The Slums of Chicago

Good day Chicago and the world.  Many of you hear about how tough and dangerous the streets of Chicago are, you may also hear about or witness the ran down slum areas of Chicago.  Many out there think it is the people that live in those neighborhoods that allow the slums to develop and that the people there are careless pigs, well nothing can be further from the truth.

Where are the slums?

To say that the slums of Chicago came to be because of the people that live in that area is indeed way off base, just look at other cities across this country.  When you go to the west coast, Denver, LA, Phoenix, Vegas, Albuquerque etc…..you will find no slums.  If there are vacant properties they have not been vacant long and the cities monitor those properties and work hard to get them occupied even if that means tearing the building down and rebuilding a new property.  Poor people are just as poor as impoverished Chicagoans and thrive on the same government aide programs and with the same gang and drug problems but they do not have to look at depressing ran down buildings in their neighborhoods.  In the southern states there are very few slums.  You might see some slums in Atlanta or Memphis, but anywhere else in the southern states is pretty much slum free.  Once again people in lower income neighborhoods in those southern cities are dirt poor too, but once again their cities care about the appearance of the neighborhood and fix it up.

Over here in the mid-west and the east coast there are cities that…..pardon my language…..just don’t give a fuck about renovating some impoverished neighborhoods.  Some of the worst cases are seen in New York City, Philadelphia, Camden New Jersey, Jersey City, Newark, Baltimore, St. Louis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, East St.Louis and of course Detroit and Flint.  So why is it that the most slums happen in the mid-west and the east coast?  Well I can say government corruption and mismanagement have a big hand in that.  Just look at Illinois and Michigan, these states can’t keep their financials together and budget for shit.  It baffles me about New Jersey because that is one rich state with many high income suburbs and some of the highest taxes in the United States, yet their major cities have some of the most bombed out slums in the country, especially Camden.  How about Baltimore?  This city is located right in the same state as our nation’s capital……good ole’ Maryland, yet parts of Baltimore look like they were bombed by fighter jets.  It is clear in some mid-west and eastern cities the priorities are or were at one time elsewhere.  Some of these cities have begun to renovate their blighted areas like here in Chicago is an example, but there is so much to clean up from years of neglect from governments that did not care for many years.

What makes the slums?

Every ran down area has it’s own story of how the blight happened over the years.  The story usually involves poverty, neglect, redlining, destruction, depression.  Some of the ran down areas happened slowly over the course of many years, others rapidly fell apart within just a few years to a decade.  In my “Hoods” (https://chicagoganghistory.com/gangster-hoods/) you can read all about how each of the hardest neighborhoods became shaped into becoming some of the toughest areas of the city.  For the toughest areas of the city with ran down parts I even put up many pictures to show examples of just how blighted these areas are.

Each one of these blighted areas of Chicago once had a happier story as great neighborhoods where families called home and took pride in saying they came from that community.  In later years families of other races wanted to share in that same comfort of living in a great and well maintained neighborhood but the families that were already there feared the new arrivals would destroy the community so panic ensued known as “white flight” that was heavily fueled by the banking and real estate industry.  The neighborhoods became depreciated because of these fears which devalued the community making it easier for lower incomes to move into these communities, many of which could not afford to pay taxes or even pay their rent.  Many good people that made a decent income could not get help from the banks when they needed it because their address was redlined so eventually that family would sink into debt.  It became a vicious cycle that would ruin generation after generation.

Eventually people can’t afford to live in their homes in these blighted areas, so they move out in a hurry and do not leave the dwelling in great condition, this makes it very hard for anyone else to want to rent or buy the property.  The banks, landlords or anyone else find themselves unable to afford to fix the place up after the debtor moves out so the property just sits until further notice, but then as more time goes past the property falls into further disrepair making the property unsaleable and condemned.  The city then must spend thousands of dollars on each of these vacant and blighted properties to tear it down, but the city does not put this as a top priority for the budget planning and the property sits to rot and attract vermin and crime.  As the rotting properties sit, the value of the community drops which takes away from taxes and other revenue to restore the neighborhood, such a vicious cycle.

The only thing that can break this cycle is for general interest to arise in a certain neighborhood.  In Chicago, many times those neighborhoods of interest were areas that were close to higher income areas or close to the down town Loop. Neighborhoods that were renovated because of geographical interest are Near South Side, Near North Side (Cabrini Green area) and Near West Side. Neighborhoods like Oakland, Douglas and Grand Boulevard have gone through renovations because of the growing interest in restoring some of the old Bronzeville history.  Preserving history has always helped the Pullman and Morgan Park neighborhoods from falling on really hard times too.  But what about those neighborhoods further away the downtown area that have no real interesting history?  Well those communities continue to suffer presently and continue to crumble.

The worst time period for blight in Chicago

Settlement of Chicago can be traced back to the 18th century but the true buildup of an actual community did not take place until Fort Dearborn was constructed in 1803.  Chicago became a town in 1833 then a city in 1837 and from there the city just kept growing.  Within all the decades from the 1830s leading up to present day Chicago neighborhoods have changed over time.  Many neighborhoods have fluctuated with income class types, there has also been racial changes in many communities.  Some changes were harmonious others were a cultural shock to many and not accepted.  Anytime racial or income class changes were made that were not embraced by the community the consequences became devastating and that is often when you see a community left in ruins with rows of bombed out looking abandoned buildings.

In order to really look at the history of blight in Chicago we mainly need to look at 21 of the 77 Chicago neighborhoods.  These 20 neighborhoods either still suffer from extreme blight or they suffered in the past and have since been renovated.  Of the 21 neighborhoods, 6 of them have gone through a major makeover that has brought these communities from slum status to elegant upper middle class communities.  These are all communities that the city and Chicagoans eventually took interest in and revamped these communities from a world of blight; these communties are: Near North Side, Near South Side, Near West Side, Douglas, Oakland and Kenwood.  The other 13 communities are still stuck in the slum status but some of these neighborhoods are not completely blighted and only have designated areas of the neighborhood that are blighted, such neighborhoods are: West Pullman, Roseland, Back of the Yards, South Chicago and Austin.  Grand Boulevard in a class of its own as this community is working hard to reach the same status as the rest of Bronzeville.  Blight in this community has been greatly decreased and give it another 5 or 10 years and this community will be at the same level as Douglas.  In the Woodlawn community, the far east side of the neighborhood has been revamped and looks pretty nice once you approach Jackson Park, but once you go west of Stoney Island Ave, you will begin to see the severe blight of this community.  Washington Park also has a similar story as much of the area nearest to the park has been renovated greatly in recent years, but starting one block away from the park you will the blight as you travel through this tougher area, mainly the best area of this community that got the most renovation is the area north of Garfield Boulevard and east of Indiana Avenue; which is a very small area of a few blocks, the rest of the community has a long way to go, and the best thing that has come to the this community over the years is the tearing down of badly blighted buildings that left scores of vacant lots.  Speaking of vacant lots, the best treatment the rest of the 7 other blighted communities have received over the years is vacant lots, many many vacant lots after blighted buildings were torn down and nothing was built in its place.

Vacant lots are not good for the community as they breed all types of crazy criminal activity; however, it is the lesser of the evils, abandoned buildings and houses create all kinds of problems; anything from attracting vermin and being a fire hazard up to being gang and dangerous drug addict hangouts.  These shuttered buildings also are a further hazard when emergency response teams (police, Firemen, ambulence etc….) need to enter these buildings, because years of rot and decay leave for unsafe structures to walk into, hence, why you see the big red X hanging on the buildings which warns emergency teams to proceed with caution.

At the time I am writing this piece, it is now 2017, and throughout time it seems like the slums have become worse in Chicago, or have they?  I can fully attest to the fact that here in 2017 we have not seen the worst and the worst is more than likely behind us.  The 2010s decade has brought about millions of dollars worth of renovations to some tough areas of the city and no new areas have fallen into blight.  We have the same areas that are in rough shape and tear downs have created vacant lots giving a rural feel to some parts of communities.  The 2010s has also been a busy decade with the renovation of row house public housing projects and the tear down of the last of the high rise projects in the city.

Let’s take a closer look at these 21 neighborhoods by decade since the 1830s to see where the blight was the worst.

1830s

  • Near North Side annexed into Chicago in 1837.  The area that would later become Little Hell, Cabrini Green or Goose Island was first being settled by German immigrants that set up a small farming community as they built cabins
  • Near West Side was first settled and partially annexed in 1837.  Scattered settlers came to this area and the first African American community settled in the later United Center area, this area was not annexed until after 1837.

1840s

  • Near North Side, the southwest quadrant still remained a mostly German settlement.  Irish immigrants began to arrive, many of them were dirt poor.
  • Near West Side, German, Czech, Bohemian and French decent immigrants arrived that were part of the wealthy elite.  Soon large mansions were built and an elegant shopping district sprung up, making this one of the more upper class and elegant neighborhoods of the city.

1850s

  • Near North Side, the southwest quadrant of this neighborhood became filled with Irish immigration, most of them were very impoverished as they took up employment at factories on Goose Island.  The immigrants lived in old shacks left by the Germans and built low quality housing in the area.  The first criminal and gang like element developed in this area.
  • Near West Side, still mostly an elegant community for mostly wealthy elites
  • Near South Side, some Irish immigrant workers settled here due to canal construction and took up employment in the industrial businesses.  The community was annexed in 1853 and soon roads were paved and new buildings were built which attracted many wealthy elites that built grand mansions in this community.

1860s

  • Near North Side, Irish organized crime developed in the very poor south west quadrant.  Conditions in this community worsened as the shacks and poorly constructed housing continued to deteriorate.  More new poorly constructed housing was built.  The nickname “Little Hell” was developed after not only the conditions worsened but also because of the gas factory in the community.
  • Near West Side, Impoverished German and Irish immigrants began taking up residence in this community around the present day University Village area and in the Maxwell Street Market/Jew Town area.  Immigrants were very poor and built lower income housing to live in or moved into the oldest structures found.
  • Near South Side, A small impoverished African American community settled in the South Loop section just below present day Roosevelt Road.  This was also an area settled previously by impoverished Irish immigrants.
  • Back of the Yards, The Union Stock Yards first opened on Christmas Day of 1865 in this area that was known as the town of “Lake” at the time.  The stock yards immediately brought harsh conditions to the community and the impoverished workers began constructed poorly made housing that was cheap to live in.  The community developed crime and Irish gangs.
  • Douglas, Camp Douglas for captured Confederate soldiers was constructed in this area which brought about annexation in the year 1863.  After annexation this area was paved and built up which attracted wealthy Jewish Chicago elites that built grand mansions in this community.  the far west side of the community was settled by impoverished Irish immigrants that built small and cheaply made houses along Federal Street.
  • Kenwood, Chicago wealthy elites began moving into this community building grand mansions
  • East Garfield Park, West Garfield Park, North Lawndale, annexed into the city in 1869.

