Once a diagonal Indian path and early toll road, this vibrant, multi-faceted stretch of Milwaukee Avenue is one of the precious few Chicago neighborhood commercial districts that remains largely intact. It encompasses 50 structures that have earned a CHRS (Chicago Historic Resources Survey) rating, including multiple Orange rated buildings.
With only its residential sections established as a Chicago Landmark District in 1991, the entire northeast edge of the Wicker Park Historic District runs parallel and adjacent to Milwaukee Avenue. Although part of the Milwaukee commercial strip was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, the rest remained unprotected and vulnerable to teardowns, which had already begun, when Preservation Chicago identified the strip as a Chicago 7 in 2007.
Update: The Wicker Park Commercial District (Milwaukee Avenue) became another Preservation Chicago success story when it was landmarked in April of 2009.