Albany Park


Albany Park, with "one of highest percentages of foreign-born residents" in the city, is considered to be Chicago's most diverse community area. The area, which contains a "vast panorama of ethnic shops and eateries," ranging from Mexican to Thai, Korean to Middle Eastern, and countless others, wasn't always this diverse. Albany Park "grew from a sparsely settled farming community to a dynamic urban neighborhood in the course of one generation," and by the early 1900s, aided by the presence of transportation lines that linked it to the rest of the city, the neighborhood began to see an uptick in commercial development and an increased number of residents moving into the area. "German and Swedish immigrants initially settled the area," and by 1912, the community became home to a large number of Russian Jews that were "leaving the crowded neighborhoods of Chicago's Near West Side."

Remaining predominantly Jewish through the 1950s, the area saw a shift in demographics when, "like the generation before them, many of these Jewish families moved north, this time to suburban Lincolnwood and Skokie." In the 1970s Albany Park became a "port of entry for immigrants from Asia and Latin America," and by the 1990s "the community area claimed the largest numbers of Korean, Filipino, and Guatemalan immigrants in Chicago."