A neighborhood within Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, Buena Park is a hidden gem by the lake. It is a classic Chicago neighborhood that is architecturally significant and culturally diverse, yet not as densely populated as other neighborhoods – there is breathing room here. While the neighborhood itself may lack in size, it definitely does not lack in charm nor in history.
Buena Park is ideally situated on Chicago’s north side, bordered by Lake Michigan (east), Wrigleyville (south), Uptown’s growing entertainment district (north), and Graceland Cemetery (west). It is a small town nestled within a big town and a welcoming lakeside community that bustles with diverse residents who are active and dedicated to improving the quality of life for one another.
Photo Credit: Lynda Galea
Buena Park was founded by real estate businessman James Waller in 1890. James built a large home for his family on the north side of Chicago known as Buena House, and developed the surrounding area into what is known today as the Buena Park neighborhood. The historically significant architecture in the neighborhood landed Buena Park on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 due mainly to the Hutchinson Street Historic District, a tree-lined stretch consisting of mansions that feature some of the best Prairie-style architecture in the city. From these magnificent George Maher mansions to the former speakeasies of Broadway, Buena Park’s rich history underpins our vibrant community. In 2016, Chicago Magazine listed Buena Park as one of the best places to live in Chicago.
Despite being 6.6 miles from downtown, the commute to the city center is quick and convenient. Buena Park is well served by the CTA with two train stations at either end of the neighborhood – Sheridan (Red line) at the south-west end, and Wilson (Red and Purple lines) at the north-west end – both of which connect to downtown and can have you there in under 20 minutes.
Buses are also plentiful with several routes running through the neighborhood to get you downtown and to neighborhoods north and west of Buena Park. For shorter trips, the Sheridan, Broadway, Irving Park, Montrose, and Clark buses connect to the rest of the city.
If you commute by car, there are entry points to Lake Shore Drive at both Montrose Avenue and at Irving Park Road, and for cyclists, you’re steps from the Lakefront Trail which is accessible from Montrose and Marine and Buena and Marine.