Chicago Neighborhood News – Lincoln Square: Chicago’s Original German Community

Wilkommen! (welcome)

The North Side community of Lincoln Square is home to more than 40,000 Chicagoans and includes the communities of Bowmanville, Budlong, Ravenswood, and Ravenswood Gardens.  

As Choose Chicago notes, “It’s a little bit of Germany in the midst of the big city, so you can schnitzel and Berliner your heart out.”

The area, bordered by what is now Lincoln Avenue, Bryn Mawr, Montrose, Ravenswood, and the North Branch of the Chicago River, was founded by German immigrants in the 1840s as a farming community. According to Wikipedia sources, two brothers, Lyman and Joseph Budlong, arrived in 1857 to start a commercial pickling operation near what is today Lincoln Avenue and Berwyn. In 1925, to honor Abraham Lincoln, the Chicago City Council named the area Lincoln Square, and a prominent statue of the namesake was erected in 1956. In 1959, the German-American Dank Haus opened at 4740 N. Lincoln Avenue to preserve and promote German culture, heritage, and language. The center has a museum, art gallery, library, and language school, and organizing educational and social programming focusing on and emphasizing the history, traditions, and contributions of Germans and German Americans. Annually, the Lincoln Square-Ravenswood Chamber of Commercecelebrates the cobblestoned streets of its main business district through fairs, Farmers Markets, music festivals and other events. 

Bauernmarkt (Tuesday morning/ Thursday evening Farmers Market)

Every Tuesday, from 7am to 1pm, and Thursdays from May to late October, from 3pm-7pm, over 40 vendors gather at the Lincoln Square Farmers Marketat Lincoln and Leland Avenues, adjacent to the CTA Brown Line Station. The market connects local farmers, artisans, and food purveyors to the Northside of Chicago. The Thursday evening markets run May through the end of October.

Get ready for…Apfelfest! (Apple Fest!)

Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce’s 35th Annual Apple Festwill run  Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd from 9am – 6pm, on Lincoln Avenue between Lawrence and Wilson, selling everything from candy apples to scarves and hats!! Watch our Weekend Events blog for details, but for now, click here

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago