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Old Posted Apr 12, 2012, 12:20 PM
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ChiPhi ChiPhi is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Chicago, Philadelphia
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This is incredibly off subject, but I'll weigh in anyways. Evanston definitely wins with both El and Metra access and a fair mix of retail types as well as architectural styles. There is a good amount of residential density in the area as well with the highrises and such. This and the fact that many North Shore residents see it as an easily accessible downtown area (compared to the Loop and Michi Ave) means that walkable street life is pretty good as people park in one of the parking structures (I took the train a lot when I was in high school) and walk around for hours. Beyond that, you've got the added bonus of a dynamic university right next door.

As far as smaller towns go, I tend to prefer the 1920's aesthetic of Glencoe, Hubbard Woods (before you get to the strip mall to the north - the park is nice as well), Winnetka, Wilmette is okay, Lake Forest. Even Oak Park imo suffers from the same problem as these places - the gravity / size of locations is not strong enough to lure people out of their cars and let them walk around.
“The test of a great building is in the marketplace. The Marketplace recognizes the value of quality architecture and endorses it in the sales price it is able to achieve.” — Jon Pickard, Principal, Pickard Chilton
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