Armour Square in Chicago
Located on the south side of Chicago, approximately three miles from the Loop, you’ll find the lively and culturally diverse neighborhood of Armour Square. This area is a delightful blend of tourist attraction, residential hub, and authentic cultural experience, offering a unique charm that’s hard to resist.
History of Armour Square
The roots of Armour Square go back to the Civil War era when it was predominantly a working-class neighborhood. German, Irish, and Swedish immigrants formed the core of the community, as the area was outside the city’s central region, where expensive brick and stone were mandated for house construction.
The Great Chicago Fire and Its Impact
The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 led to a shift in the city’s construction norms. Brick and stone became a requirement for building homes, leading individuals unable to afford these materials to relocate to Armour Square.
Influx of Chinese Immigrants
As the 20th century dawned, Chicago’s Chinese community faced significant discrimination, prompting many to move to Armour Square from the city’s downtown area. The neighborhood’s diversity further expanded during World War I when the Black community began moving in.
After the construction of Wentworth Gardens by the Chicago Housing Authority, an increase in population was observed. However, the subsequent construction of the Dan Ryan and Stevenson expressways along the eastern border of the neighborhood led to a decrease in the population due to the demolition of homes.
Over the recent decades, Chinese investment has played a significant role in the development of Armour Square, leading to the establishment of Chinatown Square, apartment buildings, restaurants, and local shops. The neighborhood’s proximity to Guaranteed Rate Field and McCormick Place also contributes to its vibrant energy and continued development.
Recent Growth and Development
In recent times, Armour Square has seen a significant upsurge in home sales. The year 2021 saw a remarkable 93.8% growth compared to 2020, one of the highest in the city. This has led to a surge in residential and commercial developments to cater to the increasing demand.
Attractions in Armour Square
Armour Square boasts of two main attractions that draw tourists and residents alike: Guaranteed Rate Field and Chinatown.
Guaranteed Rate Field
Home to the Chicago White Sox since 1900, Guaranteed Rate Field is a state-of-the-art sports field, making it a popular attraction in the neighborhood. The White Sox, having played in the neighborhood longer than any other sports team, have a special place in the hearts of the locals.
Armour Square Park
Just across the street from Guaranteed Rate Field, you’ll find Armour Square Park. This nearly century-old park offers green space for residents with baseball fields, swimming pools, playgrounds, tennis courts, and more.
With traditional Chinese architecture, shrines, gardens, zodiac statues, grocery stores, teahouses, and over 30 restaurants, Chinatown is a hub of Chinese culture. It’s home to one-third of Chicago’s Chinese population and boasts landmarks such as the Chinese American Museum of Chicago, Ping Tom Memorial Park, and Pui Tak Center.
Food, Drinks, and More
Armour Square is not just about Chinese and Asian food. The neighborhood offers Italian cuisine at places like Franco’s Ristorante, drinks and bar food at Turtle’s Bar & Grill, traditional Chicago eats at Ferro’s, and hot dogs at 35th Street Red Hots.
The neighborhood is exceptionally accessible via public transportation, with both the Red and Orange Lines providing direct access downtown. The Metra Rock Island line also stops at the 35th Street station. For those looking to visit the suburbs, the Dan Ryan Expressway and Kennedy expressways make it easy to get around.
The neighborhood offers a wide variety of properties, from single-family homes to townhomes, with condo buildings becoming increasingly prevalent.
Despite the inventory strain experienced citywide, Armour Square saw a 60.0% increase in new listings for all properties as of March 2022. The median sales price of attached homes stood at $319,000, slightly lower than the citywide median.
Armour Square is more than just a neighborhood; it’s a vibrant community with a rich history and a promising future. Whether you’re a tourist exploring Chicago or a local seeking a new home, this great Chicago Neighborhood offers a unique blend of history, culture, and urban living.