1870s

  • Near North Side, This was the first ghetto in Chicago, as this became the most ran down slum area of the city.  Irish gangs and organized crime ran rampant and families slept in slum buildings in terrible and unsanitary conditions.
  • Near West Side, after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 200,000 severely impoverished and starving Irish underclasses poured into the University Village and Jew Town areas as they crammed into older buildings and low cost homes, a great poverty crisis soon developed and this was the beginning of Chicago’s skid row.
  • Near South Side, The Great Chicago Fire greatly damaged this neighborhood causing much of the African American community and the wealthy elites to relocate in other parts of the city, this decade would be devoted to rebuilding but would also open a new sour chapter in this neighborhood’s history.
  • Back of the Yards, The town of Lake fell into a deeper depressed slum as conditions from the stock yards lessened the value of this town causing the mostly Irish community to live in disease and filth.  Much of the housing was already ran down and shabby.  Irish gangs rose up in higher numbers and Irish organized crime from Little Hell migrated to this town.
  • Douglas, More marvelous grand mansions were built along Grand Boulevard (Martin Luther King Drive) making this one of the wealthier and more desired communities to live in.
  • Kenwood, More wealthy elite mansions continued to be built
  • Grand Boulevard, the wealthy Chicago elite took up interest in this community as Grand Boulevard (Martin Luther King Drive) was first dug here in 1874.  Many elite mansions were built along Grand Boulevard and trees were planted to add beauty to the area.  Grand Boulevard became another desirable place to live in Chicago.
  • Oakland, the wealthy elite discover this community and begin building grand mansions, another desirable elite community.
  • Washington Park, Due to the building of the Grand Boulevard road (Martin Luther King Drive) in 1874, the wealthy elite take up interest in this community as well and build grand mansions.
  • Englewood, After the Cook County Normal College was constructed in 1869, many Scottish college instructors moved into a nearby middle class subdivision which would begin a trend of middle classes moving into Englewood.

1880s

  • Near North Side, The conditions of the southwest area of this community worsen as ran down blighted housing becomes a common sight.  Italian immigrants begin moving into this community that join the severe poverty that the Irish face.  Italian immigrant youths soon learn about the power of Irish gangs and Irish organized crime.
  • Near West Side, many German and Irish immigrants moved from this community as Italians moved into present day University Village that then became known as “Little Italy.”  Greek immigrants moved north east of Little Italy to create “Greektown.” impoverished Jewish immigrants settled in the ran down southeast quadrant and created “Jew Town,” also known as the “Jewish Ghetto,” which became the site of the first Maxwell Street markets in the 1880s.  The poverty was still there and the conditions of the community continued to deteriorate.
  • Near South Side, The “Levee District” first took shape in this community which brought brothels and illegal gambling dens.  Organized crime and politicians ran these illegal operations and caused much of law enforcement to look away.  The Levee District helped the community’s economy a little which delayed the neighborhood falling into a slum.
  • Back of the Yards,  This town of Lake was annexed in 1889 and became the Back of the Yards community due to the fact that the stock yards continued to dump their pollution in the back alleys behind people’s homes.  This filth depreciated the neighborhood and made it very attractive to lower class and underclass immigrants to move into.  Gang and organized crime problems worsened in this community.
  • Douglas, More wealthy elite mansions were constructed.
  • Kenwood, more elegant mansions were constructed along with luxury apartments as more wealthy elites poured into this community.  This neighborhood was annexed into Chicago in 1889.
  • Grand Boulevard, As more elegant mansions were built primarily on the east side of the community, Irish, Scottish, English and German Jew working classes migrated to the area and built smaller houses on the west side mainly by Federal Street.  This neighborhood was annexed in 1889.
  • Oakland, Wealthy elites continued to move in and build great mansions but the move in was halted once working class Irish immigrants began moving into apartments and building cheaper made homes.  This community was annexed in 1889.
  • Washington Park, more wealthy elites moved in building grand mansions.  luxury apartment buildings were constructed that housed more wealthy elites. The community was named after the U.S. first President George Washington by the elites in 1880.  In 1889 the community was annexed into Chicago.
  • Englewood, more middle classes poured into this neighborhood as the community achieved annexation in 1889.
  • West Englewood, A subdivision is middle classes began in this area that was part of Englewood, but by 1889 at the time of annexation the community became its own and was named West Englewood. at 63rd and Loomis a small African American community took shape.
  • South Chicago, The steel industry boom brought many immigrants to this community as annexation was achieved in 1889.  This become a major working class community.
  • West Pullman, The Village of Gano was established that would later become “West Pullman.”  This community offered an alternate living outside of Charles Pullman’s control, the area was annexed in 1889 as “West Pullman.”
  • Roseland, An upperclass subdivision was built called “Fernwood.”
  • Greater Grand Crossing, Woodlawn, Fuller Park, achieved annexation in 1889.

1890s

  • Near North Side, Notorious Italian Mafia boss Big Jim Colosimo first moved here and got his start in gang life and organized crime.  This southwest area of the community continued to become a worse slum than ever as violent crime increased.
  • Near West Side, The last of the Irish moved out as the community continued to fall into more deterioration and poverty.
  • Near South Side, The Levee became bigger than ever as this was what the South Loop area was best known for.
  • Back of the Yards, This community became more ran down and polluted as Irish gangs continued to rise and branch into nearby neighborhoods like Canaryville and Bridgeport.
  • Douglas, The black community from the South Loop along State Street soon spread into the Federal and State street corridor in Douglas in the late 1890s as working class Irish immigrants began to move out of these deteriorating homes.  This would be the beginning of the black community in Douglas that caused most of the community to have culture shock and anger.
  • Kenwood, More wealthy elites poured into this community building more elegant mansions and luxury apartments.
  • Grand Boulevard, More Irish working classes settled in this community mainly on the west side near Federal and State Streets, at the same time African Americans began to settle in 1890 along this same State Street and Federal Street corridor into the cheapest homes built previously by Irish immigrants.  The community experienced cultural shock once African Americans arrived and became angered.
  • Oakland, The wealthy elites began to move out of their newer mansions as they did not want to live among lower classes.  Many mansions were purchased by landlords that divided the homes into apartments and Irish, Japanese, Canadian, English, Jewish and German immigrants moved into these apartments.
  • Washington Park, German Jews migrated onto the west side of the community and joined the working class Irish.  On the east side more wealthy elites moved in and built more mansions and luxury apartments.
  • Englewood, The community would get a black eye thanks to the murders of notorious serial killer H.H. Holmes.
  • West Englewood, Several more homes were built as the community was paved and developed, mass transit was added.
  • West Pullman, New factories were built which brought many new subdivisions including a wealthier area near 121st and Halsted known as “Stewart Ridge.”
  • Roseland, This community grew as several ethnic groups moved into this neighborhood.  Many retail stores were heavily built in this decade and annexation was achieved in 1892
  • Woodlawn, The World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 caused a major boom in this community as several businesses, apartments, houses and amusement parks boomed in this community.  20,000 people moved in during the decade especially middle class college professors.
  • Greater Grand Crossing, The World’s Columbian Exposition caused a boom in this community as several German immigrants migrated hear and many subdivisions with houses and apartments were built.
  • Austin, This community was annexed into Chicago in 1899.

1900s decade

  • Near North Side, Big Jim Colosimo rises to power and creates his own organized crime group as he works with Irish gangsters.  Little Hell area becomes a more violent and depressing slum as Irish and Italian gangs begin to completely take over.  The Black Hand rises to more power.
  • Near West Side, This community becomes more ran down and poverty issues continue.
  • Near South Side, The Levee district is at its peak of bustling activity but much opposition rises up as law enforcement begin to look into a take down.
  • Back of the Yards, Irish gangs become very strong.  Irish and Germans began to move out as Lithuanian and Slovaks moved in.  The neighborhood was still in a terrible slum state and still heavily polluted.
  • Douglas, More African Americans moved in mainly along the State Street slum strip, but also wealthier blacks moved into the mansions in the rest of the community.  The white community lashed out violently and protested the arrival of blacks but the migration continued.  Many Jewish and Irish residents just packed their bags and moved out starting “white flight.”  The conditions along the State Street strip began to deteriorate.
  • Grand Boulevard, Many more European immigrants settled in this community, along with them came more African Americans that were mainly confined along the State Street strip that was deteriorating more.  Racial tensions were brewing in this community and white flight was beginning.
  • Washington Park, African Americans began to migrate into the cheaper apartments which brought violent protest and enforcing restrictive racial covenants.
  • Englewood, Polish and Eastern Europeans began to migrate here.
  • South Chicago, U.S. Steel takes over South Works which brings a massive employment and settlement boom to this community.  Polish, Italian and African Americans became a part of the new waive of migration.  African Americans were forced to live in most southern section near the polluted river in the oldest housing.
  • Woodlawn, On the west side of the community a closed down race track in 1905 brought about the construction of affordable apartments that became occupied by African American families, this caused anger and protest in the rest of Woodlawn.
  • Greater Grand Crossing, White City amusement park is built in 1905 which causes another boom of migration into this community.
  • Austin, Many German and Scandinavian immigrants settled in the community as mass transit and several businesses opened their doors along Lake Street, Madison Street and Chicago Avenue.
  • East Garfield Park, The community was finally being built up as Irish and German immigrants settled in the new houses and apartment complexes being built.  Sears Roebuck became the main employer
  • West Garfield Park, Sears Roebuck brought a major boom in housing and the creation of the Madison-Crawford District, that became the downtown shopping epicenter of the neighborhood.

