Beverly offers much more to appreciate than its unique hills.
With wide, leafy streets, ample green space, and historic homes, Beverly’s laid-back suburban feel sets the community apart from much of Chicago’s South Side. Residents love their neighborhood’s longstanding businesses, beautiful parks, and historic charm. The cherry on top? The commute to the Loop is made easy by three Metra Rock Island stations in the community.
Beverly Neighborhood Guide
Some things never change in Beverly: the neighborhood is known for its classic neighborhood institutions, some serving the community for 50 years or more. A quick look around and one will find old school ice cream parlors (Original Rainbow Cone), burger restaurants (Top Notch), and many Irish pubs.
The food scene also sports some 21st-century innovation with spots like Horse Thief Hollow, a delicious craft brewery with delicious southern-inspired dishes. Their Bière de Voleurs took second at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival. Other great restaurants include and Open Outcry Brewing, a great pub/pizzeria with a particular delicious IPA, and Koda, for seasonal fine dining (the menu changes every two weeks).
Beverly’s charming shopping district along 103rd Street features both local boutiques and national chains. Some local shops include Bookie’s, a neighborhood bookstore, Capsule, a minimalist boutique offering handmade clothes and jewelry, and Roots Consignment Company, offering everything from funky furniture to designer brands. On Beverly’s western border, the Evergreen Shopping Center has the national retailers, big-box spots, and grocery stores that we all need.
Culture and Entertainment
While Beverly may be a quiet, family-friendly area, it does not lack in culture. Open since 1967, The Beverly Arts Center has been the community’s artistic epicenter. The center hosts an array of events, including stage performances, art exhibitions, concerts, and film screenings. For blossoming artists, it offers a wide variety of classes, including visual and performing arts, ceramics, dance, and film offerings, as well as summer camp programming for kids and teens.
The center is also host to the Irish Film Festival, where one can see foreign films in English! Lovers of visual arts can get there fill in the community as well, with both The Heritage Gallery and The John H. Vanderpoel Art Collection in the area. Both collections are substantial and host works by well-known artists.
Beverly features some of the best recreation amenities in Chicago, including leafy parks and playgrounds, a huge forest preserve, and hills perfect for biking or rollerblading. The Dan Ryan Woods, on Beverly’s northern border, is a particular gem, offering 257 acres of pristine forest, rare for Chicago. The main attraction may be the best sledding hills in the city, but the park is great all year round with lovely trails and open fields perfect for sports, picnics, and barbeques.
Ridge Park is a lovely park featuring a fieldhouse with a gymnasium, auditorium, indoor swimming pool, fitness center. Outside, the park offers three baseball fields, a playground, tennis courts, and walking paths. At youth sports games and community events (like the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot), the strength of the Beverly community is apparent.
Settlement and Early Years
Save for a few small homes, Beverly was mostly unsettled before the Rock Island Railroad was built in 1889. Real estate developers began buying up land, sensing the possibility of transforming the area into an exclusive commuter suburb. A clear-as-day sign that one developer believed in Beverly: he built a castle here! Beverly’s most famous structure, the Irish-style castle at 103rd and Longwood Drive was constructed by developer Robert Givens in 1886. Today, the structure houses a Unitarian Church.
Becoming a Modern Neighborhood
Around the turn of the century, the area was settled by many Irish immigrants, who brought their traditions to the area. To them, and the other groups that now call the neighborhood home, Beverly symbolized safety, social mobility, and stability. In these years, many new projects were undertaken including an impressive fieldhouse (1912) and a commercial stretch along 103rd street. The last sections of open prairie in the community were developed in the 1950s. The first South Side Irish Parade, one of the largest annual Saint Patrick’s Day community celebrations outside of Dublin, began in 1979.
Today, Beverly is one of Chicago’s most stable residential areas. Now a diverse community, Beverly’s Irish heritage remains alive with its numerous Irish pubs and the annual South Side Irish Parade. The community recently built a new library, hosting a large Irish heritage collection and featuring newly commissioned artwork. Notable Beverly residents have included actors Craig Robinson (The Office), George Wendt (Cheers), and The Matrix directors Lana and Lilly Wachowski.
Housing in Beverly mainly consists of single-family homes, ranging from classic brink bungalows to larger multi-story homes, on the east side. Near the Metra trains, a few apartment and condominium complexes are also available. Mansions in the area can be found along Longwood Drive, in a variety of styles including Tudor, Italianate, and Queen Anne.
The community also has some standout residences designed by classic architects including George W. Maher and Frank Lloyd Wright. With easy public transportation to the Loop, a strong tight-knit community, and lovely houses on tree-lined streets, Beverly offers its residents a charming retreat within Chicago’s South Side.