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Fulton River District
Real Estate and Neighborhood Information

Fulton River District Overview

Residential blends with commercial in the Fulton River District, one of Chicago's fastest growing neighborhoods. With side streets tucked away behind busy urban thoroughfares you couldn't be closer to the Loop unless you were in the river. High-rise and mid-rise studios, condos and loft spaces typify the housing stock in the Fulton River District, with a few “vertical mansions” dotting the neighborhood blocks. A small, yet exquisite selection of restaurants fill the area, prompting evening diners from all over Chicago to make reservations in this trendy near north side section of town. After dark the bar scene heats up as pool halls, Irish pubs, cocktail lounges and nightclubs come alive.

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Fulton River District History

The neighborhood of Fulton River District straddles two Chicago community areas, that of West Town on its northern half. Unlike many Chicago neighborhoods, this area was actually within the original city limits as established in 1837, so no annexation was required. The Chicago River was the draw to the area, and the neighborhood’s prime location on this important waterway led early settlers here. Industry soon followed, including the railroads.

With so many rail lines intersecting the area and the Chicago River on the eastern border, manufacturing and trade businesses thrived in this section of town, particularly in the Fulton River District, providing many employment opportunities for its residents. Further south, directly west of the Loop, the Near West Side’s close proximity to the business district made it attractive to Chicago’s wealthier residents. By 1870, however, the population shifted from affluence to that of a working class, divided along racial lines with African Americans and European immigrants from Germany, Ireland, France, Czechoslovakia and Bohemia all occupying their own separate sections of the neighborhood. By the end of the 19th century, European immigrants from Scandinavia had settled in the area as well, with Poles and Russian Jews close behind. Around the same time, many Italians started to inhabit the area along Grand Avenue, filling the small community with a sizeable number of different cultures.

Despite the residential buildup in the surrounding areas of West Town and Near West Side neighborhoods, the Fulton River District was mostly an industrial zone of factories and warehouses. Today, thanks largely to the Fulton River District Association, the neighborhood is experiencing a boom in residential building. This non-profit, community-based organization has worked hard to promote the neighborhood and encourage a balance between residential and commercial development. As a result, Fulton River District is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the city. Crisscrossed by railway tracks and busy thoroughfares, residential real estate intermingles with commercial businesses along the blocks here. Not to mention some of the city’s best restaurants have gained a foothold in this trendy near north side Chicago neighborhood.

The Sights of Fulton River District

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