1910s

  • Near North Side, Irish and Italian organized crime continue to rise establishing the South Side gang and the North Side gang that become bitter enemies.  The Black Hand extortion group grows large and goes to war with Big Jim Colosimo and the South Side Gang.  The South Side gang creates the first Italian Mafia in Chicago.  The neighborhood is not only a worse slum than ever, gangs and violence rip through the community costing many lives.
  • Near West Side, The community becomes more ran down and becomes more of a slum in more sections.  Jews begin to migrate out of Jew Town.  Mexicans began to settle in and above Little Italy.
  • Near South Side, The Levee District is shut down in 1912, the Chicago Outfit takes over but the community suffers from the closing of the Levee as some wealthy elites begin to move out.  Many former mansions sit vacant to crumble or are divided into kitchenette apartments.  African Americans are designated to live in the “Black Belt which extends from Cermak Road to 26th Street along State Street in this community, the area is the most run down housing in the community.
  • Back of the Yards, Mexican immigrants begin moving into this community to work at the stock yards.
  • Douglas, Many whites gave up their fight against blacks moving in and decided to partake in white flight which allowed more blacks to move into the community.  The State Street strip from 26th Street to Pershing Road along State Street and Federal Streets now became known as the Black Belt by 1918, and the homes were only occupied by severely impoverished blacks.  Many buildings were converted into kitchenette apartments and left to rot.
  • Kenwood, Small kitchenette apartments were constructed that were meant for downtown office workers that did not yet have families.
  • Grand Boulevard, African Americans continued to migrate heavily into this neighborhood as now whites objected heavier and became violent toward them in an attempt to push them out.  The State Street slum strip was completely inhabited by blacks as this became a part of the Black Belt as well from Pershing to 51st Street from State Street to Federal Street.
  • Oakland, African Americans begin to settle in this neighborhood causing anger from the white community and the attempted enforcement of restrictive covenants.
  • Washington Park, A major conflict between whites and black continued as more blacks moved into this community especially during World War 1.  White flight began to take its course.
  • Englewood, Several apartment complexes were built as Irish moved in to escape the ghetto in Back of the Yards and the crime and gangs of Bridgeport.
  • South Chicago, Mexicans begin to migrate here during World War 1, they are forced to live in the far southern poorest section known as “The Bush” with the African Americans.
  • Roseland, During the World War 1 African Americans began to settle in between 91st and 95th Streets in an area known as “lilydale.”  The white community was not too happy about blacks living there.
  • Woodlawn, African Americans begin arriving in the west side of the community in larger numbers as whites continue to object.
  • Austin, Irish and Italian immigrants moved here and the Irish had a strong influence.
  • North Lawndale, Russian Jews begin moving into the area in high volumes as they leave the Jew Town on the Near West Side.  The community begins to transform into a thriving middle class Jewish community.
  • Fuller Park, Mexican, African American and Slovaks moved into this community, mostly Slovaks which took up 90% of the new arrivals.  German, Austrian and Irish residents began to move out.

1920s

  • Near North Side, the southwest quadrant continued to decay and became more dangerous than ever as gang wars between organized crime groups ripped through this community.  Irish and Italian youth gangs continued to try to prove themselves worthy of joining the mobs by committing ruthless crimes.  The area was a dirty and ran down slum.
  • Near West Side, The area become more ran down as Italian street gangs became a major force.
  • Near South Side, This area was mostly under control of the South Side gang but was also becoming shabby and ran down, especially as more wealthy elites began to move out of the area.  The Black Belt section became more deteriorated.
  • Back of the Yards, Probably the worst decade for conditions in this community as this ghetto became much more deteriorated and polluted.
  • Douglas, White flight became massive as blacks rapidly moved in to replace the many whites that left.  By the end of the decade almost no whites lived in this community as black businesses opened and the neighborhood become a thriving black metropolis.
  • Kenwood, More kitchenette apartments were built for office workers.
  • Grand Boulevard, The rest of white flight ran its course as blacks moved in high volume.  By the end of the decade the community was 94% black and became loaded with black owned businesses bringing about a thriving black metropolis.
  • Oakland, Blacks continued to migrate into this community and the whites began to violently oppose black migration and heavily pushed out restrictive covenants, by the end of the decade over 30% of the community was black.
  • Washington Park, Whites mostly gave up trying to keep blacks out and began partaking in white flight, even on the east side as the elite mansions were now left abandoned.  The mansions were divided into kitchenette apartments for impoverished blacks and this extended the Black Belt from 51st to 63rd Street along State Street.  By 1930 the community was over 90% black.
  • Englewood, More apartments were built that ended up housing Irish Chicagoans trying to escape Back of the Yards and Bridgeport.
  • West Englewood, Italian immigrants migrated heavily here especially after the Bus Barn was opened and several malls and shopping centers were opened on Ashland Ave between 63rd and 75th Streets.
  • South Chicago, The northern part of this community became heavily built up and a downtown strip was built around 92nd and Commercial.
  • West Pullman, Italians, Polish, Hungarian and Lithuanians heavily migrated into this community as more factories, schools, parks and shopping strips opened up.  The community was also strict about not allowing blacks to live there.
  • Roseland, This community pushed hard to try to keep more blacks from moving in and set up very strict racial covenants.
  • Woodlawn, This community set up very strict racial covenants that worked with landlords to stop renting to blacks especially on the west side of the community.
  • Austin, More Italian and Irish settled in this community.
  • East Garfield Park, The neighborhood became better organized and thrived as Italians and Russian Jews settled in the community.
  • West Garfield Park, This community experienced its best decade ever and the local economy was at its best.
  • Fuller Park, Germans and Irish completely left, Slovaks poured in to replace them.  By 1930 Slovaks made up over 90% of the community.

1930s

  • Near North Side, Most of the Irish community had moved out making Italians the vast majority.  African Americans moved into the neighborhood because of the cheap housing but were soon attacked by Italian gangs.  The neighborhood had reached its peak in how ran down and dangerous it had become.  The living conditions were deemed as unlivable in this ghetto and the city began looking into ways to make the community better, in the mean time this area was full of slums.
  • Near West Side, A large part of this community was ran down slums full of homeless men.  The poverty was out of control and much of the housing was condemned.  Some of the slums were razed in 1938 to make way for the Jane Addams public housing project for impoverished Jews and Italians.
  • Near South Side, This area sunk further into poverty and was slowly becoming a worse slum with kitchenette apartments and abandoned buildings.  The most ran down area was the northern part of the Black Belt.
  • Back of the Yards, Polish immigration continued in this community and the Great Depression threatened to make this community worse and the stockyards worse.  Polish people organized and worked all decade long to clean up the conditions of the stock yards and the community, by 1939 they had achieved full success.
  • Douglas, The Great Depression was devastating on this community as many black owned businesses closed down causing joblessness and poverty.  The Black Policy racket helped support the community, although illegally.  The one elegant mansions were divided into rented kitchenette apartments and the Black Belt conditions worsened more as many of those buildings were converted into kitchenettes.
  • Kenwood, The Great Depression hit this community hard as wealthy elites moved out of their mansions and luxury apartments in northern Kenwood, even the office workers in the kitchenettes packed up and left in northern Kenwood.  Impoverished African Americans and other impoverished whites moved into the luxury apartments and mansions that were now divided into kitchenettes.
  • Grand Boulevard, The Great Depression was devastating on this community as many black owned businesses closed down causing joblessness and poverty.  The Black Policy racket helped support the community, although illegally.  The one elegant mansions were divided into rented kitchenette apartments and the Black Belt conditions worsened more as many of those buildings were converted into kitchenettes.
  • Oakland,  African Americans continued to move into this community despite the push back from angry whites, by the end of the decade 50% of the community was black.
  • Washington Park, As the rest of the white community left, this community fell on hard times due to the Great Depression and joblessness ran rampant among this African American community.  White flight took away the businesses in the area which made it impossible to find a job.  Many residents went to work for the Black Policy racket in order to sustain which was one of the only sources of employment for the area even though the job was not legal.  The old mansions were divided into kitchenette apartments for the poor and many buildings and homes began to fall into deterioration.
  • Englewood, the 63rd and Halsted Shopping Center helped stimulate the local economy during the Depression years but the Depression itself also caused the community to fall on hard times.  The college closed in 1932 which took away many professor jobs.  Renting property in this community became cheaper during the depression.
  • West Englewood, This community did well during the Depression years and even did well with an increase of black migration near 63rd and Loomis area.
  • South Chicago, Worker unions were assembled to helped the community maintain employment.  Mexican people were also able to dodge deportation.
  • Roseland, This community was hit very hard by the Great Depression years and people often took to selling illegal booze in the early 30s, but when alcohol was made legal in 1934 that hustle was diminished for them and the community fell apart pretty badly as businesses and banks closed.
  • Woodlawn, The Great Depression years were harsh on this community as many jobs were lost and banks were closed down.  Many businesses along 63rd Street closed, and during this panic landlords began to rent to African Americans, mainly on the west side breaking racial covenants, this increased the black population in the community.
  • Greater Grand Crossing, The Depression years brought the closing of the White City amusement park which hurt the community financially.  African Americans began to migrate to this community much to the objection of the white community.
  • Austin, This community did well during the Depression as Greek migration came to this neighborhood.
  • East Garfield Park, The Depression was harsh on this community as the apartments had to be divided into smaller kitchenettes to offer cheaper housing, the buildings were not maintained and began to deteriorate. The community also stopped growing.
  • West Garfield Park, Joblessness became a major issue in this community as houses and buildings began to deteriorate.

