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Beverly (or Beverly Hills) is one of the 77 official community areas of Chicago, Illinois. It is located on the South Side on the southwestern edge of the city. Beverly Hills was built by English engineers as an exclusive streetcar suburb and the homes and large lots reflect this historic distinction. Beverly Hills is located on the highest elevation in the City of Chicago. Beverly is one of the most racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Chicago.
Beverly has quick access (by public transport or car) to all of the Chicago financial markets, shopping, airports, and attractions, yet retains itself as a peaceful and quiet wooded community. Beverly is one of the top five largest historic districts in any major city in the USA. The particular trains that are accessed by the Beverly community are provided from Metra's Rock Island line.
Beverly is the only area in the City of Chicago with a terrain containing hills. Prior to settlement, it was known as Blue Island, a name now used by a suburb a few miles to the south. The blue color has been variously attributed to atmospheric scattering or to blue flowers growing on the ridge.
The neighborhood's roots are largely English and Protestant but is now home to a large Irish-American/Catholic community and many Irish establishments. The area is home of the South Side Irish Parade, which is held on the Sunday prior to St. Patrick's Day, the largest neighborhood parade of any type in the country.
The neighborhood currently is home to more Irish-style pubs than any other in Chicago. The Beverly Arts Center is the location for the Chicago Irish Film Festival. There is a replica of a castle from Ireland, which was constructed in the late 19th century when an American businessman, Robert Givens, was trying to convince his Irish fiancee to move to the United States, and so had a duplicate of her family castle built with stone from the same quarry. The Beverly Branch Library has the largest Irish heritage collection in Chicago. This branch opened a new facility in June 2009 which has a new LEED certified design and engineering. Beverly Branch houses a bronze sculpture by Virginio Ferrari entitled Two Lovers; additional art has been commissioned for the new branch. Artwork was funded through the Percent for Art Ordinance administered by the City of Chicago Public Art Program.
Rotary International was formed in Beverly at the home of Paul P. Harris on Longwood Drive, and today the house is owned by that organization. The founders of Walgreens mansion (founders of Walgreens Pharmacy) is also located in Beverly. During World War II, Beverly served as a peaceful sanctuary for wounded officers in the Allied Forced of many nations who were in recovery.
Some families move to Beverly in order to provide their children with a top-end private school education defined by Catholic Parish boundaries. St. Barnabas Grammar School is an elite private Catholic school. Morgan Park Academy is also considered a top end private high school in the Chicagoland area.
There are five Catholic parishes: St. Barnabas, Christ the King, St. Walter, St. Cajetan, and St. John Fisher. Beverly is a main drawing ground for many of the Chicagoland area's all-boys schools (Brother Rice, Mt. Carmel, St. Rita, St. Laurence, all-girls schools (Mother McAuley, Queen of Peace, Mount Assisi Academy, Maria); and co-educational Marist) Catholic high schools. Ridge Academy is also in Beverly.