West Town, located in Chicago, in the U.S. state of Illinois, northwest of the Loop, on Chicago’s West Side is one of 77 officially designated Chicago community areas. Much of this area was historically part of the city’s Polish Downtown, and its name may refer to Western Avenue, which was the city’s western boundary at the time of West Town’s settlement, but more likely was a convenient abstraction by the creators of Chicago’s community areas. Then, as now, West Town was a collection of several distinct neighborhoods.
The boundaries of the community area are the Chicago River to the east, the Union Pacific railroad tracks to the south, the former railroad tracks on Bloomingdale Avenue to the North, and an irregular western border to the west that includes the city park called Humboldt Park. Humboldt Park is also the name of the community area to West Town’s west, Logan Square is to the north, Near North Side to the east, and Near West Side to the south.
Currently, as well as historically, the collection of neighborhoods in West Town along with the neighborhoods of Bucktown and the eastern portion of Logan Square have been referred to by media as the Near Northwest Side. However, since the gentrification of West Town, media often refer to the area as solely the Northwest Side, most likely to separate it from the image of criminality in the West Side and downtown for the purposes of real estate gentrification tactics.