64 pages of buyer's tips, negotiation strategies, home inspection checklist, closing cost worksheet, 9 steps to home buying success and much more!
Currently Available Units
- 6710 South. Keating #203
- 3940 West. 63rd #6
- 3604 West. 60th #
- 6140 South. Kilbourn #
- 6900 South. Karlov #
- 6834 South. Keeler #
- 6925 South. Komensky #
- 3629 West. 62nd #
- 3900 West. 62nd #
- 6640 South. Keating #
- 3956 West. 61st #
- 3820 West. 65th #
- 5931 South. Tripp #
- 6751 South. Kilbourn #
- 6817 South. Keeler #
- 6547 South. Kolin #
- 3929 West. 64th #
- 3711 West. 66th #
- 7240 South. Hamlin #
- 6049 South. Tripp #
Recently Sold Units
- 6201 South. Knox #B
- 6201 South. Knox #C
- 6207 South. Knox #B
- 6221 South. Knox #F
- 6235 South. Knox #K
- 6207 South. Knox #K
- 6207 South. Knox #F
- 6201 South. Knox #B
- 6235 South. Knox #H
- 4648 West. 63rd #2
- 4646 West. 63rd #3
- 4648 West. 63rd #1
- 4646 West. 63rd #1
- 4646 West. 63rd #2
- 3900 West. 63rd #6
- 6811 South. Pulaski #3f
- 6945 South. Pulaski #F2
- 3900 West. 63rd #3
- 3900 West. 63rd #7
- 3900 West. 63rd #3
Welcome To Westlawn
A pleasant, family-friendly — almost suburban — quality lends a special warmth to this attractive bungalow community situated east of Midway Airport. But Westlawn isn't just your typical bedroom neighborhood. This distinctive west side address oozes rich culture, sparked by strong heritage and survived by healthy community ties. Westlawn is home to the country's only Lithuanian museum, established because of the neighborhood's largely Lithuanian population, which happens to top that of any other place in the world — besides Lithuania. The rise of a strong Latin-American populace in more recent years is apparent in the number of Mexican restaurants, taquerias and cantinas that have popped up throughout Westlawn. Mostly independent and family-owned, these popular dining spots have come to define the Westlawn neighborhood today, although consider the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture to be the area's most precious treasure.
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Westlawn Home Sales Statistics
Location: About 10 miles southwest of the Loop
Boundaries: 59th Street to the north, Central Park Avenue to the east, railroad yards to the south and Cicero Avenue to the west
Bordering Neighborhoods: West Elsdon, Chicago Lawn, Marquette Park, Ford City, Ashburn
Crime Statistics: Go to CLEARMap to search specific streets and areas for crime incidents
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Then and Now
Back in the 1800s, the area known as Chicago Lawn was a lightly populated farming community bordered by the city of Chicago on the east and the Grand Trunk Railroad tracks to the west. To the folks who lived there, "Westlawn" was what they called the prairie land beyond those tracks. It was a place they visited for swimming in the summer and ice skating in the winter, thanks to a large pond left over from an abandoned artesian well project.
Both Chicago Lawn and Westlawn were annexed by the city in 1889, but Westlawn remained an undeveloped marsh for many years. Then, after the turn of the century, industry sprang up in the town of Clearing to the west, which developers connected to Chicago with a system of horse-drawn street cars. So, with greater Chicago ever expanding on one side, jobs opportunities in Clearing on the other, and public transportation rumbling through the middle, it wasn't long before the marshes were finally drained, making way for the development of Westlawn into a residential community. Its population more than tripled between 1920 and 1930 to around 8,900 people, mostly hard-working immigrants from Germany, Ireland, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Lithuania.
Though Westlawn's development was inevitable, it did stumble during the Great Depression (as did most of the country). Streets had been paved in anticipation of good times, but bad times came first, creating an odd sight recorded by one observer at the corner of Pulaski Road and 67th Street in the early 1940s: nicely paved but empty streets to the west, and unpaved, bustling streets with new home construction to the east.
Fortunately, more prosperous days were just around the corner. With the industrial growth prompted by World War II, along with the expansion of nearby Midway Airport -- the world's busiest at the time -- Westlawn neighborhood soon enjoyed its long-awaited building boom. Overshadowing the progress, though, were conflicts between ethnic groups which hit Westlawn hard during the time, culminating in violent race riots in 1946. Still, nothing could stop the area's growth, with its population nearly doubling between 1950 and 1970.
Descendants of European immigrants still dominated the area well into the 1980s, as evidenced by the move of the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture to Westlawn in 1986, but the neighborhood's demographics have changed since then. Today, Latin Americans make up close to 50 percent of the community, imbuing portions of the neighborhood with a distinctly Mexican flavor -- figuratively and literally, considering some of the truly outstanding Mexican restaurants found here.
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Just beyond the southeast boundary of Westlawn neighborhood lies the enormous 323-acre Marquette Park (6734 S Kedzie Ave, 312-747-2761), referred to as "the playground of the southwest side" for generations. With its many playing fields, lagoon and superb golf course right next door, we wouldn't blame you for thinking that Westlawn must have nothing of its own to offer when it comes to parkland.
But you'd be wrong. Westlawn Park (4233 W 65th St, 773-284-2803) is a lovely, well-used urban recreation space that has graced the heart of its namesake community since 1948. Its baseball diamond, batting cages, soccer field, and basketball, volleyball and tether ball courts were enhanced in 1972 with the addition of a fieldhouse that features an assembly hall, activity rooms, gym and fitness center. It even has an auto shop where the Chicago Park District operates an excellent series of classes in automotive repair throughout the year. More recently a large fenced skating rink was installed in the middle of the park which has proved a major hit with the locals. Ice skaters delight in the space during the winter, but it's even more lively in the summer, when six different platform ramps are added for kids and adults who thrill to the challenges of skateboarding and rollerblading.
Get Your Cultural Kick
As everybody knows, Chicago is home to some of the nation's finest museums. And as everybody also knows, most are located downtown or along the lake at the Museum Campus. Although it may not be one of the city's most sought-after tourists attractions, one museum happens to reside right here in Westlawn -- a special museum that is unique among all such institutions in America.
Since Chicago's southwest side has long been home to more folks of Lithuanian descent than anywhere else in the world (outside of Lithuania itself), it should come as no surprise that America's only museum dedicated to all things Lithuanian can be found right here in Westlawn neighborhood. The Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture (6500 S Pulaski Rd., 773-582-6500) was founded by Chicago businessman Stanley Balzekas Jr. in 1966 and moved into its current, expanded digs in Westlawn in 1986, where Mr. Balzekas is still on hand to oversee this vast collection of art, armor, antique maps and more.
Scholars routinely turn to the museum's Research & Resource Center for East European Studies to peruse its 40,000-volume section on the history and culture of the region surrounding Lithuania, which includes many rare books from centuries past, over 50,000 photographs, and thousands of recordings of Lithuanian music. Old maps can be fascinating, and the Irene Balzekas Memorial Map Collection brings to Chicago a priceless compilation of over 200 antique maps from as far back as the 16th century, along with nearly 700 modern maps and atlases of Eastern Europe. There's even a Children's Museum of Immigrant History here that provides hands-on exhibits and educational outreach programs for the local community and beyond. The Balzekas Museum is not only unique to Westlawn but to the entire nation, and it ranks as one of Chicago's precious treasures.
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Westlawn is a densely-packed, highly residential community characterized by long sidewalk-lined blocks and well-maintained single-family homes. Sturdy bungalows are common in this southwest side neighborhood -- mostly one-and-a-half-story brick structures, typical of the Chicago bungalow style -- and other small houses of varying architectural designs fill in the lots with simple frame compositions, solid raised ranches, and the occasional two-story dwelling. Although detached homes dominate Westlawn's residential streets, there are some multi-unit condo buildings and townhouses in the area. Found mainly along the neighborhood's busier roadways, residents have a good selection of one- and two-bedroom condominiums to choose from that range in price from the low $100,000s to $225,000, which usually includes a garage parking space.