1940s

  • Near North Side, The decision was made to tear down a large portion of the slums of Little Hell and built the Francis Cabrini row houses that would mostly house impoverished Italians and some blacks.  This decision seemed to help the community in the southwest quadrant of this neighborhood.
  • Near West Side, Mexican migration returns to this community, Puerto Rican migration begins.  Many of the deteriorated slums are torn down to make way for more public housing projects, mainly the Robert Brooks Homes, this is a positive move for helping the slums of this neighborhood. The rest of the neighborhood continues to deteriorate in to severe slums.  Many whites begin to move out of the neighborhood.  Many white, Puerto Rican and Mexican residents were forced to move out due to the Congress Expressway construction and plans for the Dan Ryan Expressway, this cleared out more slums.
  • Near South Side, Much of this community continues to fall deeper into being a slum especially in the Black Belt section south of Roosevelt Road.
  • Back of the Yards, Hard work has paid off as now this community would reach its best decade in history.  Crime is at its lowest, the Irish gangs are gone and the slums have been fixed or removed.  The stock yards are now forced to practice cleaner practices and now the community is much cleaner.
  • Douglas, This community is at one of its best decades as now employment has returned and much of the community is settled by black middle classes and upper classes.  The Black Belt section continues to deteriorate and becomes a worse slum than ever.
  • Kenwood, Northern Kenwood begins to deteriorate as the old mansions are now divided into small apartments and rented to lower income residents.  More blacks migrate into northern Kenwood and now begin migration into southern Kenwood, many are impoverished and take up residence in the kitchenette apartments.  Whites begin the practice of white flight.
  • Grand Boulevard, This community is at one of its best decades as now employment has returned and much of the community is settled by black middle classes and upper classes.  The Black Belt section continues to deteriorate and becomes a worse slum than ever.
  • Oakland, Aldine Square in razed as the first all black public housing project is constructed, the Ida B. Wells projects.  The projects help the Bronzeville area but white and Japanese residents are upset and begin white flight as they now give up their fight against black migration, many impoverished and middle class blacks move into the community to take their place, by 1950 the neighborhood is over 60% black.
  • Washington Park, The end of the Depression years does not do much to curtail poverty and joblessness as this community continues to deteriorate more into one of the worst slums in the city.
  • Englewood, The cheaper housing attracted lower income of less stable income middle class blacks to this community.  As blacks began to move in whites reacted violently against the new black migration which slowed the migration down.  The community does not achieve prosperity after the Depression years.
  • West Englewood, Blacks continued to migrate slowly into this community and there was still not much opposition to the migration which kept the community stable economically and kept redlining practices out.
  • South Chicago, This neighborhood was flourishing well after the Depression years as Croatian and Serbian immigrants settled in the northern part of the community.
  • West Pullman, This community was a heavily prospering community; however, they were also in strong opposition to allowing blacks to live in this community.  Residents joined Riverdale, Pullman and Roseland to protest the construction of the Altgeld Gardens project construction in neighboring Riverdale.
  • Roseland, This community now got back to work thanks to the war industry; however, there was much unrest as black entrepreneurs wanted to build a brand new subdivision in Lilydale.  Also the Lowden Gardens projects were built for blacks in the same area.  Another project was built for black World War II veterans in the white part of the neighborhood which brought violent protest.  Roseland, Pullman, Riverdale and West Pullman all joined in protest against the construction of the Altgeld Gardens projects in Riverdale. Black migration continued as into the northern part of the community north of 95th Street as the majority of this part of Roseland became black by 1950.  The black population in the entire community had reached between 30-40% by 1950.
  • Woodlawn, This community never recovered from the Depression years as many 63rd street businesses continued to close down.  Whites began to leave the neighborhood as the area began to look shabby.  Black migration increased in the 1940s as whites heavily protested often violently.
  • Greater Grand Crossing, African Americans continued to slowly move into this community as whites heavily and violently objects, the neighborhood was also deteriorating in its earliest stages.
  • East Garfield Park, This neighborhood only bounced back slightly after the Depression years but continued to be disorganized as deterioration continued.
  • West Garfield Park, The Madison-Crawford shopping strip was buzzing once again and this community was ready to renovate the community and bounce back completely for the 1950s.
  • North Lawndale, This neighborhood had done well during the Depression years and continued to do well in the 40s; however, there was some deterioration and the neighborhood needed updating.  Plans were in place to fix the community; however, by the later 40s many of the middle class Jewish families achieved upward mobility and instead moved out as African American middle class families took their place much to the resentment of the rest of the community.
  • Fuller Park, After World War II the Slovak community achieved mass upward mobility which caused them to rapidly pour out of the neighborhood as impoverished blacks moved in, in large volume.  The community was simple and lacked many resources, now it became redlined by the later 40s.

1950s

  • Near North Side, The Francis Cabrini row houses were a success and now more plans for high rise projects began as more of the Little Hell slums were razed to build these high rise projects.  The razing of the Little Hell slums caused most of the Italian community to leave as now they were not choosing to live in the projects like they did in the 40s.  This community had issues with crime and gangs but was in far better condition than ever and by the later 1950s the rest of the dilapidated Little Hell slums were razed.
  • Near West Side, More public housing projects were constructed in the 1950s that cleared away more slums.  The new projects were built for African Americans, like Loomis Courts, Henry Horner, Rockwell Gardens and Grace Abbott.  Several high rise buildings were constructed out of the Grace Abbott homes.  Many more whites were moving out of the neighborhood as many more African Americans were moving in, but the rate of whites moving out was higher as the community as a whole lost 21% of its’ population in this decade.  The rest of the community around the projects became very ran down slums and vagrancy was higher than ever.  Street gang problems began to flare up.  The projects were mostly a success and a renovation for the community. 2
  • Near South Side, This community had fallen deeper into a slum and the worst section was the Black Belt, in the early 1950s all of this portion of the Black Belt was torn town as the Harold Ickes public housing projects were built over the area, the plan was a success and helped the community.
  • Back of the Yards, Slums were not an issue anymore here, now the new problem was greaser gangs and crime.  The new greaser gangs were far more violent in nature than the old Irish gangs of the past.
  • Douglas, In the early 1950s the Chicago Outfit wiped out what was left of the Black Policy racket which put a major dent on the local economy of this neighborhood causing more residents to become jobless or become lower income.  Many middle class and upper class blacks began to move out of the eastern part of the community, that area then became more impoverished as deterioration began to settle in.  The moving out of the middle class was harsh as it caused the population of this community to drop by 34%  The northern most part of the Black Belt slums were razed in 1949 to make way for the Dearborn projects.  In 1952 the Prairie Courts projects were built in the eastern part of the community near Martin Luther King Drive.  The rest of the Douglas Black Belt slums were razed in the mid 50s for the Stateway Gardens projects.  The projects were a success and a great place to live in the 1950s so there was some success in this decade, but Heroin was becoming a new problem for adult males.
  • Kenwood, By 1960 Kenwood was now over 70% African American because white flight took its toll as the vast majority of whites bailed out of this community and were replaced by black middle class and impoverished blacks.  Redlining bankrupted this community as deterioration set in heavily as many abandoned buildings and houses appeared especially in northern Kenwood.  The old elegant mansions were all divided into apartments or left vacant.
  • Grand Boulevard, In the early 1950s the Chicago Outfit wiped out what was left of the Black Policy racket which put a major dent on the local economy of this neighborhood causing more residents to become jobless or become lower income.  Many middle class and upper class blacks began to move out of the eastern part of the community, that area then became more impoverished as deterioration began to settle in.  The middle class evacuation took a devastating toll on the population of this neighborhood as about 30% of the community left.  The Black Belt slums along State Street continued to exist as this part of these slums was not designated for public housing yet.  Heroin was becoming a new problem for adult males.
  • Oakland, The rest of the white community left in the 50s and as a result this community was redlined and dis-invested.  Poverty set in deep as deterioration became severe, especially in the old vacant mansions.  Other mansions had been turned into apartment buildings for the lower income residents.  The removal of the Black Policy racket caused this community to fall into a deeper financial depression.  Heroin became a problem for adult males as it was sold heavily near the old hotels.
  • Washington Park, This community fell into a deeper slum as even active apartments looked like abandoned slums because slumlords refused to make repairs and still charge standard rent.  Alongside much of the Near West Side, this neighborhood became the worst slum in the city, especially along the Black Belt strip.  The black middle class gave up on this community and began to move out of the area causing the population to drop by 23%.
  • Englewood, This community was no longer an ideal place for middle class or working class whites to live in and the white families began to move out in large numbers as black families moved in.  The neighborhood was badly deteriorating and rent and purchase prices on properties plummeted.  The neighborhoods became severely redlined and by the later decade the area started to become a slum as whites moved out in more rapid succession.  By 1960 over 60% of the community was African American.
  • West Englewood, This community was prospering very well and in much better condition than their neighborhood Englewood to the east.  African Americans continued migration into the community around 63rd and Loomis and the migration was still peaceful and accepted.
  • South Chicago, As Europeans began to age they began moving out of the community, middle class African Americans took their place, the transition was rather smooth, the neighborhood still remained over 90% white by 1960.
  • Roseland, The racial strife of the 1940s seemed to have a negative impact on the African American community as the black population dropped well below 30%.
  • Woodlawn,  White flight took off into high gear in the 50s as block busting tactics pushed many out.  At the same time many whites that stayed protested and acted violently toward blacks to attempt to push them out.  By the later half of the decade more than half of the community was black.  As middle class black families pushed to get into this community a major housing crisis began that caused many apartments to be divided more into kitchenette apartments that were ran by slumlords as the buildings deteriorated.  The renovation plans of the 40s failed as this community became very shabby.  White flight caused redlining as the community was now at almost 90% black by 1960.
  • Greater Grand Crossing, Middle class African American families poured into this neighborhood; however, fear caused redlining and white flight as whites rapidly fled the community leaving the area to deteriorate badly.  There was no money for renewal thanks to redlining.  The Parkway Gardens projects were built to help ease the plight but there was not enough room in these desired projects so the rest of the neighborhood would suffer.  Racial strife between blacks and whites continued until the whites moved out.  Crooked real estate agents encouraged block busting which pushed white flight forward and slum lords ran terrible kitchenette apartments that deteriorated badly.  The Black Belt slum now extended into this community from 61st Street to 71st Street along State Street.  The neighborhood became over 80% black by 1960.
  • East Garfield Park, All plans to renovate the community went defunct when the white community experienced upward mobility and left the community.  By the later half of the decade white flight become more rapid as the community became redlined and deterioration set in stronger causing the community to look very shabby.  Slumlords ran ran down apartments and refused to make repairs.  The black population now was over 60%.
  • West Garfield Park, This neighborhood remained majority white and by 1960 it was still over 70% white; however, the community had heavy fears of blacks moving in and put all renovation projects for the community on hold while many white residents petitioned to keep blacks out while other were in favor of the migration.  By the late 1950s white flight began in higher volumes as black families moved in and all renovation plans were defunct by 1958.
  • North Lawndale, Block busting tactics became a major issue in this community as whites were scared into white flight especially after a crime wave in 53-54.  By 1955 white flight accelerated to the point where over 90% of this community was black by 1960.  As the Jewish community moved out black middle class families moved in but faced immediate redlining of the community which bankrupted this neighborhood.  Deterioration set in heavy as some of the most violent street gangs in the city took shape.
  • Fuller Park, Now a African American community consisting of stock yard workers. Redlining was still an issue that caused the community to deteriorate.  Much of the community did not even have a sewage system and still used outhouses.  Much of the black middle class moved out of this community as the population dropped by 29%.

