City officials asked Thomas Edison's permission to call it
Edison Park because it was one of the first cities in the United
States to have electricity. The small farming community was annexed
by the city of Chicago in 1910.
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Archives: Our Kind of Town
Western Springs & the
With a downtown anchored on Northwest Highway and
filled with places like Happy Foods grocery, Italian and French
bakeries and outdoor cafes, Edison Park offers Ann and David
Gunkel, with son Stas' in tow, lots to love on the one-block walk
from their home to eat and shop. Then it's home to their bungalow,
the type of house Ann always wanted for herself while growing up in
this Chicago northside neighborhood.
What is it about a bungalow?
We're just really comfortable in a bungalow; it's a
livable size. Our house is 80 years old and we really value that
style and craftsmanship. One of the first residents was an opera
singer who sang with the Lyric in the early 1900s. Another neighbor
remembers seeing the carriage pull up to pick her up and take her
to the Lyric to sing. Now we have a bungalow sunroom and that's our
music room. We're all amateur musicians … so we liked it when we
found out she had lived there.
The neighborhood's not completely bungalow though; it's a
nice diversity of housing styles. Many of our neighbors are in
houses built in the late 1800s when Edison Park wasn't annexed
How would you describe the
It's appealing because it's walkable like a city
neighborhood, but it has a suburban feel with the spacious lots of
trees. We have lots of firemen, police, teachers, streets-and-san
workers; it's a mix of blue collar and white collar. … We also have
the Metra station right behind the Edison Park downtown. We can
take this to the opera and be downtown in 25 minutes.
Tell me something people shouldn't
The Edison Park Turkey Trot Nov. 25. It's a 5K race that
goes through downtown and neighborhoods. We raise money every year
for charity. We all run it.
What about when it comes to eating
Two restaurants: Zia's Trattoria (6699 N. Northwest
Highway, 773-775-0808) and Café Touché (6731 N. Northwest Highway,
773-775-0909). The waitstaff at Zia's for major family events, my
father's funeral dinner, my son's First Communion lunch, were
waitresses we've known and who have known us by name since my son
was in a baby carriage.
At the Italian deli Tony's (6708 N. Northwest Highway,
773-631-0055), the owner has known my son by name since he was a
toddler. He even knows his favorite foods. He knows the families
Liz DeCarlo is the senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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