It may come as a surprise, but Westlawn's proximity to Midway Airport is not particularly disruptive to the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. To most visitors, low-flying jets winging over 63rd Street near Cicero Avenue are a breathtaking sight, but their flight path follows the train yards that form the diagonal southern boundary of the community, so they don't fly directly over people's homes. In fact, recent increased activity and renovations at Midway, including the extension of the CTA Orange Line from the Loop to the airport, have contributed to a steady rise in Westlawn's property values.
The average sales price for a two-bedroom detached single-family home here is about $215,000. For a three-bedroom the price jumps up to around $236,000, however, there are several properties that sell for between $300,000 and $350,000. The average sales price for larger houses in Westlawn, ones that have four or more bedrooms, typically go for around $257,000, but again, there are a select few homes that cost in the mid to upper $300,000s.
Residents enjoy a wide range of dishes at the various restaurants in Westlawn neighborhood, from Swedish pancakes to Chinese chow mein. But when it comes down to it, we think you'll agree that it's the truly extraordinary Mexican food served around here that tops the list.
By some mysterious but happy circumstance, Westlawn has become a haven for Mexico's al pastor cuisine. The al pastor or "shepherd-style" is characterized by exquisitely marinated meat, chiefly pork, with a scent of nutmeg and, typically, a pineapple garnish. It's not unusual to see the pork gently sizzling on an upright rotisserie, a sight you may associate more with the familiar cone of seasoned beef and lamb at a Greek restaurant. You'll spot the rotisserie and smell that aroma of nutmeg right away at Mario's Tacos (4540 W 63rd St, 773-582-8226), where we recommend any of the lavish yet moderately priced combinations, always loaded with refreshing pineapple chunks. Just down the street, the tasty al pastor tortas are a neighborhood favorite at Taqueria El Pastor (4418 W 63rd St, 773-284-1003), while Zaca Tacos (5925 S Pulaski Rd, 773-581-9481) has made a name for itself by serving up some of the finest grilled steak in town.
The popularity of the al pastor style cuisine has paid off for nobody more than Camerino Gonzalez, founder of Taqueria Los Comales (6035 S Pulaski Rd, 773-838-1977). Twenty-five years ago, Gonzalez had a single modest taco stand on the south side specializing in al pastor pork. Today he commands a chain of fine restaurants with 19 locations in and around Chicago. The salsas are all homemade and prepared fresh daily, and Gonzalez's special marinade recipe is a well-kept secret that continues to serve him -- and hungry Chicagoans -- very well indeed. There's so much good stuff on the menu that it's hard to choose, but we can never resist the bistec a la Mexicana, a super-hot steak fajita platter. And when it comes to house specialties, don't forget to order a side of fresh curtido, a coleslaw-like condiment made with cauliflower, pickled carrots and jalapeno peppers. Just be sure to have a nice cold glass of water nearby, because Mr. Gonzalez has never been stingy when it comes to hot spices!
Westlawn's Mexican food delights aren't all about al pastor, though. We happen to adore seafood prepared south-of-the-border style -- seasoned, grilled over mesquite charcoal, and topped with fresh salsa. This pescado sarandeado method comes to us from Mexico's Nayarit region, the rugged Pacific coastline north of Puerto Vallarta, and while going there seems like a fine idea, it isn't necessary to enjoy this intensely flavorful cuisine. Time-tested local recipes from the seaside Nayarit village of Bucerias infuse the menu at El Veneno Mariscos (6651 S Pulaski Rd, 773-582-5576), a Mexican seafood lovers paradise in the heart of Westlawn neighborhood. The shellfish dishes here come in generous portions and are out of this world, though our favorite treat of all is the mojarra a la diabla -- a whole tilapia cooked in a spicy red sauce and served with rice salad. Absolutely deliciosa! Another outstanding spot in the neighborhood for Mexican seafood, as well as for just hanging out, is the cozy La Valentina Restaurant & Margarita Bar (4506 W 63rd St, 773-284-5529). For such a small place they have a king-sized menu, plus a blackboard of the day's fresh fish special, generally prepared whole and smothered in delectable salsa. The tacos are tasty here, too. If you love cilantro as much as we do, try the taco al carbon, just loaded with the stuff. And even though La Valentina bills itself as a margarita bar -- and their selection of margaritas lives up to the name -- we urge you to treat yourself to a nice cold glass of horchata, a customary beverage made from almonds, cinnamon and lime.