1960s

  • Near North Side, The last of the Italian community moved away by 1965.  The last remnants of Little Hell were razed in the early 60s to make way for the William Green high rise projects.  Gangs became a major issue in the projects and on the streets around the projects.  By the later half of the decade the projects began to fall into deterioration and seedy residents were moving in bringing crime and filth.  The remaining houses and apartments near the projects became deteriorated and ran down.
  • Near West Side, Dan Ryan Expressway construction and now UIC and Circle Interchange construction razed more slums and other homes and buildings as more of the white, Mexican and Puerto Rican population was forced to move.  More public housing extensions were built that cleared more slums but the remaining ran down areas were far more deteriorated than ever.  White flight finally ran its course as now the community was over 70% black by 1970.  White flight had caused this community’s population to drop by 38% which showing that white flight was stronger than black migration at this time.  Redlining and disinvestment became worse in this community.  The Mexican and Puerto Rican community that was not effected by the highway and UIC construction began to move out.
  • Near South Side, Slums were cleared out by Cermak Road and State Street to make way for the Raymond Hilliard Center public housing project in 1966 but the rest of the news for this community was not very good news as the remaining area was left to sit as a deteriorated slum.  The South Loop was filled with vacant buildings that were ran down.  Many shabby apartments sat in this community where slum lords charged regular rent for slum down conditions.  This community was over 70% African American in the 1960s which meant redlining and disinvestment became real issues.  Whites no longer wanted to live in this community as them and the black middle classes bailed out dropping the population by 16%.
  • Back of the Yards, Mexican migration came in a small wave to this community that escalated by the later 1960s.  In the later 1960s blacks migrated below 51st Street because the housing was cheaper due to being located near the impoverished Englewood community. The white and Hispanic community below 51st Street heavily objected to blacks moving in and racial violence soon ensued.  North of 51st Street white greaser gangs continued to battle in vicious gang wars making this one of the tougher neighborhoods in Chicago once again.
  • Douglas,  The middle class and upper class African Americans began to pack up and leave this community taking most of the Bronzeville charm with them.  Violent street gangs from further south neighborhoods began migrating into the community and took up residence in the projects and around the neighborhood bringing violent gang wars and the sale of drugs. Women and teenage males began using harder drugs like Heroin and Cocaine.  Several abandoned buildings and homes started to become a common site, this community was becoming blighted. The Stateway Gardens projects began to fall into deterioration and were conquered by gangs.  The black middle classes continued to evacuate this crumbling area as now the population dropped by another 16%.
  • Kenwood, Some of far south Kenwood was still a functioning area but the rest of southern Kenwood had fallen into a rough and shabby neighborhood.  Northern Kenwood became a slum with several long vacant buildings and houses.  Crime and gangs became a major issue in this community as it was now considered a Chicago ghetto.  Now black middle classes no longer wanted to live here and bailed out rapidly as the population sunk by 35%.
  • Grand Boulevard, In 1960 the Black Belt in this community was razed to make way for the Robert Taylor projects that were built right over the Black Belt dilapidated homes. The projects were great at first but by the mid-1960s they were deteriorating already and full of violent street gangs. The middle class and upper class African Americans began to pack up and leave this community taking most of the Bronzeville charm with them. Violent street gangs from further south neighborhoods began migrating into the community and took up residence in the projects and around the neighborhood bringing violent gang wars and the sale of drugs. Women and teenage males began using harder drugs like Heroin and Cocaine.  Several abandoned buildings and homes started to become a common site, this community was becoming blighted. This community became one of the more blighted and dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago.
  • Oakland, The once elegant hotels now sat abandoned and attracted drug trafficking, addicts and vagrants.  The old mansions now sat as vacant and bombed out slums.  The only mansions left were divided into severely ran down apartments.  Violent street gangs migrated into this community selling drugs and committing violent crime.  More public housing projects were built near the Ida B. Wells like Clarence Darrow projects and Lake Park Place which were desirable places to live but the rest of the community was once of the more ran down and dangerous communities in Chicago.  Black middle classes no longer wanted to live among the conditions of this community and began to flee, causing the community to shrink by 25%.
  • Washington Park,  The Black Belt slums along State Street were razed in 1960 and the Robert Taylor projects were built in place which was good for the community at first.  When the projects became flooded with gangs and drugs by the mid-1960s, this crime spilled onto the streets of this community.  This community became further dis-invested as black middle classes continued to move out leaving this to be one of the poorest and one of the most ran down slum communities in Chicago.
  • Englewood,  The last of the white community packed up and left in the early 1960s.  Redlining and disinvestment took its toll harshly on this community as even middle class blacks began to move out of this area. Extreme poverty left this community to fall into severe disrepair and abandonment.  Many buildings and houses sat vacant as the area was already becoming one of the more ran down slums in Chicago.  Violent street gangs and drugs took over these streets.
  • West Englewood, Black migration continued in this community to point where by 1970 50% of the community was black.  The black community was expanding outside of the 63rd and Loomis area and this angered the whites in the neighborhood, the racial harmony of this community came to an end and soon racial violence ensued along with block busting, white flight and disinvestment.  Renovations were soon lacking and this community started to look shabbier.
  • South Chicago,  African Americans and more Mexican families slowly continued to move into this mostly white community, primarily in the older homes and apartments.
  • West Pullman, Maplewood Park subdivision was built for middle class African American families in the west side of the community in 1962, after this the white community stopped fighting to keep the neighborhood white and instead began to move out later in the decade as more black families moved in.
  • Roseland, Black migration returned to this community which sparked violence and opposition from the white community.  Many angry whites resorted to white flight starting in 1965, by 1970 the community was now 50% black.
  • Woodlawn, The rest of the white community moved out of this neighborhood in the early 1960s.  Violent street gangs took over this community as redlining and disinvestment set in hard.  By 1968 white business owners closed down all their stores, shortly after rioting caused many buildings to be burned down that were never restored.  Many middle class blacks began to vacate this community as lower income and no income blacks moved in because of the cheap rent prices.  The middle class evacuation was devastating as the population of this community dropped by 34%.  The community became heavily deteriorated and ran down and became one of the harsher slums in Chicago.
  • Greater Grand Crossing, The rest of the white community left this area in the early 1960s and redlining and disinvestment set in harshly.  Street gangs from other neighborhoods made their way into the community as drugs and prostitution became a problem.  The area fell into a slum as more abandoned buildings appeared and slumlord apartments became more deteriorated.
  • Austin, White families began to move out for the suburbs in the mid-1960s as black middle class families took their place and soon racial strife began as much of the community was not happy with blacks living in the neighborhood.  More whites moved out in much higher volumes in the late 1960s as more black families moved in, some of them were lower income. Gang problems between black and white gangs became highly prevalent.  By 1970 almost 40% of this community was black which shows how rapid white flight was in the later 1960s.
  • East Garfield Park, The last of the white community moved out in the early 1960s as this was now an all-black community.  This neighborhood became very impoverished and become flooded with gang activity and crime.  Many properties went vacant and deteriorated heavily.  This community fell into a complete slum by the 1960s with many blighted areas.  The remaining whites and evacuation of black middle classes caused the population of this community to drop by 22%.
  • West Garfield Park, The rest of the white community moved out by the mid-1960s and as the remaining white population was leaving the middle class blacks attempted to get the city to renovate; however, the city rejected this plea and the community fell into disrepair and heavy deterioration, the problem worsened from two violent riots in 1965 and 1968 that destroyed many buildings that were never repaired.  Slumlords continued to let rented property deteriorate and the community could not fight it.  By the late 1960s this neighborhood became a slum.
  • North Lawndale, The last of the white community moved out in the early 1960s as disinvestment set in very deep into this community.  Some of the black middle class also began to move as this was turning out to not be the neighborhood they had hoped for when they moved in, in the 50s, the population of this community would drop by 24%.  Violent street gangs continued to destroy this community and push drugs on the streets.  Several vacant and heavily ran down buildings soon became common site as even middle class blacks began to move away.  after the MLK riots of 1968, the destruction caused this community to become one of the more ran down slums in Chicago.
  • Fuller Park, This community became heavily ran down as more properties fell into disrepair and abandonment.  This community was becoming one of the more blighted areas of the city.  Violent street gangs began to move into this area.  Another major wave of black middle classes packed up and left this community causing the population of the community to drop another alarming 39%.

