Brighton Park: Parisian novelties, Flemish rooflines and Mexican submarines

Though I’ve lived in Chicago since 1994, this was the first time I’ve visited the Brighton Park neighborhood.

Parisian Novelty Company, 3510 S Western

I was not expecting Parisian Novelty.

This is where we jumped off the bus, 17 miles south of our neighborhood, Rogers Park. The Parisian Novelty Company dates from 1898 and—back in the day—made trendy celluloid cases and buttons.

And then immediately next door, this classic Chicago greystone with that leafy ornament I love so much.

 Schlitz Brewery Tied House, 3456 S Western, 1903

And—wonder of wonders—just across the street is a Schlitz Tied House! (The Schlitz medallion is behind the Western Avenue traffic light pole.)

So, yeah, basically we got to Brighton Park and then stayed on the same block practically forever while gaping at beautiful buildings before we even got around to the rest of the neighborhood.

DuPont-Whitehouse House, 3558 S Artesian, Oscar Cobb and Company, 1875 – 1876

Finally, we tore ourselves from that block of Western Avenue to discover this sensational beauty.

Even after the Parisian Novelty Company, it was certainly a surprise to stumble on an Italianate Mansion (and registered landmark).

Iglesia Cristiana Manantial De Vida, 4300 S California

Of course, we found some churches.

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 2745 W 44th 

Though honestly, as much as I am normally fascinated with churches, the vernacular housing of Brighton Park stole my eye (and my heart).

The variety! The awnings! The rooflines!

This row of brick two flats = exceptionally satisfying. I adore the Flemish rooflines and the roofed entries with their two brick pillars. This is why it is so fun to visit Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Architecture nerds put your hands together!

And finally, a walk through the commercial strip in search of lunch.

The Submarine Pier, 4048 S Archer

A former co-worker of mine lives in Brighton Park and I asked him where he likes to eat. He said he’s a regular at Submarine Pier.

We ate my former colleagues go-to meal: garlic butter fries and Mexican sub. Tasty as they were, we were happy that we split the order. While we’re always ready to indulge in Chicago’s neighborhoods, we try to take it easy when indulging in artery-clogging food.


  1. Tough neighbourhood: head-butting seahorses and artery-choking food! Well beyond the little that I’ve seen of Chicago. Do I start making bucket lists of neighbourhoods in a city?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, though I also need to make a Chicago neighborhood bucket list—we have 77 of them and there are still some I haven’t visited.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Though Bradbury’s Waukegan is elsewhere in Illinois this is a little how I imagine his Greentown would appear: idiosyncratic buildings, individualistic architecture and irresistible flights of fancy. And I loved that quirky greystone façade and it’s surface details.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a lovely way to think about it. Dandelion Wine was his formative book for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve read some of his Greentown short stories but now have a copy of Dandelion Wine waiting for when the mood to revisit hits me…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Helen Devries · · Reply

    That looks like a great place to live. Though it would take me hours to get anywhere as i would be gawping at the buildings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Full of the most polite young people too. All walking around—outside!—with their masks on.


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