Loyola University - Lake Shore Campus
loyola university chicago is the nation's largest private, jesuit university. founded in 1870 as st. ignacius college, it now has four campuses, two in chicago, one in maywood (the medical school), and one in rome. the main campus, known as the "lake shore campus," is situated in the edgewater and east rogers park neighborhoods of chicago, along the shore of lake michigan. the lake shore campus functions as the primary undergraduate academic home to 3,000 some-odd students. more than 40 buildings adorn the area, including the joseph j. gentile center (which seats 5,200) and the richard j. klarchek information commons (a 72,000 square-foot environmentally friendly annex to the cudahy library).
the north side of the campus falls into the east rogers park neighborhood. This area was once the weekend destination for chicago's well-to-do, with an abundance of beautiful homes just blocks from the shores of lake michigan. today, it is one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the country, and some say you can hear 80 different languages spoken here. rogers park scores high on value. spacious vintage courtyard apartments, walk-ups, and single-family homes sit on quiet streets, many of which lead straight to beaches. in fact,some apartment buildings along the lake offer renters their own private beach.
as for the overall vibe of east rogers park, imagine a neighborhood soup of vegans, artists, hippies (past, present, and future), legacy residents, intellectuals, lefties, and young professionals. plus, the community theater scene is strong, with companies like bo ho, lifeline, theo ubique, and side studio producing shows independently. evanston, a suburb that doesn’t feel like one, is just a few miles north, which expands the theater options further.
the south side of campus falls into the edgewater neighborhood, which is an extensive and diverse area with a wide variety of housing options, stretching all the way from the shores of lake michigan to ravenswood avenue. east of sheridan road, the high-rises offer outstanding lake views, while west of sheridan road, the densely-packed, low-rise apartment buildings, single-family bungalows, and frame houses are never far from the myriad ethnic restaurants. in the summer, the foster and hollywood beaches are magnets for sports enthusiasts and sun-bathers alike, and the park district offers free entertainment with its "movies in the park" series. sheridan road, broadway, and bryn mawr avenue offer an abundance of food options (burgers, pizza, thai, sushi, and the like), and transportation is easy, thanks to the red and purple el trains which run directly through the neighborhood.
incidentally, the edgewater community was once considered to be one of the city’s most prestigious neighborhoods. for a short time, it was the only chicago suburb with electric light, and its famous (but since demolished) pink edgewater beach hotel opened in 1916. fortunately (or not, depending on your taste), the pink edgewater apartment building, once its sister, survives today as a condominium.