Andersonville stems from Swedish immigrant farmers who moved to this distant suburb of Chicago in the 19th century. What was once a sleepy little village is now a bustling community with a diverse population of Middle-Easterners, gays and lesbians, families with children as well as a continued Swedish presence.
The neighborhood’s first school, the Andersonville School, was built in 1854 and served as the area’s primary school until 1908. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, wooden homes were outlawed in Chicago. Swedish immigrants, who could not afford to build homes of stone or brick, began to move outside of the city’s northern limits. Swedish immigrants continued to arrive in Andersonville through the beginning of the 20th century, settling in the newly built homes surrounding Clark Street.
Andersonville is also known for its unique commercial district along Clark Street, made up almost entirely of a variety of independent locally-owned specialty shops, restaurants, and service providers.
In the late 1980s, Andersonville began a period of revival as professionals rediscovered its lovely architecture and proximity to downtown Chicago and the lakefront.