Old Town Chicago Neighborhood

Rock Island's Original Neighborhood

The Old Town Chicago Neighborhood is Rock Island's oldest residential area. The neighborhood is largely made up of two original additions. The part of the neighborhood that abuts the western edge of downtown was part of the original city plant file on July 10, 1835 as part of Stephenson, which was later named Rock Island. The Chicago Addition was filed on October 22, 1836 and was situated just west of the Old Town Addition.

Many prominent Rock Islanders made their homes here since the area was integrated with commercial and industrial establishments. Today, that multi-use character is still a hallmark of the neighborhood, which mixes single-family, multi-family, commercial, office and industrial uses.

The character of the Chicago Addition changed abruptly in the late 1960s and early 1970 as the Rock Island Parkway and river levy were constructed. Demolition has been common in the neighborhood. However, as the Old Town Chicago neighborhood approaches its bicentennial, the neighborhood is poised for change and development so that residents can again take advantage of downtown amenities, nearby bike trails and traditional town living. The New Old Chicago Plan outlines these efforts.


The Old Town Chicago area is bounded by the Rock Island Parkway on the west and north, 7th Avenue on the south and 15th Street on the east.

Ward 1

Plans & Publications

Neighborhood Association

West End Neighborhood Association

Neighborhood Programs & Activities

  • Monthly association meetings
  • Neighborhood clean-ups

Public Facilities

  • Rock Island County Courthouse & Justice Center

Historic Register Properties in the