The neighborhood of Old Town emulates Chicago’s early history with many Victorian-era buildings and a street pattern that predates the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Originally settled in the mid 19th century by German-Catholic immigrants, this charming community has welcomed several waves of immigrants onto its streets before developing into the elite neighborhood it is today with historic churches, galleries and other shops scattered around residential properties.
Shopping in Old Town is a unique experience with the majority of shops in this neighborhood being boutiques rather than well-known chain stores. Therefore, each and every store is cozy, intimate and filled with one-of-a-kind goods.
Dining is Old Town is also unique with locally owned restaurants such as Sauce, which serves American Eclectic food, Bistrot Margot for French cuisine, Dinotto Ristorante for Italian cuisine and Salpicon for hearty Mexican fare.
The Old Town Art Fair is held annually in June. It is one of America’s oldest art fairs, getting its start in 1950. The work of over 250 artists is on display, in all mediums including drawing, painting, photography and more. The art is chosen by a jury made up of artists, gallery owners and even museum curators. The Art Fair also includes live musical performances. Other highlights include a Garden Walk, a tour of the historic neighborhood and a children’s activity area.
The streets of Old Town are charming and tree-lined; the homes lining the streets vary from town-homes to single family homes, all of which have distinctive architecture and lovely brick construction. It is a pocket of residential calm among the high-rises of the Loop. Many of Chicago’s Victorian-era buildings are in Old Town; in fact, one of the few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, St. Michael’s Church, is located here. Certainly, the area has historical appeal; this fact was formally recognized when the Old Town Triangle was designated a Chicago Landmark on September 28, 1977.