The Ukrainian Village neighborhood on Chicago’s near northwest side is hanging on to some of their older homes, however, each year a wave of new properties are built. Many of the new residences lack the craftsmanship and working-class feel of the neighborhood.
Just to the north of Ukrainian Village is Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood which has long been home to some of the city’s more affluent dwellers. Wealthy Germans and Scandinavians moved to Wicker Park following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Their homes were built out of more fireproof materials such as stone and brick. The workers who built these larger homes built more insubstantial, wood-framed homes to the south. The continual build-up of Wicker Park has made single-family homes harder and harder to come by, and the effects are being felt in Ukrainian Village.
Single-family homes in the Ukrainian Village area are going for anywhere between $600 and $700k these days. Many of them have had interiors totally rearranged into more open layouts, suiting modern tastes, although the exteriors often remain unassuming. One feature that the older homes of Ukrainian Village have that modern, lot-line to lot-line condos don’t have is an original back yard. A large garage in the back – Ukrainian Village is just north of a warehousing district – is a nice surprise as well.
The neighborhood is in very close proximity to the loop, expressways, the Randolph Street food scene and Wicker Park. The variety of nightlife scenes that can be found within a short cab ride or walk from Uke Village is quite broad and exciting. This is why it has attracted a large number of young professionals in the past few decades.
The handful of traditional worker’s cottages that still exist in Ukrainian Village today are hard to find on the market. The eastern European holdouts are rumored to only sell to other eastern Europeans, and for good cause. Cultural institutions that have been built in the neighborhood in the last half century have remained strong through the start of the 21st century and are evidence that there is desire to retain the unique, working-class character of the neighborhood.
I Speak Vintage hopes that anyone lucky enough to own one of the homes within the Ukrainian Village Landmark District would treasure it and preserve it.