As you can probably tell by now, we think the Mexican food in Westlawn is really exceptional. But that's not all the neighborhood has to offer. The southwest side tradition of Polish and Lithuanian cuisine finds a home for itself here at Tatra Inn (6040 S Pulaski Rd, 773-582-8313). The buffet is huge and varied, with an enticing selection of sauces and gravies that will keep you coming back for more. But beware of having eyes bigger than your appetite as East European cuisine tends to be very filling. Keep your portions modest, and don't forget to start off with one of their exquisite signature soups, including the czarnina (duck's blood) and the flaczki (tripe). In case you're not an adventurous eater, the plain old chicken noodle's pretty fantastic, too, and a favorite among the regulars. Folks who fancy less exotic fare won't go wrong at Alicia's Restaurant (6842 S Pulaski Rd, 773-284-7570). Prices are just right and the service is superb at this popular family diner. This is our preferred place for breakfast in Westlawn, mainly because of a great cup of coffee plus Alicia's fabulous Swedish pancakes. We love 'em with the lingonberries -- a great way to start the day.
Then, of course, there's pizza. Italian food (and pizza in particular) hardly seems like European cuisine since Americans adore it so. Well, quite a few Chicagoans will tell you there's only one place to go in the city for the absolute best pizza and calzone, and it's right here in the south side neighborhood of Westlawn. With so many fantastic pizza palaces in Chi-town, it's a daring claim to make, but we challenge you to put it to the test at Palermo Italian Restaurant (3751 W 63rd St, 773-585-5002). The secret's in the sauce -- a thick, rich, tangy red sauce with hints of basil and green pepper. You may become so addicted to the stuff that you'll want to take some home with you -- and if so, you're in luck, since Palermo's sells it by the quart. Buy yourself a jar, pick up some Italian bread on the way home, and dunk that baby -- it's all you need for a satisfying meal. As any Westlawner will tell you, this sauce is really that special.
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Best Shopping Stops
Like many south siders who live in the neighborhoods that border on Ford City Mall (7601 S Cicero Ave, 773-767-6400), Westlawn residents can find pretty much whatever they're looking for among its nearly 150 shops, ranging from specialty boutiques to major clothing chains and department stores. But it's always good to support local business, and there are a few shopping stops within Westlawn itself that deserve a look.
When in Westlawn, you won't need to head south to Ford City for shoes, thanks to the impressive stock of footwear at Caprio's Shoes (3958 W 63rd St, 773-767-6060). Heels and pumps, dress shoes and casual kicks, athletic sneakers and orthopedic lace-ups, boots and sandals, men's, women's, children's -- if you've got feet, Caprio's has the shoes for 'em. Now when it comes to men's clothing, you might as well head to Ford City. But, ladies, first check out the deals at Fashions Under 20 (7000 S Pulaski Rd, 773-284-1835). If it's fashionable casual wear you need, you may find it here at an unbeatable price. The styles are trendy and keep up with seasons, always providing a hip new addition to your wardrobe. And for those on the lookout for children's apparel, right across the street is Rocio's Children's Wear (7005 S Pulaski Rd, 773-585-3787) where you'll find a fine selection that includes baby clothes and accessories right down to those adorable little booties that almost always draw an "Awwww" from shoppers in the store, whether they're there to dress an infant or not.