1970s

  • Near North Side, The Cabrini Green projects fell into complete disrepair and then complete abandonment by 1975.  Drugs and gangs ran rampant in the projects as they became full of graffiti and filth.  The community all around the projects also became very ran down and became a slum area that became very dangerous once again.
  • Near West Side, With the exception of the Henry Horner projects the rest of the projects fell into disrepair and filth as gangs and drugs took over.  The rest of the community around the projects all fell into a complete slum over almost every inch of this community.  White flight ran its last round as the entire white community had vacated by the end of the decade.  This community was now over 80% black by 1980 and was heavily dis-invested in which left the neighborhoods to deteriorate more and violence to run rampant, this was perhaps the worst ghetto in Chicago.  The rest of the white, Mexican and Puerto Rican community moved out. this caused the population of this area to drop by 27%.
  • Near South Side, The Harold Ickes projects began to fall into disrepair and became ran down as they were conquered by gangs and drugs.  Even the Raymond Hilliard Center fell on hard times by the later 1970s as gangs and drugs became a problem there.  The rest of the community became a severely ran down ghetto with crumbled buildings and deteriorated living spaces.  The rest of the white population abandoned this community and by 1980 over 90% of this neighborhood was black. More black middle classes vacated this area and now the population dropped by another 17%.  Disinvestment and redlining were prevalent here as this area was completely classified as a ghetto and a more dangerous area.
  • Back of the Yards, In the earlier half this decade the Mexican and white community south of 51st Street continued to battle against blacks and black street gangs in further attempts to keep blacks out of this area, by the later half of the decade their attempts failed and they moved north of 51st Street or out of the community.  Below 51st Street became impoverished and shabby, many properties were ran down and vacancies started to appear.  North of 51st Street violent street gangs continued to battle each other that became more bloody.
  • Douglas, The public housing projects in this community became ran down and violent as renovations stopped and drugs and gangs took over.  Stateway Gardens and Dearborn Homes were exceptionally dangerous.  The rest of the community became a ran down slum with many heavily deteriorated vacant properties.  The last of the black middle class evacuated this neighborhood leaving the area to fall more victim to redlining and disinvestment.  The rest of the black middle class departure caused the population to drop another 17%. This community became of the more ran down and dangerous slums in Chicago.
  • Kenwood, This area became more ran down and dangerous as high crime, drugs and gangs ran more rampant.  Once elegant mansions in North Kenwood were now bombed out looking slum buildings.  In far south Kenwood there were still efforts to keep this area safe and clean.  More black middle classes bailed out of this community as the population fell another 18%.
  • Grand Boulevard, The Robert Taylor projects became a very violent and dangerous place to live.  The projects were also deteriorating badly and renovations stopped.  Gangs and drugs took over these massive projects and the streets all around them.  This become of the more violent neighborhoods of Chicago and became severely blighted as scores of ran down vacant buildings and homes were all over this community.  The last of the black middle class abandoned this community leaving redlining and disinvestment to take over. The departure of the middle class caused the population to dip dramatically another 33%.  This community became of the more ran down and dangerous slums in Chicago.
  • Oakland, The Madden Park housing projects were built in 1970 as the last effort of the CHA to help Chicago’s poor.  The project complex began to fall into disrepair, drugs and gang violence right after being built along with the rest of the housing projects in the community.  Many vacant buildings were torn down but nothing was built in place.  Much of the rest of the community was deteriorated and several vacant buildings still stood many were former grand mansions.  Gangs and drugs ran rampant in these streets.
  • Washington Park, The best that could come to this community was the tear down of vacant properties but only vacant lots were left over.  The rest of the community heavily deteriorated and the community was still heavily populated with some of the worst slum buildings in the city.  Drugs and gangs became more intense in this neighborhood than ever.  The Robert Taylor projects became heavily deteriorated and violent.  The population of this community heavily dropped by 31% as people were trying to get out and the rest of the black middle class departed.
  • Englewood, The population of this community dropped significantly mainly due to several more abandoned properties as the black middle class began to bail out this community causing 34% of the population to leave.  This community became heavily riddled with some of the most ran down slum buildings in the city.  Violent crime, gangs and drugs became legendary in this neighborhoods as it become one of the more dangerous communities in the city.  The city began to tear down many of the long vacant properties leaving several empty lots.
  • West Englewood, Race wars continued in the first half of the decade as whites continued to battle to keep the community from turning into a mostly black community and this brought a massive race war in the mid-1970s between white and black gangs.  In the later half of the 70s the whites moved out of the community entirely as the neighborhood became badly dis-invested and began to deteriorate severely.  By 1980 the neighborhood was over 90% black.
  • South Chicago, African Americans and Mexicans migrated in larger numbers into this community and then starting in 1977 another very large waive began after the steel companies began layoffs.  This community no longer offered employment by the late 1970s but it offered cheaper housing due to the lack of employment, this brought many lower income Mexican and black families to this area while white flight became strong in the later 70s.
  • West Pullman, White flight continued in this community especially once many of the factories began to close down.  By the late 1970s when almost all the factories closed the last of the white families evacuated the community as black middle classes and black lower income classes moved in.  The lower classes settled near the old factories north of 121st and east of Halsted, which is where the last of the white population lived until the later 1970s.
  • Roseland, Many racial wars were fought in this community in the first half of the decade as black middle classes continued to move in.  In the later half of the decade the wars stopped as whites moved out in stronger numbers especially after the steel companies closed their doors, this now brought in lower income blacks that could now afford to live here.
  • Woodlawn, A great portion of black middle classes began to move out of this community due to heavy amount of gang and drug related activity, this would cause the population of the community to drop by 33%.  The neighborhood had also became more of a slum with many vacant properties, this also became one of the more dangerous neighborhoods in the city.  The neighborhood would continue to deteriorate as more vacant properties appeared.
  • Greater Grand Crossing, This community fell deeper into heavy disrepair and abandonment as more middle class blacks bailed out of this neighborhood.  Drugs, violence and gangs became a deeper problem that even effected the Parkway Gardens that now became a deteriorating and dangerous public housing complex.  This community became one of the more ran down slums in Chicago.
  • Austin, White flight continued in this community as many whites fought to keep the community majority white especially the street gangs.  By the later 1970s the white street gangs were losing the battle and white flight took off in higher numbers as more middle class and now lower income black families moved into the community.  By the later half of the decade deterioration soon set into the community as the area became redlined.  North of North Avenue the community fought to stay white and succeeded in that battle; however, Mexican and Puerto Ricans moved into this area.  By 1980, well over 80% of the community was now black.
  •  East Garfield Park, This community continued to deteriorate as the rate of  vacant properties greatly increased, some of the buildings became severely  ran down and some of the most dilapidated slum buildings could be seen  in this neighborhood.  The city began to tear down slum buildings but  nothing was built in place.  This community became overran with more  intense gang and drug problems making it one of the more dangerous  communities in the city.  The population of this community began to drop  as middle class blacks were moving out.  The departure of black middle classes caused an alarming 39% of the community to bail out.
  •  West Garfield Park, The population of this community began to fall as  middle class blacks left this crumbling community.  The black middle class departure caused the population to dip by 30%.  The shopping strip on  Madison Street became mostly vacant and ran down.  Many homes and  buildings deteriorated as gangs and drugs took over these streets.  The  Heroin trade anchored itself deep into this community as they community  became infested with ran down down vacant properties.  This became of  the more dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago.
  •  North Lawndale, This became one of the most severely blighted  communities in the city as several more vacant buildings continued to  deteriorate over time.  Joblessness and low incomes plagued this  community.  Gangs and drugs ran rampant on these streets as this became  one of the more dangerous neighborhoods in the city.  The rest of the black middle class packed up and left causing the population to drop by 35%.
  •  Fuller Park, In 1971 the Union Stock Yards closed down which was the  only source of income for the residents in this community.  Once the  stockyards closed down this community fell into extreme poverty as gangs  and drugs swept through this depressed area.  Soon the site of vacant  properties and heavily deteriorated buildings became common site as this  became once of the higher crime of more impoverished communities in  the city.  Because this community was so reliant on the stock yards for employment, foreclosure became a very real nightmare as many lost their homes and the population dropped by 20%.

1980s

  • Near North Side, The Cabrini Green projects had become infested with drug, gang and graffiti problems.  The conditions of the buildings were that of ran down slums and the immediate area around the projects was ran down with several vacant buildings and dilapidated homes.  Goose Island, the Cabrini area and much of Old Town neighborhoods became dangerous and slum areas, this became the worst decade in this area’s history.
  • Near West Side, This community had reached it’s worst point in history as crime and gangs ran rampant through these slums.  All public housing projects including the Henry Horner Homes had now become ran down and dangerous areas with high crime, drugs and gangs.  From the West Loop all the way to the United Center area this community was heavily blighted.  Madison Street was full of the homeless living in the streets among piles of ruble and in abandoned buildings.  Sleezy hotels and .18 cent bars lined the streets.  The Maxwell Street Market even ceased operation because of how ran down the area had become.  National attention was finally placed on this community and renovation plans were put in the earliest stages, this would all begin with the demolition of certain key slum buildings.  Many people in this community became foreclosed on due to financial restraints which caused the population to drop by 19%.
  • Near South Side,  This neighborhood had reached its peak of being a ran down community.  Several homeless slept in the dirty streets.  Many shabby homes sat next to dilapidated vacant buildings and homes.  The Harold Ickes projects had become badly ran down and full of gang and drug problems.  This community became one of the more dangerous and neglected neighborhoods in the city, even the Raymond Hilliard Center started to become bad.  Plans began for renovation for depressed community.
  • Back of the Yards, The area south of 51st Street began to fall into a slum as more vacant properties became common place.  The area was becoming dangerous and much of the crime from Englewood and West Englewood was spilling into this area.  This area became a dis-invested and struggling black and Hispanic community.  In the northern part above 51st Street urban blight was not an issue, instead the main issue was solely gang violence as more gangs from other neighborhoods moved in.  Lethal gang violence sharply increased, especially by the late 1980s.  Most of the white community moved out of this area s Mexican families moved in making this more of a Hispanic community.
  • Douglas, This community had reached its worst point in time for urban blight as now the community was lined up with several dilapidated slum buildings.  The public housing projects were in extreme distress especially the Stateway Gardens and Dearborn Homes that were full of filth, drugs and gangs.  This community became one of the more dangerous communities in Chicago and its colorful Bronzeville history was becoming forgotten especially as more jazz clubs closed down.  Foreclosure of the poorer residents that owned property became a major issue as it caused the population to drop another 14%.
  • Kenwood,  Northern Kenwood had become a worse slum as urban blight become more plentiful.  Crime and gangs were a major issue in this community as even southern Kenwood suffered greatly between 47th to 49th Street.  Kenwood had reached its peak of urban blight and crime.  Foreclosure of impoverished property owners became a problem leaving more vacant homes, the population dropped by 17% as a result.
  • Grand Boulevard, This area had reached its peak of blight as now the entire community had fallen into a slum, including the mansions left on Martin Luther King Drive.  The Robert Taylor projects had become more dangerous and severely ran down as crime, gangs and filth bred in those buildings.  Many more jazz clubs continued to close down taking away the old charm of Bronzeville that was now becoming forgotten as this neighborhood became one of the top of the list dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago.  Foreclosure on property owners became a massive problem that left many vacant structures as the population sharply dropped again another 33%.
  • Oakland, The Ida B. Wells, Clarence Darrow Homes and Madden Park Homes became dangerous and ran down projects full of crime, gangs and filth.  The community now had several vacant lots were grand mansions used to stand, the ones that still stood were crumbling and vacant or had become seedy ran down apartment complexes.  This community was heavily blighted and very dangerous, this was perhaps the worst decade this community faced.  Foreclosure and running away from the danger in this community caused the population to shrink very dramatically as more than half of the community was bailed out or kicked out in this decade, the population dropped by 51%.
  • Washington Park,  The Robert Taylor Homes had become more ran down and violent as it effected the whole community more.  The population of this community continued to drop sharply by 39% as much of the neighborhood was vacant and heavily deteriorated buildings, the best news was when one of these buildings would be torn down, but then a vacant lot was left that would never be built over.  Foreclosure of property owners became a massive problem.  This was still one of the most blighted and dangerous communities in the city.  Most buildings that went abandoned stayed that way until they were razed.
  • Englewood, This became one of the poorest and more dilapidated communities in the city.  This community had a very high vacancy rate and more buildings were left abandoned for longer periods of time until they were just finally demolished.  This neighborhood became the most dangerous neighborhood in the city as violent crime and gang wars ripped through these streets.  More black middle classes bailed out of this community causing more vacant properties and shrinking the neighborhood by 18%.
  • West Englewood, The rest of white flight ran its course in the very early 1980s as this community was left to be red lined and dis-invested.  Vacant buildings from the 70s were still not occupied and had to be torn down which started a trend of long standing vacant buildings that would remain until eventually razed just like neighboring Englewood. Gangs and drugs took over this community as now black middle classes were moving out in a hurry leaving many more vacant properties, this community was now turning into a distressed slum.
  • South Chicago, White flight became big in this community in the 1980s after the steel industry collapsed.  As whites moved away lower income black and Hispanic families took up residence.  Migrating violent street gangs moved into this community and violent gang wars erupted.  This community became low valued and dangerous as redlining practices prevailed further.  Many homes became vacant and ran down, much of the community was becoming a slum.
  • West Pullman, Black middle classes and working classes thrived very well in the majority of this community; however, violent street gangs still migrated into the entire community causing high crime and violence.  The area between 115th to 121st and Halsted to the Riverdale border became severely blighted as these homes of the lower classes became vacant.  This area became very dangerous and a slum.
  • Roseland, After the steel mills closed and the last of white flight ran its course in the early 1980s this neighborhood fell on very hard times and become economically depressed.  Gangs and drugs flooded this community and by the mid-1980s a high rate of vacant properties and foreclosures became a major issue.  Foreclosures, early departure of the black middle class and the rest of white flight caused the population to drop by 12%. The Lowden projects became very violent and deteriorated.  This was becoming one of the more dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago by the end of the decade.
  • Woodlawn,  The trend of heavy gang violence, drugs, vacancy and heavy deterioration continued to plague this community as it become of the more dangerous neighborhoods in the city.  Buildings and homes were left to stand vacant for long periods of time making this community one of the more heavily blighted communities in Chicago.  Foreclosure became a major issue in this community on property owners as the population dropped by 24%.
  • Greater Grand Crossing, The Parkway Gardens projects became a dangerous and deteriorated slum and the rest of the community was full of ran down and long vacant properties.  This area became of the more blighted areas of Chicago and one of the more dangerous communities in the city.  The deterioration and vacancy were getting worse.
  • Austin, The last of white flight happened in the early 80s as the neighborhood was left to be red lined and dis-invested.  Soon vacancy became an issue and the once flourishing businesses on Chicago Avenue and Cicero Avenue began to close down and the buildings were left vacant and to deteriorate severely.  Gangs took over this community and pushed heroin at a very high volume making this streets dangerous.  The rest of white flight and the departure of some of the black middle class caused the population to drop by 17%.
  • East Garfield Park, This neighborhood became more dangerous and blighted than ever as now properties would remain vacant for many years until eventually razed.  This community became known for several dilapidated buildings, vacant lots and high crime. This become of this more dangerous communities in Chicago that was full of urban blight.  Foreclosure became a major problem for property owners as 24% of the community had left the area.
  • West Garfield Park, This community became increasingly dangerous in the 80s as the notorious drug ring grew wider and more lucrative.  Gang violence became a serious issue as this became one of the more dangerous Chicago communities.  Vacancy and deterioration began to reach a severe level in this community as properties began to sit for many years.  The rest of the black middle class bailed out of this community as the population dropped by 29%.
  • North Lawndale, This area was still one of the more blighted and dangerous communities in Chicago as gang violence and drugs took hold of this community much worse.  Buildings continued to sit for many years until they were torn down causing many vacant lots to appear.  This became one of the top most dangerous communities in Chicago and one of the most blighted.  Foreclosure on property owners became a major issue as the population dipped by another 23%.
  • Fuller Park,  This community now became of the more dangerous communities in the city as drugs and gangs ran rampant.  Much of the properties were rented properties that would remain that way until the landlords left the property vacant, it would then be left to deteriorate until demolition.  More property owners fell into foreclosure as many of those properties were left to rot, the population fell by another 25%.

