Welcome to Hermosa

Hermosa means “beautiful” in Spanish, a telling name for a Hispanic-majority neighborhood that holds a place in Chicago’s housing architectural history. “Hermosa is one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago, vibrant with rich culture and diversity. It offers great transportation, beautiful residential homes, quality schools and a variety of thriving small businesses. The residents and patrons of this neighborhood are its heartbeat, knowing that Hermosa is truly a hidden gem in the greatest city ever,” Alderman Gilbert Villegas, 36th Ward, said. “Hermosa is growing in popularity, although there are still a lot of people who don’t know about it,” Megan Oswald, The 77’s Hermosa representative from Fulton Grace Realty, said. She stated that many people from Hermosa will say they are from neighboring Lincoln Square, Humboldt Park or Belmont Cragin when referring to the area. “Neighbors take a lot of pride in their neighborhood,” she said. It’s known as a quiet neighborhood that is close, but not too close, to the action.


The neighborhood of Hermosa began when the railroads were gaining steam in Chicago. When the railroad tracks made their way into the area in the 1880s, Scottish, German and Swedish immigrants settled on the land and called it home. One immigrant from this time was Walt Disney’s father, Elias. Walt called Hermosa home for the first four years of his life. The first streetcars came to ArmitageAvenue in 1895. By 1889, the neighborhood was annexed by the city of Chicago. After this, the south side of the neighborhood began to build up, with more streetcars popping up in the area and, by the 1930s, both the housing and population boomed to the numbers of residents we see today. When you walk around the neighborhood now, the houses still look like they did when the land was originally settled.


One of the reasons Hermosa is known for being so family-friendly is because of all its green areas. Kelvyn Park, across from Kelvyn High School, located about a block south of Diversey Avenue and right in between Cicero & Pulaski avenues, is where all the sports action takes place. Its striking two-story brick field house holds a fitness center, gymnasium and auditorium. You can also take a stroll around the park’s walking paths, watch a game at the football fields, basketball courts, volleyball courts or tennis courts and watch the kids run around on the playground. Because of its vicinity to the school, this is also where children’s activities take place, such as after-school programs, summer camps and more. Parents can also opt to send their kids to programming at Hermosa Park, located south of Fullerton Avenue and right in between Cicero & Pulaski avenues, for a smaller venue with similar offerings to its larger counterpart. If gardening is more your style, Ken-Well Park, a block and a half north of Diversey Avenue and midway between Pulaski and Cicero avenues, features all of the courts and fields you would expect, along with an ornamental community garden that features the Harvest Gardens program for kids.


Looking for a bite to eat? Diners, taquerias and taverns can be found along Belmont and Diversey avenues. This area is comprised of many local, family-owned establishments with casual dining and take-out dominating the streets. A local cider brewing establishment, Right Bee Cider, also calls Hermosa home, and has been gaining popularity ever since it opened in 2014. When you take a visit down Tripp Avenue, you will run into the birthplace of Walt Disney. Recently restored to its original glory, this home will soon be turned into a museum called the Walt Disney Birthplace, which will honor the Disney family and incorporate some of the magical aspects you would find if you traveled to their theme parks in Florida or California. This location is sure to inspire the next generation of dreamers when it opens.


While apartment and condo complexes are few and far between, single family homes are abundant in Hermosa, further cementing its family-centric atmosphere. When the residential sections of Hermosa were being built in the 1920s, residential housing was built up on the north, which became part of the Chicago Bungalow Belt. After this, the predominantly working-class community saw more bungalows and cottages rising all over the neighborhood. Now, two story, single-family homes dominate the neighborhood, with a few brick flats mixed in here and there. “What is becoming a draw is the proximity to Logan Square and the affordability factor,” Oswald said. This is seen in the increased sales of single-family homes over only a year’s time. Single family homes sales increased 13% from 2018 to 2019. Hermosa residents also love to take advantage of being close to public transportation. Bus stops are abundant and catching an eastbound bus will quickly get you to the Blue Line’s Damen, Western, Logan Square or Belmont stations. The Metra train also has stops in the neighborhood, with Healy Station, Grayland Station and Grand/Cicero Station all nearby. Those looking for a happy medium between being close to popular food scenes, nightlife and other lively areas, but also wanting a quaint, quiet neighborhood to lay their heads can find it all in Hermosa.