With its tranquil, suburban feel it can be hard to believe that Sauganash is part of the Windy City.
In Chicago’s northwest corner, Sauganash offers a quiet retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. The pristine neighborhood is ringed by nature preserves, manicured public parks, with streets tracing the winding Chicago River. Great restaurants, locally-owned shops, and some of the city’s best schools (both private and public) round out the area.
Sauganash Neighborhood Guide
Sauganash is a community-oriented Chicago neighborhood with lovely homes, great schools, and a vibrant local business scene.
The neighborhood is the perfect place to settle down without leaving the Chicago city limits. On the city’s northwest border, neighborhood residents enjoy larger lots, historic homes, and easy access to the rest of the city with the Metra North Line and Edens Expressway.
Sauganash’s commercial corridors (Peterson and Devon Avenues) supply residents with an assortment of shopping, dining, and convenient services. Just across the border in Niles, the Village Crossing Mall offers familiar big box stores (Walmart, Best Buy, ect.), chain restaurants, and an AMC Movie Theater. The area offers plenty of grocery options, including a Jewel, Aldi, Costco, and Whole Foods Market.
Food And Drink
Sauganash may be on Chicago’s northern border, but it’s smack dab in the middle of a great, unpretentious dining scene. Local favorites include Mother Cluckers Kitchen, for great BBQ, and Colletti’s, for great family Italian and pizza. A great Chicago Dive is Edens Fast Food Restaurant, with great fries and a classic marinated chicken sandwich. Stefani Prime is the area’s fine-dining spot, featuring great steaks, seafood, and Italian fare.
Park and Recreation
Sauganash is surrounded by a ring of parks and nature preserves and has more than its fair share of recreation. Residents can walk to Sauganash Park, a great local park. The park offers a gymnasium and an auditorium inside. Outside, residents enjoy softball fields, tennis courts, and a great playground for kids. The park is used for youth sports, including basketball, t-ball, and indoor and outdoor soccer.
The area’s forest preserves offer another dimension for recreation. Nature doesn’t need to be a race occurrence, dozens of bike and hiking trails cross the area. In the summer, the community gathers in the preserve for picnics, softball games, and other events. Sauganash’s great community comes together for some great community celebrations all year round, including the iconic Fourth of July Parade and Picnic.
Early History (1815-1900)
This lovely stretch of land was the hunting grounds and summer retreat for Potowatomie Indians for centuries. In 1816, the land was given to Billy Caldwell (known as Sauganash in his native tongue, meaning Englishman). He received the land in exchange for negotiating the Treaty of Prarie du Chien between native tribes and the United States Government. When he moved to Iowa, he sold the area in parcels to settlers and farmers who began to settle in the area. Honoring its roots, many of the street names in the neighborhood bear Native American names.
The City of Chicago grew significantly in both population and in size in the late 19th century. The Sauganash neighborhood was swept up into the city in these years, annexed by Chicago in 1889. Development, from farms to a residential neighborhood, began around the turn of the century. This process was led by Captain Charles Hazelton, who came to own much of the land in the area.
Development was slow until the area was connected to downtown by a train line in the 1920s. With the train line in place, development began in earnest. From 1920-1924, the first 100 homes, which established the architectural look of the area, were built.
Modern Sauganash (1950 – Present)
By the 1950s, Forest Glen began to resemble its modern community. The settling place of many elite city employees (who were required to live within city limits), the area had an aura of political influence and became lined with fine homes. Developers Koester and Zander designed the community to be a quiet retreat from busy city life. Care was taken to supply the community with a unique look, great public spaces, and a variety of homes styles that somehow work wonderfully together. Today, while a few industrial areas have popped up, the area remains a proudly residential area.
Sauganash offers buyers and renters some of the loveliest homes in Chicagoland. The area is known for its mansions, unusually large lot sizes for Chicago, and manicured streetscapes and parks. Many of Sauganash’s single-family houses were built in the 1920s in styles ranging from Tudors and Tudor Revivals to Cape Cods, Georgians, and Chicago bungalows.
While many of Sauganash’s homes were built by the same developers, they were careful to make each home unique. While the area has a somewhat suburban feel – there are no cookie-cutter homes in the neighborhood. The area also has a limited supply of townhomes and condos, mostly along Peterson Ave. The area has a unique street layout (not on Chicago’s grid) and the streets are lined with lovely old trees. The area is more expensive than most Chicago neighborhoods, with the average 3 bedroom single-family residence in the $500,000 range. One can find smaller homes and condos for around $300,000. Larger homes for around 900,000 and luxury homes can be found for over a million dollars.
Sauganash residents love their stable, affluent, and close-knit corner of Chicago. Come check it out!