Last weekend, Greater Greater Fianceé and I traveled to Chicago for a wedding. While there, we visited Lincoln Park, one of Chicago’s most vibrant, lively, creative-class neighborhoods. Our friends have a great house, we ate in a great restaurant, and it was a beautiful day.

But the neighborhood lacks a certain charm found in DC’s neighborhoods. Along most of the residential streets, there are lots of beautiful old houses, but there are lots of fancy ultra-modern houses too. The commercial streets have traditional buildings interspersed with boxy contemporary buildings and some parking lots. It all looks like… well, 17th Street.

Lincoln Park has some historic districts, but they’re limited. There’s a triangular area in the eastern part of the neighborhood, a few blocks on Armitage and Halsted (the main commercial roads), a few row houses here and there. But most of the neighborhood is not historically protected, leading to the many huge, new, multimillion-dollar houses that are all over the place architecturally.



Left: old and new buildings at the corner of Armitage and Halsted, Lincoln Park’s main crossroads.

Right: various houses reflecting different tastes on fancy Burling Street.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.