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Wrightwood
Real Estate and Neighborhood Information

Wrightwood Overview

Located on the southwest edge of the city, Wrightwood is a diverse middle-class neighborhood of manicured lawns and yellow-brick bungalows that was recently cited by The New York Times as a model for successful, harmonious integration in an urban setting. Much like other parts of Chicago, in Wrightwood businesses and restaurants are concentrated mainly along the neighborhood's major thoroughfares, while the rest of community is filled with neat residential blocks. Affordable housing has long made Wrightwood an attractive place to set up housekeeping, and the variety of architectural styles make sure every homeowner gets exactly what they are looking for in a home. The neighborhood's public park is an added bonus for those who like to indulge in outdoor recreation and appreciate a little breathing room. There is even an indoor swimming pool on hand for Wrightwood resident of all ages to enjoy.

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Wrightwood is very much a residential district. Much like other parts of town, you’ll encounter businesses and restaurants mainly along the neighborhood’s major thoroughfares, so as not to detract from the area’s quiet, homey quality found down the side streets. For the most part single-story brick bungalows and ranches dominate, though you’ll notice a greater variation in home styles here than in many a southwest side Chicago neighborhood. Green yards, towering trees and wide sidewalks embrace the lots throughout, attracting many families to the region.

Wrightwood homes are well-maintained and offer residents a suburban-like setting to raise kids, buy a first home, or just live outside the congested blocks of Chicago’s city center. Two-story brick houses, raised ranches, classic bungalows, adorable frame homes, and split-levels line the peaceful neighborhood avenues, most with one-car garages in the back. While some sections of Wrightwood sustain the typical alley access to garages found in many Chicago neighborhoods, much of the community boasts side driveways that give the area a subdivision feel. Certain streets even form cul-de-sac-like circles were houses fan around, creating quiet pockets of serene existence just minutes from busy roads and commercial buildings.

Affordable housing has long made Wrightwood an attractive place to set up housekeeping, with prices for single-family detached properties ranging from $100,000 (for a three-bedroom ranch) to $300,000 (for a newer model two-story house with four bedrooms). And generally speaking, the average sales price for a three-bedroom home in Wrightwood is only around $200,000. Low-rise apartment buildings and condominiums are limited to the neighborhood’s main roads which include Kedzie Avenue and 87th Street. One-bedroom units with a street parking space start around $70,000, but the two-bedroom places range between $82,000 and $132,000.

Wrightwood History

The history of Wrightwood is fundamentally linked to that of Ashburn, the larger neighborhood along its western border. Like Ashburn, which once served as Chicago’s favorite dumping ground for furnace and fireplace ashes, Wrightwood was long overlooked as a desirable place for residential development and was instead used for more utilitarian purposes. Annexed by Chicago in 1889, it remained sparsely populated until the industrial expansion and population surge that followed World War II.

At the start of the 20th century, Wrightwood’s ethnically diverse mix of inhabitants consisted mostly of Dutch, Swedish, Lithuanian, Polish and, above all, Irish immigrants. By the mid 1900s, the neighborhood had solidified as an Irish Catholic enclave centered about St. Thomas More Parish, or 'Tommy More' as the locals call it. In the latter part of the century, however, as in much of urban America, those demographics began to change rapidly, creating tensions within the community which sometimes led to violence. Fair housing issues and ethnic conflicts flared up throughout Chicago’s southwest side for decades starting in the 1960s. The neighborhoods of Chicago Lawn and Marquette Park, just to the north of Wrightwood, saw their reputations badly tarnished when Martin Luther King, Jr. was struck in the head by a hurled brick during a protest march there in 1966. And, certainly, Wrightwood had its share of tension and turmoil during those 'days of rage' as well.

Yet there was always something a little different about Wrightwood. Its community organizations are strong, and even in the toughest times there was a determined sense of fair play among its citizenry and a will to see racial integration work. Their efforts ultimately proved successful, a phenomenon which did not go unnoticed. In 1988, storied journalist Vernon Jarrett ran a series in the Chicago Sun-Times about Wrightwood, promoting it as 'a model for racial harmony,' and ten years later The New York Times published a case study pinpointing Wrightwood as an example of 'successful neighborhood integration' for the rest of America to emulate.

