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Morgan Park

Unlike most of Chicago's suburbs-turned-neighborhoods, Morgan Park was annexed to the city in the twentieth century (circa 1914), and that was only after a long court struggle over whether it should be annexed at all! But today, Morgan Park is a proud part of Chicago and remains a quiet community of cul-de-sacs and roundabouts, laid out in the manner of an old town found somewhere in the English countryside. Long before Morgan Park became the beautiful, non-conforming neighborhood it is today, an English settler named Thomas Morgan purchased the land to build his home, way back in the 1840s. Morgan's property obviously did not remain private forever, but the name did stick and the village that emerged on the site was eventually known as Morgan Park.

Morgan Park's housing market is full of prairie-style bungalows, many of which enjoy landmark status thanks to the Beverly Area Planning Association. In addition to these beautiful historic residences, the neighborhood also features several types of detached single-family homes, including ranches, two-story frame houses, and even chalet-like architecture makes an appearance. There is also a good supply of multi-unit dwellings like courtyard condominium buildings and new-construction townhomes. The average cost for a detached home in Morgan Park is in the high $100,000s, while attached real estate sale prices hover in the low to mid $100,000s.

Among Morgan Park's winding neighborhood streets are several parks that residents enjoy with family and friends. For example, Blackwelder Park is a great place to catch an outdoor flick because it is one of the Chicago Park District's designated "Movies in the Park" locations. And Cooper Park provides the recreational options of tennis, baseball and basketball. In addition to walking trails, Ada Park's many amenities include a swimming pool, tennis courts, soccer field, auditorium, gym and baseball diamonds. And when school is out for summer, the parks provide plenty of day camps to keep neighborhood kids occupied during those three long months. The Beverly Arts Center, which has been located in the Beverly/Morgan Park area for over 30 years, is a cultural treasure. The arts center complex houses a 410-seat auditorium, an art gallery, music studios and classrooms, where Chicagoans can enroll in a variety of art and music related studies.

For dining options in Morgan Park, there are a lot of great choices. Beverly Woods Restaurant has been a Morgan Park fixture for 50 plus years. The Beverly Woods is more than just a restaurant, it's a complex which includes Mcann's Pub (and their fantastic daily lunch buffet) and four banquet rooms for guest to feast on their distinctly American banquet fare and "world famous" dinner rolls. When in Morgan Park, Lume's Pancake House is the place to do breakfast. In addition to stacks of mouthwatering flapjacks, Lumes also does waffles and eggs anyway you want 'em. This place is no secret to Morgan Park residents, so be prepared to wait for a table. No time to wait in line? Then drive on over to Nicky's Drive-Thru for a real neighborhood treat of hot dogs or burgers and fries and eat them in the comfort of your own car. For great pizza there's Milano's, thin crust or deep dish, and for Chinese takeout, Canton Inn has good, cheap fast Chinese food. There are several options for delectable barbeque bites in Morgan Park, as well. Check out I57 Rib House, Best Bar B Que or Mone's Steak Hogies & Barb-q. Home Of The Hoagy or Big Dawgs are good options for subs or hot dogs.

Mrs. O'Leary's Dubliner may not look like a whole lot on the outside, but on the inside this Morgan Park watering hole is as authentic as an Irish pub. With its dark woodwork and emerald walls, you'd swear the joint was air lifted from Dublin and plopped down on the south side. Shamrock Express has a clientele of loyal regulars who like to hang out, drink beer and watch the local sports teams do their thing on television. Cullinan's Stadium Club is a hit among neighborhood softball teams who gather here to celebrate (or commiserate) after the game. Good burgers and cheap beer are the perfect remedies to console a losing team or rejoice after a victory. Chandler's Lounge is the last bar in Chicago when driving south down Western Avenue, so if that makes you thirsty, then stop on in for beer.

Speaking of celebratory activities, the South Side Irish Parade marches its way through Morgan Park every year on the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day. Revelers from all over the city, Irish or not, gather here on the south side to show their Irish pride by wearing green and of course, tipping back a pint of Guinness or two. In case you're wondering how to travel around Morgan Park, the CTA has several bus lines serving the neighborhood. The South Halsted Street and the Western Avenue buses run north/south along the neighborhood's eastern and western borders, respectively, and the #119 Michigan Avenue runs east and west through the community.