Chicago Gang History

Lincoln Square

NameLincoln Square
LocationLeavitt Street on the east, Rockwell Street on the west, Winnemac Avenue on the north, Leland Avenue on the south
FounderConrad Sulzer
Year annexed1889

Conrad Sulzer was the first to build property and settle the area in the year 1836, afterward; Lincoln Square was mainly farmland in the 19th century that mainly grew pickles and celery.  In the year 1850, the first subdivision of homes was built called “Bowmanville.”  It was not until the 1900s decade that Lincoln Square became more settled as several new homes began to be built and Greek immigrants moved into the neighborhood.  In 1960 more Greek residents migrated here from the Near West Side neighborhood and opened up many stores and other Greek owned businesses.  The intersection of Lawrence and Rockwell was a thriving area of the neighborhood and this was the birth spot of the “Almighty Popes” street gang that was formed to combat Latino gangs in the nearby Uptown neighborhood.  By the later 1960s the crime and gangs of nearby Uptown began to have a serious impact on the neighborhood and the Popes, that is when Popes began to grow larger in number and were regarded as a nuisance in the neighborhood.  Eventually the Gaylords spread into the neighborhood from nearby Uptown and gang wars ensued throughout the 1970s between the two organizations.  In time, the Latin Kings moved into Lincoln Square and there was quite a bit of gangbanging going on.  Going into the 21st century Lincoln Square became highly gentrified and gangs began to disappear in the area or become underground.

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