6.8 out of 10

State St, Douglas

Ranked 1st best street in Douglas
41.8358080763847 -87.6265150111752
Great for
  • Medical Facilities
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Transport
  • Childcare
  • Cost of Living
Not great for
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Nightlife
  • Peace & Quiet
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids



"Well It Could Happen in Chicago"

Once upon a decade ago a bunch of young professionals and groovy hipsters set their sights on NYC's Harlem. They moved into the area and set to renovating the brownstones to their former glory. Well, it worked somewhat. They did the same thing in Brooklyn. Some uber-cool kid from the burbs graduated college and decided walking over the Brooklyn Bridge everyday would be downright awesome, so they transformed a gritty area into a new Urban love-story. That is what is going on in Bronzeville as well. Once home to a bustling steel workers population Bronzeville fell into disrepair and saw economic decline several times. Things were getting pretty gritty in the area, but it is currently on the rise. While I don't think it's made it to "move-in" ready condition it certainly has potential and getting in early might be the best way to go about getting into the area.

Bronzeville is charming in it's own right and it's rich history makes it worth a look. While it might seem a bit rough, it really is only rough around the edges.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5

"Historic Bronzeville is turning over a new leaf"

Once a relatively gritty representation of a Chicago ‘hood, the Bronzeville of recent years is on the rise, as new residents continue to stream in and renovate the historic neighborhood. Also on the rise is Bronzeville’s nightlife, as these new residents seem to be in the business of opening bars and diners.

If you’ve heard of the Harlem Renaissance that happened in that other American city, then it’s not hard to picture what went on in Bronzeville from the 20s until the 40s: a newly inspired African-American wave of culture. At the time Bronzeville was referred to as Black Metropolis. For this reason there are many tourist stops in this neighborhood, and a great deal of culture walks are given for those who prefer to visit such stops with a historical guide on hand. (A good place for history buffs to get started is on Martin Luther King Dr. between 25th and 35th streets, where a number of plaques commemorating many of the neighborhood’s finest residents line the sidewalk.)
If you get hungry while in the neighborhood, I suggest checking out Alice’s Bar-B-Que or Harold’s Chicken Shack.
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5

"Bronzeville: An Historic Urban Neighborhood"

The “Bronzeville” neighborhood spans parts of both the Douglas and Grand Boulevard neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side. Anchored by Martin Luther King Drive, between 24th Street and 47th Street, the area was so named because of its large population of well-to-do African Americans who migrated there from the south in the early 1900s. Notables included: Ida B. Wells, Bessie Coleman, Sam Cook, Lou Rawls, and several others from all walks of life. At the time, this was the African American community's "Gold Coast".Although most of the old, stately mansions are gone, many still line the streets and have been designated as historic landmarks in tribute to their former famous residents. And since my childhood in the early 1960s, King Drive (known as South Parkway Boulevard until the late 1960s) is famous for its annual “Bud Billiken” parade which will be celebrating its 81st year in August 2010.

The surrounding area is an interesting mix of old and new housing. Mansions and townhomes have been reclaimed and renovated. New townhomes have been built on former long-vacant lots. When I lived on 31st and King Drive in the early-to-mid 80s, the neighborhood was still struggling to survive years of blight and neglect from economic upheaval. However, anchors such as Michael Reese and Mercy hospitals, and the Illinois Institute of Technology, and proximity to Downtown/The Loop and the Lakefront made it a fairly attractive area to live in, even for a “singleton”. There are still three large high-rise rental complexes that continue to attract those who are not yet ready to buy a house: Prairie Shores, South Commons, and Lake Meadows. And although they’ve been standing for 40-some years, they are still well-maintained, manicured, and affordable. In the past decade or so, local aldermen and community activists have been determined restore the neighborhood to some of its former glory. And it has begun to attract more of an upper-middle class population. In fact when Chicago was being considered to host the 2016 Olympics, the now closed Michael Reese Hospital and surrounding area was due to be converted to an Olympic Village. Sadly, we didn’t win the bid and plans for the shuttered hospital sit in limbo – along with plans to develop the surrounding areas.

Nevertheless, as with most urban neighborhoods, this one has its “bad spots” – little pockets off the beaten path of the main streets where it’s definitely not a good idea to walk alone after dark. But during the day, especially along King Drive, it’s a great place for a walk through history!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids

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