Exploring Urban Architecture in Lincoln Park

Situated on Chicago's North Side, Lincoln Park has long been among Chicago's wealthiest and most affluent neighborhoods. That reputation, however, masks a rich cultural heritage.


From Churches to Museums to Even a Zoo, Lincoln Park's Architectural Heritage Runs Deep.

Situated on Chicago's North Side, Lincoln Park has long been among Chicago's wealthiest and most affluent neighborhoods. That reputation, however, masks a rich cultural heritage.
Nowhere is this more true than in the community's buildings—a tapestry of carefully constructed structures that carry both historical significance and unmistakable craftsmanship and beauty. 
Let's take a look at a handful of the most notable shapes and forms and explore the urban architecture in Lincoln Park.

Chicago History Museum

The Chicago History Museum, located at the southern end of Lincoln Park, gives architectural enthusiasts a range of styles to study and admire. Built in 1932 as part of the New Deal's Works Progress Administration, the original Georgian colonial-style building looked out into Lincoln Park. Fifty years later, the museum built an imposing limestone addition, which was refaced in 1988 to provide uniformity to the museum.

The Churches of Lincoln Park

A meandering drive through the Lincoln Park community reveals quite the collection of design wonders—the Kaufmann Store, the Theurer-Wrigley House, the whole of the Armitage-Halsted, and Arlington and Roslyn Place neighborhoods. The most prominent and arguably the most impressive are the area's churches. 
Several of the standout houses of worship include Saint Michael's Church in Old Town, Saint James Lutheran Church in Sheffield Neighbors, and Saint Vincent de Paul Parish, which is on the Depaul University campus. Two of the more notable buildings include Saint Clement Church, built in the Byzantine style with a high central dome. Saint Josaphat's Roman Catholic Church reflects the "Polish Cathedral" style and includes imposing twin bell towers. 

Elks National Memorial

The Elks National Memorial is perhaps one of the most stunningly beautiful pieces of architecture in all of Chicago. Built as a memorial to fallen service members, the limestone-clad, Beaux-Arts structure is a grand affair. Columns support a large dome, under which detailed carvings encircle the structure. 
Inside, it's even more breathtaking, with the dome hovering 96 feet above the rotunda floor. On display are stained glass windows, frescoes, intricate statues, and an expanse of marble cultivated from European countries, including Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, and the U.S. states of Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, and Vermont.

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park's architectural heritage isn't bound solely to the buildings along its city streets. To be sure, Lincoln Park, the actual 1,208-acre greenspace, features several of the community's more interesting architectural accomplishments. 
The Lincoln Park Conservatory is a unique structure built in the timeframe between 1890 and 1895, consisting of a glass and iron skeleton that takes the shape of an ogee arch.
The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool is an ideal illustration of the midwestern-based Prairie School architectural style. The pool is but one of several eye-catching landscapes within the park.

The Lincoln Park Zoo

Also part of the Lincoln Park grounds, The Lincoln Park Zoo carries the distinction as one of the few remaining free zoos in Illinois. Along with the animals, which undoubtedly serve as the central attractions, many of the zoo's buildings possess architectural significance. 
These include the circa-1912 Lion House, which features a vaulted Guastavino-tile ceiling. The 1908 Cafe Brauer (also called the South Pond Refectory), and its ceramic-tile murals, was designed by Dwight Perkins, a disciple of the Prairie School architectural style.
The Nature Boardwalk and open-air wood and fiberglass Education Pavilion sit at the southern end of the zoo. Together they form a natural area that is equal parts nature preserve, recreational space, and outdoor classroom. 
Ready to discover your own architectural gem in Lincoln Park, Old Town, or another vaunted North Side neighborhood? Contact The Grid Group today and allow our team to be your guide to the best of Chicago's most sought after neighborhoods.

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