As your unofficial guide to the neighborhood, we feel it's our duty to point out one of Westlawn's little shops that all too often gets overlooked. This unique boutique is a terrific place for that special, one-of-a-kind souvenir that you can't find anywhere else in Chicago. Magnificent Mile -- eat your heart out! We're talking about the Balzekas Museum Gift Shop (6500 S Pulaski Rd, 773-582-6500). It turns out that the Balzekas is not just America's premiere Lithuanian-American museum, it's also your source for Eastern European-style gift items, ranging from handmade wood carvings and amber jewelry to unusual Christmas ornaments, decorated Easter eggs, toys, dolls and much more. Even if you're not in the market for more knickknacks for the house, just pop in and take a gander at this quaint Westlawn neighborhood fixture. Not only does it have some really cool stuff, but the welcoming character is a window to the community's heritage and the customs that give this southwest side Chicago neighborhood its distinctive charm.
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Night on the Town
Looking for a place to unwind with a cold beer and some sports on the tube? Westlawn offers some friendly neighborhood watering holes that'll take good care of you.
You won't come up empty at Em-Tee's (3748 W 63rd St, 773-838-8221) if you go for domestic brews on tap, though some may prefer to idle away an hour with a glass of cabernet or two at the Idle Hour Lounge (6726 S Pulaski Rd, 773-767-5008). For a cool taste of the Old Country, crack open a ?ywiec, Poland's premier pilsener, or one of the other imported lagers and pale ales at Edward Dobija (3825 W 63rd St, 773-735-7105). The Irish are represented in this neck of the woods, too, at Mr. C's Midway Bar (4654 W 63rd St, 773-582-0833), where they'll take their time to draw a perfect glass of Murphy's stout, just as though you were back on the Old Sod.
Have something more lively in mind for the evening's entertainment? Boogie on over to Trojanek Lodge (4216 W 63rd St, 773-767-0909), where there must be an unwritten rule that nobody can leave without a smile on their face. The atmosphere at this neighborhood tavern is amusing and sociable, and, in addition to the beverages, that's what the place is famous for around here. Regulars abound but newcomers are always welcome -- especially on Fridays, when the throng of bar-goers will cajole you to join in the karaoke every time. So brush up on that Elvis impersonation to really wow the crowd. Saturdays are for dancing to DJ-spun classic pop tunes, while the rest of the week patrons make their own fun at the Lodge. But that's easy, since you'll be hard pressed to find a friendlier pub in the whole darn town!
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Westlawn is a good-size Chicago neighborhood that requires more than a bicycle or your own two feet to get around its sprawling borders. Due to its proximity to Midway Airport, taxis are more commonly seen in the Westlawn vicinity than in most south side neighborhoods. Still, your best bet to get a cab, if you're not coming directly in from the airport arrivals terminal, is to simply call to arrange a pick-up. But in general, south siders depend more on their own cars than do their north side brethren who can get a cab on almost any major street corner. For that reason, traffic can get pretty intense along Westlawn's main thoroughfares, particularly on the very busy Cicero Avenue which is a multilane road that supports a lot of the airport-bound travelers. The south side payoff, however, is that street parking is far more plentiful in this part of town and businesses often have free surface lots with ample spaces for their customers to park.
The Orange Line of the Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) "El" system connects the Loop to Midway Airport at a terminal located just east of Cicero Avenue and 59th Street in the northwest corner of Westlawn. That provides the neighborhood with a very handy 20-minute elevated train trip downtown, a feature that has helped boost the property values around here. Otherwise, public transportation within the neighborhood itself is handled by bus routes -- namely, the north/south running #53A South Pulaski Road bus, the #63 63rd Street line which runs east/west, and the #59 59th Street bus that also takes an east/west path through Westlawn.
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School's in Session
Families find Westlawn has many public and private schools to choose from within the neighborhood boundaries. In addition to the following list, you can find more information on these and other Chicago area schools at our Chicago Guide Schools page.
