Rogers Park Boasts a Rich History

Rogers Park  is situated in the Northeast corner of Chicago.   With its Neighbors Evanston to the North, Skokie to the West and Lake Michigan to the East, its residents love its convenient, as well as  scenic,  location.

In the mid-1800’s, Irishman Phillip Rogers purchased approximately 1,600 acres of government land,  after which Rogers Park was eventually named.   In 1872 his son-in-law, Patrick Touhy subdivided the land near what is now the intersection Lunt and Ridge Avenues.   People quickly and steadily moved into the area, and it was incorporated the Village of Rogers Park.   Starting in the 1860’s, rail service provided round-trip  transportation from Rogers Park to downtown Chicago. When the Northwestern Elevated Railroad opened in 1908, Rogers Park population increased dramatically.  

Due to housing shortages during World War II, large apartments and homes were subdivided into smaller ones.   Population greatly increased, particularly in the area North of Howard.   Around 1960 new construction and renovation began, and has continued to increase ever since.

Entertainment has always  been an important park of life in Rogers Park.   During the first half of the century, four grand movie palaces were widely utilized:   The Howard, Adelphi, Granada and Norshore theatres.   Rogers Park at one time had a country club, and a ball club, and for years and even today,  a live theatre community has flourished.

In the past, Rogers Park was  viewed  largely  as a Jewish and Roman Catholic community. Over the past century that has changed, due to changes in immigrant population.   Today, the neighborhood supports a variety of religious denominations.

In the early years, Irish, German and Luxemburgers  came to settle in  the area,  but by  the 1960’s the neighborhood was home to  Russian and Eastern European immigrants. In the 1970’s, immigrants from Asia  moved in, and the neighborhood experienced growth in the African American population as well.

Today, Rogers Park  is one of the most culturally and economically diverse neighborhoods in the nation.   There are over  63.000 residents who call Rogers Park home.   People who live there enjoy true diversity, as there are more than 80 languages spoken.

In a city known for its homogeneity within neighborhoods, Rogers Park  is truly  a unique jewel.

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