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Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs

A Historical Guide

“Which neighborhood?” It’s one of the first questions you’re asked when you move to Chicago. And the answer you give—be it Bucktown, Bronzeville, or Bridgeport—can give your inquisitor a good idea of who you are, especially in a metropolis with 230 very different neighborhoods and suburbs to choose from.
            Many of us, in fact, know little of the neighborhoods beyond those where we work, play, and live. This is especially true in Chicagoland, a region that spans over 4,400 square miles and is home to more than 9.5 million residents. In Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs, historian Ann Durkin Keating sheds new light on twenty-first-century Chicago by providing a captivating yet compact guide to the Midwest’s largest city. Keating charts Chicago’s evolution with comprehensive, cross-referenced entries on all seventy-seven community areas, along with many suburbs and neighborhoods both extant and long forgotten, from Albany Park to Zion. Thoughtful interpretive essays by urban historians Michael Ebner, Henry Binford, Janice Reiff, Susan Hirsch, and Robert Bruegmann explore how the city’s communities have changed and grown throughout the years, and sixty historic and contemporary photographs and additional maps add depth to each entry.
            From the South Side to the West Side to the North Side, just about every local knows how distinctive Chicago’s neighborhoods are. Few of us, however, know exactly how they came to be. Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs brings the city—its inimitable neighborhoods, industries, and individuals—to life, making it the perfect guidebook for anyone with an interest in Chicago and its history.

344 pages | 60 halftones, 394 line drawings | 7 x 10 | © 2008

Chicago and Illinois

History: American History

Travel and Tourism: Travel Writing and Guides


“What’s McHenry’s salty past? The village was home to a pickle factory in 1876. What was an Oak Brook gristmill’s secret identity before the Civil War? It was a stop on the Underground Railroad. All these factoids and more can be found by dipping into Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs, a new historical guide edited by North Central College’s Ann Durkin Keating.”

Marni Pyke | Daily Herald

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments

Introduction Chicago Neighborhoods: Building Blocks of the Region, Ann Durkin Keating 
Note on Further Readings

    Chicago’s Community Areas
    Economic Origins of Metropolitan Chicago’s Communities
    Chicago’s Evolving Economic Geography
    Land Subdivision and Urbanization on Chicago’s Northwest Side
    Chicago-Area Expressways in 23
    Neighborhood Change: Prairie Avenue, 1853–23
    Changing Origins of Metropolitan Chicago’s Foreign-Born Population
    Annexations and Additions to the City of Chicago
    Chicago’s Railroad Patterns in 1950

The Lay of the Land
    Suburbs and Cities as Dual Metropolis, Michael H. Ebner
    Multicentered Chicago, Henry C. Binford
    Contested Spaces, Janice L. Reiff
    Economic Geography, Susan E. Hirsch
    Built Environment of the Chicago Region, Robert Bruegmann

A–Z entries
Illustration Credits

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