Introduction to Evanston, Illinois
Evanston is situated near Lake Michigan and located in Cook County. Evanston is recognized as a suburb of Chicago and was established in 1836.
Before Evanston was settled by Europeans, the area was inhabited by the Potawatomis. They were relocated to Iowa in the 1830s. The Evanston area was created from the Grosse Point Territory during the 1830s. In the 1840s the region was inhabited primarily by farmers. In 1850 it was renamed "Ridgeville." Evanston was selected as the location for Northwestern University and was incorporated in 1863. It was named Evanston as a tribute to the founder of Northwestern University, John Evans.
Evanston had a thriving economy and a significant population increase shortly after the end of the Civil War. It has been estimated that the population quadrupled between 1860 and 1870. During this era, alcohol was not allowed to be sold within four miles of Northwestern University. The city became recognized for attractive architecture and beautiful houses along Lake Michigan. Evanston experienced a huge growth in the number of apartments in the area in the early stages of the twentieth century due to the availability of rapid transit which was provided by the "Chicago Loop." The population grew by an estimated 70 percent between 1920 and 1930.
The city is served by the CTA's Purple Line which belongs to the Chicago El system. Metros's Union Pacific North Line has stations in Evanston. The city of Evanston is served by O'Hare International Airport and by the Chicago Midway International Airport.
The prestigious Northwestern University has a campus in Evanston. The campus offers undergraduate programs and is the location of the business school. The campus is home to the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion as well as the Technological Institute.
The lakefront area and the beaches are popular with residents and tourists. The beach areas include Lighthouse Beach, Demspter/Greenwood St. Beach, South Boulevard Beach, Clark Street Beach, and Lee Street Beach. Boating opportunities are available. Other attractions in the Evanston area include:
- Evanston History Center
- Frances Willard House
- Grosse Point Lighthouse and Maritime Museum
- Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art
The city of Evanston is host to the annual Evanston Lakeshore Arts Festival. The festival features classical and jazz music and family entertainment. Other events in Evanston include:
- Custer Street Fair
- Fountain Square Arts Festival
- Starlight Concerts
- Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival