Long before Chicago’s city limits crawled north several miles from the city’s center, Swedish and Luxembourger farmers settled in the area of Lakeview Township that became known as Andersonville. More Swedish immigrants followed when, after the 1871 Chicago fire, wooden houses were banned in the city. Unable to afford brick or stone, the immigrants settled along Clark Street north of Foster. Andersonville was in the area that became the suburb of Edgewater, which was annexed into the City of Chicago in 1889. By 1900 Chicago became home to one in ten Swedish-Americans, making the city home to more Swedes than any other city in the world besides Stockholm, and Swedish businesses dominated the commercial strip along Clark Street.
Today Andersonville is diverse, with a mix of Asian, European, Middle Eastern and Latin American restaurants and other businesses, but its Swedish roots are still prominent. You can enjoy authentic Swedish food from a restaurant, bakery or deli and spend an hour or two in the Swedish American Museum. Then visit antique shops, galleries, and a host of other shops and boutiques. Step over a block to Ashland Avenue and stop into the Edgewater Historical Society Museum for a glimpse at the history of the entire Edgewater area, including the former swanky Edgewater Beach Hotel, a lake resort frequented by the wealthy in the early- to mid-1900s. Andersonville was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.
Andersonville is host to several special events throughout the year, including the St. Lucia Festival of Lights in December and Midsommarfest in June, one of Chicago’s oldest street festivals.
Andersonville is bounded by Bryn Mawr (5600 North) on the north, Winnemac (5000 North) on the south, Broadway (1200 West) on the east, and Ravenswood (1800 West) on the west.
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