Boutiques and bike shops: check. Wildly popular yet affordable restaurants: check. Milwaukee Avenue and the Blue Line: check. Dive bars and fancy beer: check. Vintage, charming, and wildly appreciating housing stock: check, check, check. Logan Square’s rep as the next Wicker Park isn’t unfounded–but while the similarities to WP in the 90s are clear, Logan Square is a neighborhood with an idiosyncratic past, present, and probable future all its own.

In this issue Harold Henderson looks at Logan Square’s growth from a farm to a bustling immigrant haven, its mid-20th-century decline and its fin de siecle rebound. Ben Joravsky untangles the legacy of the area’s powerful former alderman Dick Mell. Lynn Becker guides an architecture tour, and David Hammond susses out many of those tiny taquerias (not to mention birrierias) you’ve wondered about. Our special neighborhood listings cover other restaurants and bars, as well as shopping, recreation, social services, and more.

Logan Square may lie in gentrification’s inexorable path, but so far–thanks to active community involvement and some thoughtful planning–it’s hung on to its character. With creative reuse projects like the Bloomingdale Trail and the sustainable Green Exchange development, it could be crafting a bright future. Let us know what you think–what we missed, where you’d like to see us go next–at

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration by Donovan Foote.