1990s

  • Near North Side, Hope was now on the horizon as the first buildings in the Cabrini Green public housing complex were torn down eliminating much of the crime and gang activity in the area.  Plans were also being developed to revamp the entire Cabrini, Goose Island and western Old Town area that would involve demolition, some of that demolition started.  For the most part this area of the Near North Side was still very violent and blighted, and the violence had reached its peak in history.
  • Near West Side, Hope was now to come to this blighted area starting with the projects and the West Loop area.  The slums were razed in the West Loop to make way for a business district.  Many of the public housing buildings were demolished which eliminated much of the crime and gang activity; however, crime and gang activity worsened in the project buildings still standing.  Planners were mapping out a complete revision of Tri-Taylor area, United Center area, University Village, Greektown and Jew Town that would involve mass demolition and rebuilding, demolition had begun in some of these areas.
  • Near South Side, Developers and city planners put their planning from the 80s into action as they began demolishing the slum areas of this community, redevelopment of new buildings was in the works but for now it was mass demolition.  The Harold Ickes projects had become much worse and much more violent and were now being looking into for possibly demolition as they had achieved their worst years and kept the crime rate high in the community.  As the community was being repaired black middle classes and even white middle classes came back to this community as the population rebounded and increased by 41%.
  • Back of The Yards, Gang violence and crime became more rampant in this community as this became one of the more dangerous communities in Chicago.  South of 51st Street became heavily blighted as properties began to sit vacant for many years until demolition began creating vacant lots.
  • Douglas, Plans began by members of the community along with city planners to revamp this community and restore many historical buildings back to a Bronzeville renaissance.  Although plans were underway to revamp this community massive action was not put forth yet with the exception of some razing of far gone slum buildings.  The community continued to face heavy deterioration and crime.  The public housing units became more dangerous and crime ridden than ever, this community faced its worst decade in history.  The population took another smaller dip this time at 14% as more property owners were foreclosed on.
  • Kenwood, Aggressive neighborhood renewal began in this decade especially south of 47th Street in southern Kenwood as upper middle classes seized this part of the community and got with developers that tore down all the run down homes, construction on newer homes and buildings began immediately.  Lower income classes and gangs began to move out of the southern Kenwood rapidly especially by the late 1990s.  By the later 90s Northern Kenwood slum houses and buildings began to be torn down as urban planning was about to come north of 47th Street.  This community was becoming less dangerous.  Lower income classes were now being forced to leave as black middle classes were moving back in causing the population to only drop by 1% this time.
  • Grand Boulevard, This community continued to deteriorate severely as no solid urban redevelopment was yet put in place.  The rotting slum buildings continued to stand vacant and crumble until demolition removed them.  High crime, drugs and gangs continued to be a major force in this community.  The Robert Taylor projects became more ran down and dangerous and the worst gang wars erupted here by the later 1990s.  This was still one of the more violent and dangerous neighborhoods and the old Bronzeville feel was almost all gone.  This was perhaps the worst decade this community faced.  More foreclosure on property owners caused another 22% of the population to fall off.
  • Oakland, Urban planning began to renovate this neighborhood entirely, the first stage was underway with demolition of many far gone slum buildings and many of the housing project buildings were also torn down.  The projects had reached their worst years with excessive violence and drugs. This community was full of many vacant lots and dangerous criminal activity but hope was on the horizon, but for now this would become perhaps one of its’ worst decades.  The areas not slated for demolition became further blighted.  Demolition of many project buildings and more foreclosures caused the population to dip another 25%.
  • Washington Park, The Robert Taylor project buildings within these borders became the first to be slated for demolition in 1998 which brought some relief to this community; however, gangs and drugs still ran rampant.  Buildings and homes continued to deteriorate severely and there was no plans for renovation only mass demolition of far gone buildings that just left vacant lots.  This community was shrinking due to urban blight, it was especially tough to move people into buildings before they deteriorated beyond repair.  This was still one of the top most violent neighborhoods in Chicago.  More foreclosures and the tear down of the Robert Taylor projects buildings caused the population to drop another 27%.
  • Englewood, This community became increasingly dangerous and violent and there were no plans for renovation.  High vacancy and crumbling ran down buildings was still common site.  Vacant buildings could not be filled in time and would just rot beyond repair then be demolished creating many more vacant lots and shrinking the population.  This became the most dangerous and blighted community in Chicago.  Foreclosure was still a major problem that dropped the population another 17%.
  • West Englewood, This community sunk further into becoming a slum and became almost parallel in high crime and blight as neighboring Englewood. Many more vacant buildings were appearing that could not be filled and would eventually be razed after left standing for many years.  This community had far less vacant lots than Englewood which meant more slum buildings that could breed crime and drug related activity.  This neighborhood now became one of the top blighted communities in Chicago and one of the most dangerous.
  • South Chicago, Gang violence reached a dangerous level as this community became one of the more dangerous areas in the city.  Massive amounts of vacancy continued to trend upward as more buildings and homes were left shuttered for many years, causing many buildings to be torn down.  This community now rose to becoming one of the more blighted neighborhoods in Chicago.
  • West Pullman, The closed down factories from the early 1980s began to leak pollution that poisoned the area between 115th to 121st and east of Halsted Street causing the vast majority of the remaining black middle classes to vacate the area leaving many more abandoned homes.  More lower income classes moved into this ran down area and the area deteriorated further as crime soured well above a reasonable amount.  The gangs and drugs from this area spread to other sections of the community making this entire neighborhood dangerous.  The poisoned area became severely blighted.
  • Roseland, Vacancy and foreclosure trends continued at a high rate in this community as more vacant slum buildings and homes began to pop up in the more central area of this community while the black middle classes stayed on the outer edges. Gang violence became legendary in this community as it had now graduated to one of the more dangerous areas in the city, it would also become one of the more blighted areas.
  • Woodlawn, Attempts at renovation began in this community but were halted due to financial constraints during construction leaving the half built buildings to become a part of the older blight in the community.  Blight continued to be an increasing problem as gangs and violence also became out of control.  This community became even more dangerous.
  • Greater Grand Crossing, The Parkway Gardens projects continued to fall into deterioration and drug fueled gang violence. This community continued to suffer extreme blight that only became worse, violence also became worse, this was still one of the more dangerous communities in the city.
  • Austin, This community was now well known for Heroin distribution and only became known for that and perhaps the excessive gang violence.  More buildings and homes became ran down and vacant and others faced heavier deterioration.  This community not only became one of the more dangerous communities it also became one of the more blighted areas.
  • East Garfield Park, Urban blight continued to worsen and so did crime, the only positive was the tearing down of far gone slums which was becoming all too common creating an alarming amount of vacant lots.  This now one of the top dangerous neighborhoods in the city.  More foreclosure dropped the population another 13%.
  • West Garfield Park, Urban blight now became as severe as neighboring East Garfield Park and the crime rate was just as high.  This community was now one of the top dangerous and blighted communities in the city, only demolition of far gone slum buildings was the only positive.
  • North Lawndale, This was still a community at the top list of most violent communities in the city.  This neighborhood also had one of the most amount of blighted buildings in the city with many far gone buildings that would eventually be razed to make way for just empty lots.  Another 12% of the population were foreclosed on and had to leave the community.
  • Fuller Park, The crime and gang activity reached a new high for this community as it was not one of the top most dangerous areas in Chicago.  Deteriorated vacant properties became more common site and demolition was slow but still plentiful leaving many vacant lots.  This was now one of the top blighted areas in the city.  Foreclosure continued to deplete the population as the population dropped another 21%.

