Edison Park – A Chicago Neighborhood Profile

edisonparkmapEdison Park is named for inventor Thomas Alva Edison, who gave his blessing to this community namesake in 1890. It has been part of the Chicago real estate scene since 1910.
During the 1950s, builders constructed brick bungalows on remaining empty lots in the neighborhood. The neighborhood had an Italian flavor, with ethnic grocery stores and bakeries in the business center. The construction of the Kennedy and Edens Expressways, the O’Hare rapid transit line, and the Tri-State toll road have diffused the importance of the railroad line to Edison Park residents. Residents in recent years find work, leisure, and shopping opportunities in all directions, both within the city and in surrounding suburban areas.
One tradition in the community since 1972 is the Edison Park Fest, an end-of-summer weekend sponsored by the Edison Park Chamber of Commerce, combining merchant sidewalk sales, entertainment, a parade, Taste of Chicago and arts and crafts. It is an opportunity to introduce visitors to the benefits which the community has to offer.
Public transportation opportunities expanded in 1970 with the opening of the Jefferson Park station, which became a hub for CTA and suburban buses, rapid transit and commuter trains. However, when the Regional Transportation Authority suffered funding problems in the early 1980s, the CTA started to chop out parts of the bus routes it had subdivided, a situation which has continued to erode service in Edison Park. The “Blue Line” rapid transit route down the center of the Kennedy Expressway from Jefferson Park opened in 1984 as far as O’Hare Airport, and may eventually link to new northwest transit initiatives beyond Rosemont and O’Hare.
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