Today, Wrightwood is a happily diverse community with a strong sense of pride in its reputation for openness and respect for all. In 1997 its residents came together to celebrate this with the opening of the Chicago Public Library’s Wrightwood-Ashburn Branch. This handsome $3 million structure houses over 40,000 volumes, including an African American Heritage collection and a division of NatureConnections, a citywide program combining literature, videos and artifacts related to natural history, and geared specifically to engage young people. Only a few of Chicago’s public libraries are fortunate enough to take part in NatureConnections, and it’s appropriate that Wrightwood’s branch is one of them—in view of what was discovered here in 1992…

During the construction of the nearby Westport Commons Shopping Center at Kedzie Avenue and 87th Street, a long forgotten and undisturbed patch of prairie was found behind the construction site in an undeveloped area belonging to Evergreen Cemetery. The two-acre plot of 'wet prairie' (so called due to its high water table) provided a glimpse of what this entire area used to be like prior to the arrival of European settlers. At least 64 significant species of native flora were found there—from nodding wild onions and water parsnips to wildflowers with charmingly evocative names like rush horsetail, prairie sundrop and ladies’ tresses. In 1993 the Chicago Park District carefully relocated this unusual find to a corner of the central lagoon in nearby Marquette Park (which is in the next neighborhood to the north of Wrightwood), where the mountain mint and blue-eyed stem grasses continue to thrive, oblivious to the surrounding bustle of the big city.

Dream Town Knows Wrightwood

As Chicago neighborhood experts, Dream Town has successfully sold properties in Wrightwood. Dream Town holds a well-earned reputation for its impressive sales volume and dedication to personal, attentive service. Benefit from the Dream Town advantage when selling your Wrightwood home. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, Dream Town drives more sales than any other Chicago brokerage.

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The Sights of Wrightwood

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Schools In The Wrightwood Area

See grade levels, address, and scores for schools in the Wrightwood area.

School Type Grade Rating

Dawes Elementary School

3810 West 81st Place - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
5

Eberhart Elementary School

3400 West 65th Place - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
3

Southside Occupational Academy High School

7342 South Hoyne Ave - public

High 12
NR

Ashburn Community Elementary School

8300 South Saint Louis Ave - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
3

Nativity Bvm Elementary School

6820 South Washtenaw Avenue - private

Preschool - Middle PK-8
NR

Queen Of The Universe School

7130 South Hamlin Avenue - private

Preschool - Middle PK-8
NR

New Direction College Preparatory

2750 West Columbus Avenue - private

Preschool - High PK-12
NR

Kingdom Connection Academy

Po Box 201755 - private

Preschool - High PK-12
NR

Evergreen Park Esd 124 School District

9400 South Sawyer Ave -

Preschool - Middle PK-8
NR

Bogan High School

3939 West 79th St - public

High 9-12
4

Hurley Elementary School

3849 West 69th Place - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
6

Hampton Elementary Fine & Perf Arts School

3434 West 77th St - public

Elementary - Middle K-8
3

Durkin Park Elementary School

8445 South Kolin Ave - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
6

St Rita Of Cascia High School

7740 South Western Avenue - private

High 9-12
NR

Ashburn Lutheran School

3345 West 83rd Street - private

Preschool - Middle PK-8
NR

St. Bernadette School

9311 South Francisco Avenue - private

Preschool - Middle PK-8
NR

Tarkington Elementary School

3330 West 71st St - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
4

CICS Ralph Ellison

1817 W. 80th Street - charter

High 9-12
2

New Direction Academy

8422 S Damen Ave - private

Elementary - Middle 1-8
NR

Barton Elementary School

7650 South Wolcott Ave - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
2

School data provided by GreatSchools.School service boundaries are intended to be used as reference only. To verify enrollment eligibility for a property, contact the school directly. GreatSchools Ratings provided by GreatSchools.org.

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