Crafting Your Experience

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Neighborhood Trail: Wicker Park's Beer Baron Row

In 1870, when businessmen brothers Joel and Charles Wicker subdivided 80 acres that would become the heart of Wicker Park, they couldn’t have anticipated the development boom to follow just a year later, when the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 leveled much of downtown and sent residents fleeing to rebuild elsewhere. By 1900, Wicker Park was a fully formed neighborhood with large German, Scandinavian, and Polish immigrant communities and a unique mix of mansions and humble worker's cottages. This walk zeros in on two landmarked streets dubbed “Beer Baron Row”—Hoyne and Pierce Avenues—featuring several of Wicker Park’s oldest surviving mansions. The trail is compact, but don’t limit your gaze; these blocks are bursting with architectural exuberance.

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