Central Street, at 2.1 miles end to end, is the longest continuous east-west road in Evanston, Illinois, an important transportation route to the city. Except for a few blocks just east of Westmoreland Country Club, it is a busy thoroughfare from Gross Point Rd. on the west end to Sheridan Road at its eastern terminus, near the historic Grosse Point Lighthouse.
A state highway, Central Street was originally the main road through the Village of North Evanston before that municipality was annexed by Evanston shortly after the Civil War. That explains the name, which otherwise wouldn't make sense for a street so far north in Evanston.
Central Street is the principal route into Evanston for many visitors and employees of the city's two largest employers, Northwestern University and Evanston Hospital. It houses three distinct low-rise business districts. Nevertheless, it is surrounded almost entirely by residential neighborhoods, home to approximately a third of Evanston's population.