Primarily residential, Portage Park is a family-oriented area on the northwest side of Chicago. The neighborhood is bordered evenly at the north and south with Lawrence and Belmont Avenues respectively. The east and west borders shift, jogging from Narragansett and Austin Avenues as the west marks. The east break is more clearly defined, following Kenton Avenue north/south and the Milwaukee Ave railroad tracks. The name Portage Park was taken from the conduit linking Des Plaines and the Chicago River along what is today Irving Park Road.
Public amenities, service, civic organizations
Portage Park itself, at Irving Park Road and Central, is the neighborhood centerpiece. At over 36 acres, this park provides recreation opportunities from its Olympic-sized pool to two field houses, tennis, ball fields and numerous organized activities for all ages.
The area's building stock is composed primarily of bungalows and two-flats. Prices range from the mid $70s to the upper $500s with a median price in the low $200s. Some new condo conversions have gone up at Six Corners in recent years. Very reasonable rentals are available in Portage Park.
Portage Park is accessible via mass transit through the CTA's Blue Line. The Montrose station is located on Portage Park's northeastern edge next to the Kennedy Expressway. Metra's Milwaukee District North Line Mayfair stop is just to the west of the CTA station. For drivers, Belmont, Montrose, Cicero and Milwaukee Avenues make Portage Park convenient for commuting downtown or out to the suburbs. I-90/94 is quickly accessible from Cicero or Lawrence Avenues.
Shopping. dining & nightlife
The main business district in Portage Park is Six Corners at the intersection of Irving, Cicero and Milwaukee Avenues. As a shopping center destination, Six Corners dates back to the 1840s. Today it is anchored by Sears, Marshall’s, Jewel and clusters of smaller shops on the adjacent avenues. Some specialty shops like Fantasy Costumes draw people from all over the metro Chicago area.
For film buffs, the Portage Theater has been magnificently renovated and is now home to a full-fledged performing arts center showing a wide variety of arthouse and silent films.
As a highly concentrated residential enclave, Portage Park is served by numerous local Chicago Public schools. These include Portage Park Elementary, Prussing Elementary and Gray Elementary. Private schools in the area include St. John Lutheran and Our Lady of Victory and St Patrick High School.