Old Town, like many other neighborhoods in Chicago, has seen its fair share of change over the years. First settled by Germans in the 1800s, and later seen as a port of entry for Puerto Ricans, "many of the original families that lived in the neighborhood moved to the suburbs" or other parts of the city during the 1950s and 60s. Rents plummeted, and storefronts were available to for cheap, and because of this, the area around North and Wells became "the nexus of hippie culture." Soon after, Old Town, with its many music clubs, "became the center of Chicago's folk music" scene, a legacy that lives on today, albiet a little further north (one of the area's main institutions, the Old Town School of Folk Music, moved first to Lincoln Park, and then expanded again and went even further north to Lincoln Square).
"Eventually, the radical enthusiasm waned," and Old Town slowly transformed into what we know today: one of the Chicago's most popular neighborhoods, not only as a place to live, with its beautiful stock of Victorian-era buildings, but also as a destination for shopping, dining and entertainment.