Residents of Buena Park have the best of both worlds, enjoying the large retail stores and nightlife of neighboring Uptown, while the quiet streets of the neighborhood belie its urban setting.
A sub-neighborhood of Uptown, Buena Park is a small residential enclave located on the lakefront between Montrose Avenue and Irving Park Road. The tree-lined streets of Buena Park are filled with elegant prairie-style mansions, vintage courtyard condo conversions, and some larger high-rises near the lake.
Public Amenities, Services, Civic Organizations
Buena Parkers enjoy some of the best lakefront access of any Chicago neighborhood, which can be accessed by crossing Lake Shore Drive at Irving Park Road, Buena Road and Montrose Avenue.
On the other side of Lake Shore Drive, residents can play nine holes at the Sydney R. Marovitz golf course ($22 on weekdays; $25 on weekends). For boating enthusiasts, Montrose Harbor, one of the city’s biggest harbors for recreational boats, is located just a short walk away. The lakeshore also features a vast park that stretches south all the way to North Avenue, and a running / bike trail that can be taken as far north as Evanston and as far south as South Shore.
The Buena Park Neighbors neighborhood association plays an active role in the neighborhood, hosting outdoor concerts and organizing activities such as the annual volunteer cleanup.
Housing options in Buena Park run the gamut, from $100,000 studios to $3-million mansions with large backyards. While the majority of the vintage condominiums in Buena Park are valued between $150,000 and $300,000, the high-end buyer will have no trouble finding a larger home selling for more than $500,000.
The majority of the housing stock in Buena Park was built before World War II, but several small and mid-size new-construction condo developments were added to the neighborhood in the recent housing boom. A typical new-construction two-bedroom condo in Buena Park is priced from $250,000 to $400,000.
Buena Park residents have direct access to Lake Shore Drive, a six-lane north-south expressway, at Montrose Avenue and Irving Park Road. Travel time to downtown Chicago is typically about 15 minutes from Buena Park.
The CTA Red Line stops at Sheridan Road, just south of Irving Park Road. The station is a short walk from most points in Buena Park, and it generally takes about 20 minutes to reach downtown Chicago. Express busses also take commuters to and from the Loop.
Shopping, Dining and Nightlife
Like most small neighborhoods, Buena Park residents do most of their shopping outside the boundaries of their ‘hood. However, Buena Park enjoys the convenience of having a full-service grocery store in Jewel-Osco at the southeast corner of Montrose Avenue, Sheridan Road and Broadway, a World Gym just a few doors down the street, and several small dry cleaners and coffee shops dispersed throughout the neighborhood.
Just to the north of Buena Park, Uptown is home to several popular restaurants, including the popular Indian restaurant Marigold, the stylish and contemporary Café Too, and the neuvo Mexican restaurant La Ciudad. The Green Mill, an Uptown institution, is one of Chicago’s best venues for live jazz.
To the south, Buena Park residents enjoy vibrant nightlife and plenty of shopping options in Wrigleyville and Lakeview.
Public and private schools for children of all ages are conveniently located within walking distance of Buena Park. Lake View High School is located just on the west side of Graceland Cemetary. For younger children, parents can choose from Brennemann Elementary, a magnet school located in Buena Park; St Mary of the Lake, a private Catholic grade school; and Park View Montessori. The French-American private K-12 school Lycée Français de Chicago is also located in Buena Park.