St James Lutheran School is an excellent Christian private school in Wicker Park serving young minds in the North Side of Chicago. Located at N Fremont St, it draws its students from many of the surrounding neighborhoods, including parents seeking a private school in Wicker Park. It is affiliated with the St. James Lutheran Church, a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. As an institution, St. James Lutheran School is committed to providing its students with a diverse and well-rounded education founded in the compassion of Christianity and focused on inquiry-based learning. Small class sizes and an experienced and dedicated staff ensure each student receives the attention and quality instruction they need to enter high school with the necessary skills to succeed.
We have a number of enrollment options, including the following:
- Early Childhood education
- Half-day and Full-day Preschool
- Extended Day program
- Elementary School (grades 1-4)
- Middle School (grades 5-8)
Wicker Park, Chicago
The beginnings of Wicker Park can be traced back to 1868 when Joel and Charles Wicker bought an 80 acre piece of land in northern Chicago for development. The brothers turned the land into a subdivision of mixed-size lots surrounding a sprawling four-acre park. This park would come to be known as Wicker Park and would share its name with the surrounding area that became the neighborhood we see today.
After the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, many Chicagoans were left homeless and looking to rebuild. Some of these individuals did just that and became the first residents of Wicker Park. As the 20th century began, much like its northern neighbor, Bucktown, the area became increasingly popular as a settlement for wealthy Northern European immigrants, especially among merchants who built large mansions up and down the streets of the neighborhood. One of these streets was home to some of the area’s most prosperous brewers, earning it the nickname of “Beer Baron Row.”
As time went on, many more immigrants from different places of the world were attracted to the area. An influx of Poles in the mid 1900s awarded Wicker Park the nickname the “Polish Gold Coast.” Many of the churches still located in the neighborhood today reflect Polish influences in their opulence and elements of Baroque and Renaissance architecture, all common features of Polish cathedrals.
In the 60s and 70s, the trend of Polish immigration to the area took a backseat as large groups of Puerto Ricans and other Latinos moved into Wicker Park. This movement occurred in response to the urban renewal and subsequent increased living costs that led to their displacement from the Lincoln Park and Old Town neighborhoods. As the century came to an end, the neighborhood also became a popular haven for artists and other creatives due to the low cost of living for the area and its close proximity to the Loop, though this later changed when Wicker Park too experienced urban renewal and rising costs.
Today, with its convenient location and lasting “hip” reputation, Wicker Park is characterized as an up-and-coming urban neighborhood ideal for new families and young, high-income professionals. This neighborhood has become the perfect settlement area for new families, and St James Lutheran School is proud to be able to provide a first class education to students in the area.