2000s

  • Near North Side, Massive demolition was occurring all over the blighted area of this community as the Cabrini Green towers continued to fall. Violence and heavy gang activity continued but was reduced by a major amount.  Construction began on several expensive condos and townhouses.  Brand new office buildings, retail stores and restaurants were constructed to cater to the upper classes and tourists.  This area was getting a massive make over and crime was dropping.
  • Near West Side, All the rest of the public housing projects were torn down accept the ones that were schedules for major renovation.  The wrecking ball continued to swing knocking down one slum building after another as new office buildings, condos, townhouses, restaurants and retail stores were built up in this community catering to upper income classes and tourists.  Many of the impoverished African Americans began to leave this area in larger numbers than in the 90s as middle classes of all racial backgrounds moved in that made higher incomes.  The crime rate began to fall and the gangs were migrating outward.  Slum clearance and the tear down of projects were all that were factors still dropping the population but new housing that brought in upper income classes far outweighed the departures causing the population to increase by 18%.
  • Near South Side, The whole new South Loop was being built up now that all the slum buildings and homes were removed.  The Harold Ickes projects were removed and a greenery took place of the area.  Impoverished African Americans continued to leave the area as wealthy upper classes of all backgrounds moved into the brand new townhouses and condos.  All new stores, office buildings and restaurants took over these streets making the community completely unrecognizable.  The crime rate plummeted.
  • Back of the Yards, This community would continue to suffer with heavy crime and violence as it was now one of the more dangerous communities in the city.  The area below 51st Street became more heavily blighted with several ran down slum buildings and homes, demolition became a more common site leaving more vacant lots.  The blight and vacancy below 51st Street caused the population of the entire community to drop by 14%.
  • Douglas, As all the projects were being torn down throughout the decade, planners and developers worked tirelessly to revamp the neighborhood.  Many older ran down buildings were razed and many were restored and new jazz clubs and restaurants were opening.  New pricier condos and town homes were built over the grounds where the Stateway Gardens once stood. The remaining project buildings continued to breed crime and kept the community still as one of the more dangerous in the city but much hope was on the horizon.  Because of the razing of the projects and much slum clearance the population dropped another 31%.
  • Kenwood, Southern Kenwood was now a restored and upper middle class mostly black community that had became much safer.  Historic homes had been restored and newer homes now sat where old vacant homes used to sit.  In northern Kenwood there was still much renovation going on and more slum buildings were being razed.  The gang and drug problems were greatly reduced as the decade continued as upper middle class blacks moved in to replace the lower income residents.
  • Grand Boulevard,  As the Robert Taylor projects were being razed new plans came about to restore this community back to a Bronzeville renaissance just like neighboring Oakland and Douglas.  Badly dilapidated slum buildings began to be razed while others began to be renovated, this was the beginning of the fixing of this community, in the mean time gangs and drugs still were a major problem and this community was still one of the more dangerous areas of the city but not as bad as the previous decade, especially as more project buildings were demolished.  As the projects were demolished it caused the population to drop by 22%.
  • Oakland, Brand new condos and town homes were now built over where the slums used to be.  The rest of the housing projects were razed and left as vacant lots.  More slum buildings were torn down while others were revamped and sold to upper middle class blacks.  Gangs moved out of this area for the most part and crime dropped significantly.  Black middle classes were moving in as the projects were being torn down along with more slum buildings.  The new arrivals caused an offset as the population only shrunk by 3%.
  • Washington Park, Still a deteriorated and violent neighborhood.  The area was looking less blighted due to the mass amounts of torn down buildings. This community was still on the top list of most violent neighborhoods.  More departures and foreclosures kept happening as the population dipped another 17%.
  • Englewood, This community still remained extremely violent and now became the number 1 most blighted area in the city.  The area was looking more rural thanks to several tear downs of slum buildings while others would still sit for many years.  More foreclosures and other factors caused the population to drop another 24%.
  • West Englewood, This community had now become just as blighted and dangerous as Englewood.
  • South Chicago, Vicious gang wars continued to rip through this community as the area became more blighted than ever.  Many slum buildings were torn down but many new ones were popping up all the time.  This was now one of the more blighted communities in the city.
  • West Pullman, The area east of Halsted and north of 121st continued to become increasingly blighted and dangerous.
  • Roseland, Blight become worse in this community as more severely dilapidated buildings and homes became common site making this community one of the more blighted areas in the city.  Violent crime continued to worsen in this community.  Black middle classes continued to depart as foreclosures also still increased causing the population to drop another 15%.
  • Woodlawn, More failed urban renewal efforts were attempted that just added to the blight until these plans were halted due to high rates of failure. The community would continue to suffer from extreme poverty, violence and blight.  The razing of long blighted buildings became the only ray of hope.
  • Greater Grand Crossing, Extreme blight and extreme violence continued to worsen in this community.
  • Austin, Now dubbed “The Heroin Superhighway,” this community continued to deteriorate and suffer severe gang violence and drug trafficking.  This community was not big on demolition but temporary vacancy was a major issue and now longer term vacancies were becoming more common.  The old retail area of Cicero Avenue became badly blighted.  More black middle classes would depart and foreclosure was becoming a major issue as the population dropped by 16%.
  • East Garfield Park, This community was filled with more vacant lots than ever due to more mass demolitions while long term blight was still rampant.  This continued to be one of the most dangerous communities in the city.
  • West Garfield Park, More razing of long shuttered properties continued as this community was now on the top list of most blighted communities.  Gang and drug problems only worsened in this area as it was still one of the more dangerous communities in the city.  Foreclosure issues continued as the population dropped by 22%.
  • North Lawndale, The extreme blight and violence continued to plague this community and it still remained one of the top blighted and dangerous areas of the city.  Another 14% of the population was removed.
  • Fuller Park, Still becoming more blighted and dangerous than ever.  Still one of the top violent communities in the city.  Another 16% of the population was removed.

2010s

  • Near North Side, In 2011 the last Cabrini Green high rise was demolished while the Francis Cabrini row houses were ordered to be vacated until further notice.  100% of the rest of the slum area near the projects on Goose Island, Cabrini neighborhood and western Old Town was now all razed and new condos, town houses, restaurants, stores and offices now took over those spaces.  100% of the old remnants of the notorious Little Hell and Cabrini ghetto were at last vanquished.
  • Near West Side, 100% of all the slum buildings and housing projects were all gone and replaced by expensive condos, town houses, restaurants, office buildings and stores.  The old Near West Side ghetto was now completely gone and the neighborhood became unrecognizable.
  • Near South Side, Renovation was 100% complete, the area is now completely changed, the ran down ghetto is long gone.
  • Back of the Yards, This area continues to suffer from high crime and violence and is one of the more dangerous areas in the city.  South of 51st Street is more deteriorated and blighted than ever.  More vacant lots can now be seen in this area of the neighborhood.
  • Douglas,  The renaissance has been achieved! This community is once again Bronzeville but only better than before as jazz clubs and restaurants that celebrate African culture continue to open.  This is now one of the safer communities in the city and is now home once again to many upper class and middle class blacks.  The last of the slum buildings are being razed or revamped.  Many new black middle classes have moved in, in the 2010s and it is estimated that the population has increased by 6.5%
  • Kenwood, A little more restoration and demolition has been occurring in the area north of 47th Street but almost all the area has become black middle and upper classes.  The southern area below 47th Street is now a mix of white and black upper income classes. This is now one of the safer areas of the city.
  • Grand Boulevard, The majority of the crime and gang activity has been removed from this area and this is no longer a dangerous community, it is now just a troubled area with a higher crime rate but that will soon change. Massive demolition and restoration has been in the works to bring this community back to its’ Bronzeville roots.  Slum buildings are much more few and far between, this area is no longer blighted but only has some blighted buildings.
  • Oakland, More demolition and restoration has happened all decade and maybe only a few blighted buildings remain that will soon be attended to.  This is one of the safer areas of the city and is no longer dangerous or blighted.  The renaissance has been achieved!
  • Washington Park, Still remains heavily blighted and dangerous.  There are more vacant lots than ever.  This is still one of the more dangerous communities in Chicago.
  • Englewood, Still remains heavily blighted and dangerous.  There are more vacant lots than ever.  This is still one of the more dangerous communities in Chicago.
  • West Englewood, Still remains heavily blighted and dangerous.  There are more vacant lots than ever.  This is still one of the more dangerous communities in Chicago.
  • South Chicago, Perhaps more blighted than ever as demolitions of ran down properties continue bringing more vacant lots.  Crime and gang issues continue to plague this community.
  • West Pullman, This is still one of the higher crime and more dangerous communities in the city; however, most of this community is black middle class and law abiding.  The extreme blight and the worst crime can be found in the area bounded by 115th on the north, 121st on the south, Halsted Street on the west and the Riverdale border on the east.  This small area still continues to deteriorate severely and is perhaps one of the more blighted areas of the city.
  • Roseland, This area continues to be one of the most dangerous areas of the city.  Blight continues to worsen as now long standing ran down buildings still remain.  Most of the community is middle class but some is for lower income classes and very ran down, mainly in the center of the community.
  • Woodlawn, Still remains heavily blighted and dangerous.  There are more vacant lots than ever.  This is still one of the more dangerous communities in Chicago.
  • Greater Grand Crossing, Still remains heavily blighted and dangerous.  There are more vacant lots than ever.  This is still one of the more dangerous communities in Chicago.  The Parkway Gardens projects have been renovated.
  • Austin, Blight has become worse as more long standing vacant properties have become common site.  Entire apartment buildings have become shuttered, this is now one of the more blighted areas in Chicago that is not yet big on demolition.
  • East Garfield Park, Still remains heavily blighted and dangerous.  There are more vacant lots than ever.  This is still one of the more dangerous communities in Chicago.
  • West Garfield Park, Still remains heavily blighted and dangerous.  There are more vacant lots than ever.  This is still one of the more dangerous communities in Chicago.
  • North Lawndale, Still remains heavily blighted and dangerous.  There are more vacant lots than ever.  This is still one of the more dangerous communities in Chicago.
  • Fuller Park, Still remains heavily blighted and dangerous.  There are more vacant lots than ever.  This is still one of the more dangerous communities in Chicago.

In conclusion, the 1980s were truly the worst decade for slum conditions in Chicago.  The most amount of neighborhoods were effected by slums and populations of these communities affected were dropping badly.  This was also a time when the projects all over the city had fallen into deteriorated and dangerous slums.  The 80s was indeed the peak of blighted Chicago.