DePaul is a wealthy sub-neighborhood located within Lincoln Park on Chicago’s North Side. The neighborhood takes its name from DePaul University’s 36-acre campus, which is located within the neighborhood. However, many know the small neighborhood alternatively as “Sheffield,” named after one of the major north-south thoroughfares that runs through the ‘hood.
Because it was untouched by the Chicago Fire of 1871, displaced Chicagoans flocked to DePaul in the aftermath of the fire, and much of the architecture reflects that period. Many of the residences are Italianate brick walkups or Queen Ann-style homes from around the turn of the century. Today, much of the DePaul is a designated National Historic District, and despite its small size, the neighborhood boasts four Chicago landmark districts.
DePaul’s streets are highly walkable, and they’re typically filled with a mix of undergraduates, dog walkers and mothers with strollers.
Public Amenities, Services, Civic Organizations
DePaul doesn’t boast as many public services as some Chicago neighborhoods because of its small size, but residents can easily take advantage of the amenities of neighboring Lincoln Park. The Lincoln Park Library, for example, located at 1150 W Fullerton Ave, is located just across the street from DePaul’s northern boundary, and the Lincoln Park Zoo and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum are a short ride on the Fullerton bus from DePaul. Oz Park, located just to the east of DePaul, is a great place to walk the dog, hit some tennis balls, or just go for a stroll.
The Sheffield Neighborhood Association sponsors neighborhood programs, like planting trees and organizing garden walks within DePaul.
Although DePaul is rich with historic architecture, some new homes have also been built in the neighborhood in recent years. New or old, DePaul real estate prices are in the upper bracket. Two- and three-bedroom condos in DePaul are typically priced from about $400,000 to more than $800,000. Single-family homes tend to start around $1 million, and they can often fetch more than $5 million.
Because DePaul real estate is valued so high, most university students live elsewhere and commute to class. Less than 3,000 of the school’s 25,000 students live in the neighborhood.
Transportation options abound for residents of DePaul. The neighborhood is roughly equidistant from the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94 / 90) and Lake Shore drive (about one mile in each direction).
The area is also served by the CTA Red Line and Brown Line, which both run on an elevated track that bisects the neighborhood just to the east of North Sheffield Avenue. Both lines stop at the Fullerton station, and the Brown Line also stops at Armitage. Reliable busses also run along Halsted Street and Fullerton, Armitage and Lincoln avenues.
Shopping, Dining and Nightlife
Although it isn’t a college town in the traditional sense, the streets of DePaul are alive with bars, cafes and affordable restaurants that reflect the student body. Coeds flock to Irish pubs like Kelly’s Pub and McGee’s and sip coffee at Red Rooster Café, or tea at Argo Tea.
The crown jewel of the neighborhood is Charlie Trotter’s, a restaurant that, since it opened in 1987, helped to put Chicago’s food scene on the map and is generally considered to be among the top restaurants in the US.
For entertainment, Facets Cinematheque is one of only a handful of Chicago movie theaters that screens indie films, and the adjacent rental store has a collection of some of the more obscure films that can be found anywhere.
The presence of DePaul University, the largest Catholic university in the country, creates an atmosphere of learning in the neighborhood, and many excellent public and private schools are available for younger students. Lincoln Park High School, a magnet school, is one of the top public schools in Illinois, serving the greater Lincoln Park community. Mayer Elementary School and St. James Lutheran School are also located within DePaul’s boundaries.