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This is Where Chicagoans Say The Borders of Their Neighborhoods Are

By Tanveer Ali | September 28, 2015 6:13am

CHICAGO — Chicagoans have long argued about where one neighborhood starts and another begins.

A few weeks ago, DNAinfo launched an app allowing readers to have a voice and show where they think their neighborhood borders are.

After getting thousands of drawings from DNAinfo readers, we wanted to show where there was broad agreement (and disagreement) about where each begins and ends. Here are the results:

We'll continue to accept drawings for the foreseeable future, but here's some of what we gathered from DNAinfo readers when it comes to neighborhood geography:

The Loop

Based on readers' maps, there's a strong sense of where The Loop is: the area between the Chicago River, Congress Parkway and Michigan Avenue.

An interesting thing about this map: There's some conflict over whether Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park and the residential area known as New Eastside is part of the neighborhood.

Tanveer Ali says the city doesn't recognize official 'hood borders:

Still, there is way more consensus over The Loop compared with the neighborhoods to its south and west.

West Loopers definitely agree that an area bounded by the expressways, Ogden, Lake and Ashland are definitely part of their neighborhood.

But oddly, readers were far less likely to include the area directly west of the actual Loop as the neighborhood known as the West Loop.

And well about South Loop. Nobody seems to agree what that is.

Wrigleyville vs. Boystown

On first glance, both Boystown and Wrigleyville residents make clear where they think their neighborhoods are.

The core of Wrigleyville — appropriately around Wrigley Field — is between Grace, Racine, Sheffield and Newport, readers say.

Boystown's core is Halsted, Addison, Broadway and Belmont.

But look at both maps and you'll see how people in both neighborhoods are staking claim to the other's territory. A large number of readers think Boystown goes right up to Wrigley Field and several Wrigleyville residents think their neighborhood goes right up to Halsted.

Humboldt Park

When it comes to neighborhood borders, Humboldt Park is a weird neighborhood.

Officially, the Humboldt Park "community area" doesn't actually include the huge park that shares its name. It also extends west of Kostner Avenue.

DNAinfo readers clearly take issue with this, centering the neighborhood around the park. Only a handful of readers suggested that the neighborhood went west of Central Park Avenue.

Ravenswood and Andersonville

For two neighborhoods that don't officially exist, according to the city, Ravenswood and Andersonville have somewhat clear borders, according to readers.

While there is some overlap with Lincoln Square and North Center, Ravenswood is bounded by Damen, Ashland, Foster and Irving Park, according to readers.

Tinier Andersonville definitely includes the area bordered by Ashland, Bryn Mawr, Glenwood and Foster.

We Still Have a Few Questions

You can still draw your neighborhood if you haven't done so. We're especially interested getting some clearer understanding of where some neighborhoods are like Bronzeville, an unofficial but history-filled part of the South Side.

But no matter what neighborhood you are from we still want you to draw it. Tell your neighbors, too.

For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: