Article
  • Official City of Chicago Norwood Park Community Map
  • Chicago landmarks
    • Noble-Seymour-Crippen House
    • Wingert House
  • Chicago Park District
    • Norwood Park
    • Oriole Park

Template:Neighborhoods in Chicago

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