Exploring Chicago's Lakeview District

CHICAGO - Exploring Chicago's Lakeview district is a great way to experience the city's gay community while gaining insight into its history and cultural diversity.  You can explore Lake Michigan, historic landmarks, art galleries, and restaurants. For more information, check out our guide.

Exploring Chicago's Lakeview District
Photo: Art Institute of Chicago


Lake Michigan

Located on Lake Michigan in Illinois, Chicago is the largest U.S. city. It is known for its bold architecture and skyline punctuated by skyscrapers such as the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower and the 1,451-foot Willis Tower. It is also an excellent destination for art lovers with numerous museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, which houses Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art.

The Chicago Region comprises twenty-four counties in four states and is centered around the southern tip of Lake Michigan. The region is linked by watersheds and shares many unique physiographic and floristic features. It is a key part of the Great Lakes ecoregion and is home to the Chicago Wilderness consortium.

Historic landmarks

If you're interested in historic landmarks and Chicago history, consider the Lakeview district. This North Side neighborhood spans two to eight miles, from Diversey Parkway in the south to Irving Park Road north and Lake Michigan to Ravenswood Avenue in the west. It was initially a suburb outside the city limits, but in 1889 was annexed by Chicago. Today, the neighborhood is largely residential, with many multi-family buildings.

Many of the buildings in this Chicago district are well-known for their historic significance. The Hawthorne Place Historic District is a prime example, featuring homes built in the late 1800s. These homes were designed by various architects, including the McConnell brothers, Burnham & Root, and Pond & Pond. In 1996, the neighborhood was listed as a Chicago Landmark, which means the district has a significant historical value.

Art galleries

The Lakeview district has a variety of art galleries to see. At Zolla / Lieberman Gallery, you can check out works by local and international artists. The gallery features rotating exhibits and has a variety of prices. There is even a monthly open house at the gallery.

The Richard Gray Gallery focuses on contemporary and modern art. The gallery has showcased numerous internationally recognized artists, such as Jim Dine, Jean Dubuffet, Alex Katz, and Joan Miro. The Richard Gray Gallery has also featured the work of renowned contemporary artists, including Carrie Mae Weems and Kehinde Wiley. It has been in business in Chicago since 1963 and is committed to developing excellent collections.

The Lakeview Low-Line is home to two new art installations. The public art corridor runs from Southport Avenue to Lincoln Avenue. The two installations will feature works by Nancy Pochis Bank, a Chicago-based artist, and multidisciplinary artist Daniel Wilson from Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Lakeview is a massive neighborhood known for its many delicious restaurants and bars. It is home to many celebrated pubs and clubs, exciting street festivals, and live music.  The area also has several great shopping spots, including Krista K Boutique and Unabridged Bookstore. Other great places include Crisp - a popular fried chicken restaurant - and box grill, which serves Korean fusion food. Other places to drink include Burn Brewing Company, Pastoral, and Schubas. In addition to these restaurants, there are a variety of live music venues that showcase jazz and indie music.

The Lakeview neighborhood is located on the north side of Chicago and is the most populous neighborhood in the city. It's surrounded by the Lake Michigan waterfront, Diversey Pkwy to the south, Irving Park Rd to the north, and N. Lakeshore Drive to the east. There are also several parks and beaches in the area.

Theater District

Chicago's Theater District is home to world-class productions and premiere events.  The Steppenwolf Theatre is one of Chicago's oldest and largest non-profit theaters, while the Goodman Theater is one of the city's most famous theaters. The city also has a thriving storefront theater scene. Some of the funniest comedians in history started their careers at Chicago's Second City Theater. The Lakeview Theatre is another Chicago hot spot, offering provocative performances.

Lakeview is also known for hosting the Chicago Pride Parade, which takes place on the last Sunday in June. During the recent Gay Games VII, the neighborhood hosted the closing ceremonies featuring Cyndi Lauper. This cultural district also has off-Loop theaters, specialty shops, historic architecture, and trendy fashion outlets.