Jefferson Park is one of 77 well-defined community areas located on the Northwest Side of Chicago. Jefferson Park is bordered by the community areas of Norwood Park to the northwest, Forest Glen to the northeast, Portage Park to the south. and the suburb of Harwood Heights to the south. Although the official community area map draws the boundary between Jefferson Park and Portage Park at Gunnison and Lawrence, the Jefferson Park neighborhood extends to Montrose further south.
Jefferson Park is a predominantly middle-class neighborhood of people coming from a variety of diverse backgrounds. Like many neighborhoods on the Northwest Side of Chicago the neighborhood has a heavy Polish-American presence, and is home to the Copernicus Foundation, the Polish parish of St. Constance, as well as a host of other Polish-American organizations, institutions and businesses.
Jefferson Park is also known for having a very high number of resident city and county workers. The area is filled with the homes of Chicago Public School teachers and staff, Chicago Police Department, Chicago Fire Department as well as Cook County Sheriff officers and staff.
Jefferson Park is the home of the historic Gateway Theatre a former Movie Palace that is now the seat of the Copernicus Foundation. The Gateway Theatre still serves the community today as a performing arts center, hosting numerous cultural events such as theatrical performances, film screenings and concerts throughout the year.
Jefferson Park has long been one of Chicago’s transportation hubs, earning the neighborhood the nickname as “The Gateway to Chicago”.
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