Hubbard High School 6200 S Hamlin Ave - (773) 535-2200
Hurley Elementary School 3849 W 69th Pl - (773) 535-2068
Lee Elementary School 6448 S Tripp Ave - (773) 535-2255
Queen of the Universe School 7130 S Hamlin Ave - (773) 582-4266
St Mary Star of the Sea School 6424 S Kenneth Ave - (773) 767-6160
St Nicholas of Tolentine School 3741 W 62nd St - (773) 735-0772
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Just to make things as simple for new residents as possible, we've compiled a list of places in Westlawn neighborhood that provide the everyday essentials and handy resources you're bound to need sooner or later, from directions to downtown to a space to get in your regular workout.
Chicago Transit Authority - (888) 968-7282
Westlawn Public Library 4020 W 63rd St - (312) 747-7381
US Post Office 6037 S Kedzie Ave - (773) 284-6076
Kmart Pharmacy 7050 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 767-2800
Osco Drug 6351 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 284-7070
Walgreens 7045 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 735-0335
Mercy Medical On Pulaski 5525 S Pulaski Rd 773-585-1955
La Palma Supermarket 7050 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 767-2800
Save-A-Lot 4439 W 63rd St - (773) 581-9802
Supermercado la Victoria 3927 W 63rd St - (773) 581-8522
Curves 4635 W 63rd St - (773) 582-4613
Gold Bench 3815 W 67th Pl - (773) 735-0830
The following are just a taste of the dining, shopping and entertainment Westlawn has to offer. Discover the rest as you explore the neighborhood for yourself.
AMC Ford City 14 Theaters 7601 S Cicero Ave - (773) 582-1839
Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture 6500 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 582-6500
Balzekas Museum Gift Shop 6500 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 582-6500
Caprio's Shoes 3958 W 63rd St - (773) 767-6060
Fashions Under 20 7000 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 284-1835
Rocio's Children's Wear 7005 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 585-3787
Alicia's Restaurant 6842 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 284-7570
Top Flight Pancake House 4715 W 63rd St - (773) 581-1770
Mee Lee Chop Suey 6336 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 582-7234
Palermo Italian Restaurant 3751 W 63rd St - (773) 585-5002
Burrito Grill 6445 S Cicero Ave - (773) 284-5900
El Veneno Mariscos 6651 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 582-5576
La Valentina Restaurant & Margarita Bar 4506 W 63rd St - (773) 284-5529
Las Picosas 6446 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 735-1954
Los Panchos Restaurant 4147 W 63rd St - (773) 581-0821
Mario's Tacos 4540 W 63rd St - (773) 582-8226
Sabor de Mexico 4344 W 63rd St - (773) 581-0430
Taqueria El Pastor 4418 W 63rd St - (773) 284-1003
Taqueria Los Comales 6035 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 838-1977
Zaca Tacos 5925 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 581-9481
Cholie's Pizza 3711 W 63rd St - (773) 767-8600
Italian Villa Pizza 6242 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 585-7020
Milan's Pizzeria 3508 W 63rd St - (773) 434-0800
Monica's Pizza 6336 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 582-7234
Tatra Inn 6040 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 582-8313
Edward Dobija 3825 W 63rd St - (773) 735-7105
Em-Tee's 3748 W 63rd St - (773) 838-8221
Idle Hour Lounge 6726 S Pulaski Rd - (773) 767-5008
Mr. C's Midway Bar 4654 W 63rd St - (773) 582-0833
Trojanek Lodge 4216 W 63rd St - (773) 767-0909
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As one of the many diverse Chicago neighborhoods, Westlawn offers homeowners a wide range of residential properties. Westlawn homes include lofts, condos and townhomes, to name a few. In addition to Chicago real estate, you can get detailed neighborhood information from our comprehensive online Chicago neighborhoods guide. With features like dining, shopping, entertainment, and resources, we've done all the leg work already to make your home search that much easier. Now, when a listing in Westlawn catches your eye, you can read all about the surrounding area and what it has to offer, all without setting foot in the neighborhood. Like a Yellow Pages, Metromix and MLS database all rolled into one, this site is your ultimate Chicago neighborhoods visitors' guidebook.
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